These Federal Assistance Programs May Be Available to You

YOU May Be Eligible For Federal Assistance And Not Know It — Find Out More

( – With more families in America struggling now than even just a few years ago, many find themselves seeking aid. There are a number of federal assistance programs available to provide needed financial, medical, and nutritional services.


The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides assistance to low income families in order to stretch their grocery budget and ensure that these families have access to nutritious foods. While SNAP is a federal program, its benefits are administered through local offices in every state. In order to obtain the benefits, individuals or households must meet certain income, resource, and work requirements.


Medicaid is a joint program of the federal government and states that provides health coverage for low-income adults and children, pregnant women, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities. As the biggest source of healthcare funding in the nation, Medicaid provides coverage for over 80 million people.


The Children’s Health Insurance Program is another option for families who need health insurance coverage for their children. Offered by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), this coverage is available for families whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but are unable to afford private insurance.


Also offered under the wide umbrella of Medicaid programs, the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides comprehensive medical and social services for individuals who are 55 and older, eligible for nursing home care, and able to live safely in the community.


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a limited federal program that assists families with children who are unable to provide for their basic needs so that the children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. The benefits are only available for a short period of time, but in some cases can be offered for up to five years.


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that offers assistance to low income households with heating and cooling energy costs, bill payment, and energy-related home repairs, including weatherization. In order to obtain this assistance, individuals must meet income guidelines and the program is targeted towards those with the greatest home energy needs, particularly households where there are elderly, disabled, or children. LIHEAP is generally administered through the Department of Social Services in each state.

Section 8

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly known as Section 8, provides assistance to low income families, elderly, and disabled individuals who need safe and sanitary housing in the private housing market. Through the program, families are able to find their own housing — including single family homes, duplexes, or apartment units — and a housing subsidy is paid directly to the landlord of the housing on behalf of the family.

As with other federal benefit programs, Section 8 is available to individuals meeting income requirements, with priority given to families whose income is less than 30 percent of the median income in their area. Additional eligibility requirements include eviction history, family size, and citizenship status. It should be noted that the demand for housing often far outweighs the available funding, and Section 8 applicants are often placed on waiting lists.

Other Federal Assistance Programs to Fill Specific Needs

There are literally hundreds of federally-funded benefits programs available to individuals and families in need. Many of the programs only provide benefits to certain groups of individuals, including state administered programs available only for residents of the state where they are offered. In order to find federal programs that can assist you, the Benefits Finder is a 10-30 minute questionnaire that will return information about specific programs you may be eligible for and how to apply for them.

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