How To Get Available Federally Funded Assistance Options

Introduction

Many people do not realize that there may be a government funding program or assistance option that is available to help their situation. In fact, there are a variety of options that can help those who need it most. That is why it is important to understand the types of funding options that are available and how to get that support.

Even though this type of assistance is provided federally, local and state organizations are usually the ones that receive the assistance to give to individuals. It typically does not come directly from the government.

When an organization receives this federal funding, they should be able to better handle an individual’s situation. That is why you need to first look at these organizations when trying to get assistance. 

These programs that are available locally can be for all kinds of help from government assistance grants to funding, and more. The benefit to these federal assistance grants is that they usually do not need to be returned or repaid to anyone. You just get to use the federal government assistance grant fund program that you need!

It could be a little bit scary for you to apply for a federal grant, since there are a lot of questions and paperwork involved. But, let’s be honest, wouldn’t you rather go through the hassle of applying and end up with free money? Of course, it is not that easy. You will need to qualify for the grant to be able to receive the funds. But, when there is a will, there is a way.

What is a Federally-Funded Grant?

A federally-funded grant is a monetary award that you can receive from the federal, state, or local government. Federally-funded grants are funds that payments are transferred to you. These grants do not include direct assistance from the government, since it is mostly distributed by state or local government.  But, the federal government issues the federal grants for you. You should keep in mind that the entity that provides the grant does not expect to be repaid, but you are expected to use the funds of the grants towards its purpose. (Segal)

There are federal grants for literally anything. Whatever you can think of, there is a grant that can help you. Federally-funded grants will allow you to take the financial load off of you and give you space to stand on your two feet. However, government grants are funded through tax dollars. This means that there are very strict requirements that you need to meet, in order to qualify for the grant. The government gets really finicky about the requirements, to ensure that you are using the funds for the grant’s purpose. (Not to buy a yacht or an island in the Bahamas, or stuff like that.)

How A Government Grant Works

Alright, let’s be serious. A federally-funded grant is not like the lottery; you cannot just stumble upon it and win. You will need to apply for a grant and go through the whole process. As a reminder, you are not the only one who knows about federally-funded grants, so make sure to expect serious competition. The application process is a bit complicated and you will need to make sure that your grant does not go to waste after receiving it.

Once you receive a federally-funded grant, you will not need to pay for anything. They are not loans or scams; these federally-funded grants are gifts from the federal government. You will not have to deal with any underlying costs or fees after receiving the grant. After receiving the grant, you will need to provide a detailed report on how you will disburse the money. If you fail to present these documents to the entity that distributes the grants, then you could lose the grant.

Understanding Your Available Assistance Options

Most people are familiar with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD provides funding to the local and state organizations that helps individuals. Some of the funding can go towards supporting issues like housing, food, bill assistance, and more. If you are approved, then you will be able to receive your federal government grant assistance program in the form of a payment. This is an amount of money based on your qualifications.

Some programs that you may want to look into are:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Any type of federal grant assistance program

If you are interested in receiving more information about the programs stated above, or to view other available federal assistance options then you will need to visit https://www.hhs.gov/programs/social-services/index.html. At this website, you will be able to learn about the programs available and see what you need to apply. This website is provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a federally-funded program that focuses on helping low-income families cover the cost of basic necessities, more specifically food. This program is the largest government program that combats hunger in the United States. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides low-income families and individuals with basic nutritional needs. SNAP targets most at-risk individuals and families, such as households who have children, disabled members, or elderly members. The eligibility requirement of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is based solely on your household’s income and its comparison to the federal poverty line. (Feeding America)

However, the Program does not provide direct assistance, or food.  SNAP offers monthly benefits through electronic debit cards (EBT). These cards are used to buy groceries from retailers who sponsor the Program. You can buy from anywhere you like, as long as the store or market is a SNAP sponsor. With SNAP, you can buy nutritious food and proteins. You cannot, however, purchase non-food items. (Not even medicine and vitamins.)

