The federal government provides programs that serve as safety nets to low-income families to prevent them from plunging into poverty. American Hope Resources shares some of these programs in the interview below.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE FAMILY-HELP PROGRAMS?
To be eligible for these low-income government programs, you must prove that your income falls below a certain amount. Some state requirements will be checked concerning your family size and combined family income.
Many of these programs also require that you be a citizen of the United States of America or a non-citizen that is eligible. Welfare programs are majorly based on your family’s level of need.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FAMILY-HELP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE?
Some health-related family-help programs include; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, and Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Housing-related family-help programs include; Subsidized Housing, Housing Vouchers, and Public Housing Programs such as Housing Assistance and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Family-help programs for financial assistance include; Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI).
Other family-help services programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Head Start, Federal Pell Grant Program, etc.
CAN YOU GET HELP WITH PAYING YOUR UTILITY BILLS?
There are a lot of ways in order to save money on utility bills, especially during summer. There are some government programs to help reduce the cost of utility bills. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) runs a Lifeline program to help low-income earners and their families to get cell phones and landline services at discounted prices.
Low-income earners in every state, commonwealth territory, and tribal lands are eligible for Lifeline services. You must have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) also helps to defer home energy utility bills.
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR FAMILY-HELP PROGRAM?
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a popular family-help program. It is funded by the Federal government but run by individual states. The program is aimed at helping families regain their independence after a tough hurdle. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides help with food, home energy, housing, job training, and childcare.
To be eligible for TANF, you must be a resident of the state where you’re applying. You also need to meet the criteria set by each state or tribal territory.
ARE ALL GOVERNMENT GRANTS AND LOANS AUTHENTIC?
No. Not all government grants and loans are authentic. You must be careful not to fall prey to fraudulent scams designed to take advantage of low-income earners seeking help. If anyone contacts you stating that you have been awarded a government grant or promises you any loan as though from the federal government, it is most definitely a scam.
If you need to report a scam or know if you have been targeted for fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online. You may also report scams related to grants to the Health and Human Services (HHS).
Don’t give such persons personal information such as your social security number, birth date, or bank account details. Instead, gather as much information on such persons.