It’s always hard when your household falls on hard times. There are programs that provide assistance for low income families. These programs are set in place to preserve a good quality of life for the most vulnerable demographics. These benefits provide funding for some critical basic needs including health care, housing, and food. Without these programs, we’d see a lot more poverty in your local area.
Most of the programs are funded by the federal government but adminstered through local justrictions. Some states are able to better distribute this assistance because of legislation that favors these programs.
It’s hard to know which programs you apply for and which wons are even available. Below you’ll see a list of different programs and grants available to low-income households and seniors. There are some additional benefits for women and children included as well.
Low-Income Assitance Programs
Medicaid– Is a health insurance program that provides health care to low income families. Since the United States doesn’t have universal healthcare, this program insures the people who are not receiving insurance through their employment still has access to a proper standard of health care. This program is managed on a state level and qalification is based on income.
Food Stamps (SNAP)- SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s a federal program that provides funding for nutrition to low-income families. Snap is usually referred to as Food Stamps. Similar to Section 8, states have income limits to see if you qualify and also assess the amount of money you have in the bank.
WIC– WIC also known as the Special Supplemetnal Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). It’s a grant based program where the federal government to provides funding to local areas for mothers and children up to the age of 5. Common locations include hospitals, community centers, schools, and public housing sites.
Childrens Health Insruance Program (CHIP)- This is a program that covers children, 19 or younger, who’s parents don’t qualify for medicaid. Since Medicaid does have the low income qalification, there are still some households who still don’t have the proper resoruces to get everyone insruance. This program ensures that our children can get the health care they need. It includes vision and dental care.
Welfare (TANF) – Commonly referred to as “Welfare”, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is another program that is run by the states while receiving a budget from the federal government. This program provides assistance with Food, Housing, Utilities, Child Care, and job training.
Section 8- Section 8 is a voucher program to provide rental assistance for low-income households. Since the expectation is that someone should be paying 30% of their income towards rent, the government has created this program to ensure people are able to maintain a certian quality of life, even if they are low income.
Public Housing- The public housing program provides subsidized rents for low-income households. Rather then providing the voucher to the tenant this program provides credits to the home owners who are providing units to lower income families.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – This program provides utilitiy assitance to low income families. Similar to most of the programs on this list, it is mainly run by the states and local jurisdictions. This program is really helpful in areas where people are dealing with extreme tempratures since it can cost a lot to heat or cool your house.
Unemployment Insurance- Most of these programs are inteded to help a household through a hard time, they are not always meant to be long term solutions. Unemployment Insurnace is the shortest term benefit on this list because it’s supposed to help you supplement your income in between jobs. Since most Americans don’t have a proper savings account, this program to neccessary to ensure people can still cover their expenses while looking for a new job.
Assistance for Seniors and people with disabilities
Social Security- Many people are familiar with the social security program without knowing about how it works. Social Security provides assistances for senior citizens and people who may be disabled and it’s been around for over 80 years. Everyone who works pays towards this program and then the funds are allocated to the Old- Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurnace (DI).
Medicare- Similar to Medicaid, medicare provides is a federally funded health insruance program. Medicare focuses more on people who are 65 and older since they’re no longer receiving insurance through their employer. Medicare also provides health insurance for people who are younger then 65 and disabled.
Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP)- MSSP is another great program to support seniors, people with disabilities, and their care givers.This program helps families create a plan for the care management of the more vulnerbale members of their family. It can include, but not limited to, in home care, counceling, meal services and transportation services.