Medicaid

Medicaid is a government program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals across the United States. The main purpose of Medicaid is to reduce the number of individuals who do not have health insurance. Medicaid provides healthcare on a wide scale, so that you do not have to resort to private health insurance. This program is the largest source of funding on healthcare and has changed the population’s healthcare significantly.

However, you will find that state and local governments are responsible for administering Medicaid. This means that there are different eligibility requirements that you must meet. Medicaid does not cover direct healthcare, but it does cover the costs that come with healthcare. This could include doctor check-ups, hospital visits, long-term medical care, and more.

With Medicaid, you will no longer need to worry about your healthcare or the costs that follow. But, the eligibility requirement is based on your income level and it is compared to the federal poverty level. The main aim is to help low-income families and individuals who cannot afford healthcare. So, the priority for Medicaid is those who are financially struggling. (Kagan)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally-funded grant that assists families, in the case that the caregiver of the family cannot provide basic needs. The Department of Health and Human Services administers and supervises the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. You will find that the TANF program is a limited program and has a strict timeline, which provides temporary financial assistance to families for a specific period of time.

This federally-funded grant program provides financial assistance to low-income families that want to become self-sufficient and independent. But, there is a strict requirement to qualify for the TANF Program. You will need to be employed within two years and you should keep in mind that you can receive the benefit for a specific amount of time. The specific timeline differs from one state to another.

In accordance to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the TANF Programs were “designed to accomplish four goals:

  1. a)       Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;
  2. b)       End the dependency of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage;
  3. c)       Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and
  4. d)       Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally-funded program that provides financial assistance on all home repairs. This program offers one-time funds for you to fix your housing unit of any major damages, regarding energy assistance. Implemented by state governments, you will find that there are specific conditions that exist in one state, but not in another. This means that you will need to check with your Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program office to find out about the different requirements. Thankfully, you can find help in your state’s Department of Social Services on anything LIHEAP related. (Lake)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides assistance in repairs of the following:  cooling and heating energy costs, utility bill assistance for low income families, home repairs, and emergency support during tough times. Additionally, you will find that the LIHEAP helps with home weatherization. The main goal of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is to help low-income families and individuals who cannot cover home-repair costs. But, another aim of the Program is to reduce the consistent costs of energy for each household.

You should keep in mind that, even though it is a federally-funded program, the state government is responsible for the LIHEAP Program. The state government decides the eligibility requirement, coverage, and the budget of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, you have so many assistance options that you can choose from. Maybe, you just never knew about them. Now, you have the chance to seek some help and relief to get out of any financial “tight spot” you might be in. There are many assistance options that specifically target low-income families and individuals get back on their feet. Not only that, each program targets a specific aspect. Medicaid targets low-income families and individuals who cannot afford healthcare and the costs that come with it. As for SNAP, the Program focuses on at-risk citizens who cannot afford to cover the costs of basic nutritional needs.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps financially struggling individuals and families who need help to cover costs that are related to home-repairs and energy assistance. And, finally the TANF Program will provide assistance to families who cannot cover basic needs to their household. These programs are only four programs among many that can give you the help you need.

Keep In Mind

You should keep in mind that most federally-funded assistance options are administered by state governments. This means that the local government or state government decides how to handle the program. You might find that each state differs from one another in its implementation approach. Also, the coverage and budget may vary for each state and each program.

We suggest that you do your research, and do it thoroughly, before applying. You will need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements of the Program to qualify for assistance. Also, you should make sure that you choose the right program that suits your needs so that you do not waste any time. Other than that, happy hunting and may you find the right program for your current situation, sooner rather than later!

Works Cited

Feeding America. Understanding SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 2021. 21 07 2021 <https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/advocate/federal-hunger-relief-programs/snap>.

Kagan, Julia. Medicaid. 21 03 2021. 21 07 2021 <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/medicaid.asp>.

Segal, Troy. Government Grant . 23 11 2020. 21 07 2021 <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/government-grant.asp>.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. What is TANF? . n.d. 19 06 2021 <What is TANF?>.

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