Money Assistance Pennsylvania
The state of Pennsylvania has a poverty rate of 13.7% which is better than the national average of 15% but still high never the less. The child poverty rate of the state sits at 20% and is a big concern. During these difficult financial times, many individuals and families are having a hard time staying on top of their finances. If you are dealing with money problems and need assistance, there are numerous state and federal financial programs to help ease financial burdens. Get assistance paying bills in addition to financial aid.
Assistance with Utilities: With a number of assistance plans for home energy costs, low income families and individuals in Pennsylvania have a number of options. The Customer Assistance Program is a geared to income type of assistance. Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Program (CARES) helps those in emergency situations to find ways to pay energy bills. The State does have a LIHEAP, low income home energy assistance program administered by the Department of Human Services to ensure those with low incomes have access to low cost energy. Hardship Funds are also made available to pay for utility costs for those that have fallen on hard times.
Food Assistance: Pennsylvania uses the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with an EBT, electronic benefits transfer card that acts like a credit or debit card allowing those in need to access funds for food at approved food source locations. This program provides low income residents the ability to gain access to healthy food to increase the nutrition in their diets. The Emergency Food Assistance Program ( TEFAP) is another resource to receive food when needed.
Loan Help: Personal loans can be difficult to qualify for when on a lower income. This in part is due to the borrower’s ability to service the loan based off of income to expense ratios. Because of this many borrowers turn to the likes of payday or micro loans as they have easier approval criteria. Many financial organizations frown on these micro lenders due to the costs they charge borrowers, they ridiculously high interest rates and fees. Because of this many banks, credit unions and non-profits have created alternative loans specifically for lower income earners – Learn about these low income loans here.
Rent and Mortgage: The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency administers a Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) that helps prevent foreclosures by providing loan funding to individuals that have lost their jobs and require retraining or time to find new employment. The organization also helps those that have suffered from natural disasters or need help increasing the energy efficiency of their homes to reduce heating and cooling bills. This agency also encompasses the States affordable housing initiative for renters as well including State Housing Authorities for low income housing.
Medical Assistance: Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services deals with the federally funded Medicaid system and has an online application system allowing easy and quick access through local internet points, such as public libraries or public offices. Through this portal there are a number of other assistance programs that include transportation to medical appointments, long term care services, mental health services, special health care for kids and more.
Educational Assistance: Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is a one stop shopping portal for those that need information on funding sources and planning for community college or university. From grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness to work-study programs there is many options for low income families to seek out financial help for children that want to continue their studies. Families that need help for subsidized child care costs to enable continued employment and meet the income limits need to check here.
Charities: With a population of over 12 million residents, Pennsylvania has a vast network of charities throughout the state that deal with all manner of issues. For those in low income homes seeking help with education, medical care, child care, bill payments and food, there are many private organizations that can also help just search here by category and city.