Low Income Family Help
There are literally hundreds of programs that help low income families overcome their financial problems. These programs help families in almost every way possible from food and clothing to housing and education grants, loans, mortgage assistance, tax preparation programs and even health coverage. If you have a monetary or physical item need, there is more than likely a program at the local, state or federal level to help you and your family.
Below is information on popular Federal, State and Local low income financial help programs.
Federal Level Programs
With dozens of federal programs to help you, here are some of the most important.
- Free/Low Cost Food – the SNAP program is the new name of the food stamp program that offers a debit card to families in need to purchase groceries at approved vendors.
- WIC – includes food assistance for pregnant and nursing mothers or for parents with children under 5 years old.
- NSIP – is another nutrition program aimed at providing food for the elderly.
- School Lunch Program – which also includes breakfast in certain areas to low income families with either free or reduced costs lunches.
- Section 8 Housing – is provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help low income families with rent expenses.
- USDA Housing help - for low income rural families offer similar programs to the HUD programs.
- Veteran Affairs – also offers housing and mortgage programs that can help families with at least one member serving in the military.
- LIHEAP – is a federal program that helps low income families pay their heating and cooling bills.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) - or ‘Obamacare’ as it has been nicknamed has enabled millions of low income families add health care insurance for very affordable premiums. With 20% of Americans still without health insurance there are other options.
- Medicaid/Medicare – are still programs that offer low income families with essentially free health care, especially for children.
State Level Programs
Many of the programs listed above were developed and funded by the federal government, but are in fact administered at the state level. From HUD Section 8 to the LIHEAP subsidy many of these programs you will need to contact the either the state-level or local office in order to apply for their benefits. One way that you can find as many benefit programs with as little effort is by finding the closest Community Action Agency near you. With over 1,100 of these offices across the country, if you live in an urban area, there is bound to be one close to you. These organizations could be non-profit agencies, municipal social welfare departments or Community Action organizations.
These agencies often administer all federal programs in their region and enable you to apply for as many benefit programs that you qualify for in one easy location.
Local Level Programs
Another area where your family could get additional assistance is from local companies and non-profit charities. From faith-based organizations such as the Salvation Army to companies such as Value Village there are alternative options for those subsisting on a low income. These companies and non-profit organizations aim to help low income families by providing either free or very low cost options for food, housing, transportation and even home repairs.
These services are often one-time help grants such as receiving emergency funds from your church to prevent an eviction notice to free debt counselling from non-profit credit counselling services.
When you are subsisting on a low income as a family, there are programs at every level of government to help you in almost any situation. Make yourself aware of these programs before they happen and get ahead of potential problems.