What Tool Can Help You with Government Programs?

Many of us think that during difficult times we’re all on our own, but that’s far from true. Whether a person’s struggles are with finances, healthcare, or education, there are plenty of programs out there to help them out. While there’s a wide selection of federal government programs out there to help Americans out, it’s important to know which programs you can qualify for.

Every program fits a certain need, however eligibility for federal assistance programs can vary. Without meeting the requirements for any program, you might not be able to receive its benefits. So, you’ll definitely need to do your research before applying for any federal assistance program. You should also only rely on information from official sources, to avoid taking any wrong steps.

So, Where can I Find Reliable Information On Federal Assistance Programs?

There are a lot of federal assistance programs to check out. These programs can cover your needs with education, healthcare, housing, and much more. But, without clear information, you’ll frustrate yourself easily trying to choose between which programs you can apply for and which programs you qualify for.

As we mentioned, you should always rely on information from trusted sources. And that’s where Benefits.gov comes into play. Benefits.gov is a government portal that helps you identify what assistance programs might work for you. This portal will not only list the programs available but will also inform you whether you’re eligible for them or not.

How You Can Make The Most Out Of Benefits.gov

The website includes a large selection of available federal programs. Every program comes with information on its benefits and who it’s meant for. But, don’t worry. You don’t need to look through every single program to find ones that suit you. To narrow your options down, try clicking on Benefit Finder.

Benefit Finder

This is a questionnaire that you should fill out to identify the federal assistance programs that you’re eligible for. Benefit Finder walks you through the information you’ll need to provide to apply for any federal assistance program. But, it’s simple enough for the average Joe to understand and fill out.

On the first page of the questionnaire, you’ll give your birth date, then you’ll clarify your citizenship status. After that, you should provide information regarding the size of your household and annual income. Once you answer those questions, the website we’ll provide you with the first list of federal assistance options you’re eligible for. The more questions you answer, the more accurate the information you’ll get. However, you don’t have to answer any of the questions, except the ones marked with an asterisk ‘*’.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should only give honest answers. If you provide false answers, you will get inaccurate information. Also, the government will check the validity of the information when you do apply for federal assistance programs anyway.

What Kind Of Federal Assistance Programs Can I Apply For?

As we mentioned, there are plenty of federal assistance programs out there to help Americans out. The programs come in a very wide variety. Eligible applicants can find programs that will help them with housing, school fees, healthcare, and much more. The important thing is to know what kind of assistance you need and which programs you qualify for. Let’s explore some of the options you find useful. We’ll also look at what it takes to qualify for them.


It’s no secret that college fees are seriously high. As a result, the federal government created several educational grants, encouraging more young people to get higher degrees. We’ll mention a few examples of such programs here, but you should also look through Benefits.gov for more options.

Pell Grant

This is an educational grant that is mainly aimed at low-income individuals. It also focuses on undergraduate students. For students who struggle with financially affording to go to college, this is an absolute lifesaver. The Pell Grant will give students up to $7,395 per academic year. However, this number could change annually so keep that in mind!

Here’s How to Apply

To apply for the Pell Grant, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Students must make sure to provide completely truthful information on the form. Students also must be able to provide evidence of provided information if necessary. During the review of a student’s FAFSA 2 main factors will be key, the First of which is your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the second being your Cost Of Attendance (COA).

Your EFC is based on your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits. Your EFC will also be affected by the number of members in your family. However, your COA depends on several factors:

  • tuition and fees;
  • the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board);
  • the cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer);
  • an allowance for child care or other dependent care;
  • costs related to a disability; and/or
  • reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

It is always advisable to apply for grants as soon as possible. However, you should also look through Benefits.gov to explore other options that might help you pay for college.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This grant works a lot like the Pell Grant, but with a few differences. First of all, only schools that participate in the program can provide FSEOG. Meaning that not every school will accept FSEOG as a way to finance your education. Second of all, the government assigns limited FSEOG funds to every school, so if they run out for the year, no more students can apply for it within the same academic year.

This grant also requires students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. After that, the student aid office will decide if the student is eligible, and if so, how much they would receive in financial aid.


House prices are getting pretty high nowadays, especially in bigger cities. Not only is buying a house becoming more expensive but even renting your own place is becoming financially challenging. That’s why the federal government has several programs in place to help citizens with either renting or buying their new homes.

Section 8 Housing/Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV)

This is honestly a great federal assistance program for those of you looking for affordable house rentals. Don’t confuse it with Public Housing, as the biggest difference is that you get to choose whatever house you want, given that the landlord will accept these vouchers.

So, What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

These vouchers help low-income families afford rent and save money for other necessities. The way it works is as follows:

  • You inquire about the program at your local Public Housing Authority (PHA)
  • You will also need to make sure you’re eligible for the program
  • Then, you’ll start your application there
  • Alongside your application, you’ll need to look for homes that will accept these vouchers
  • If your application goes smoothly, you’ll generally be placed on a waitlist that’s between 6 to 24 months long
  • There are different criteria that will put you as a higher priority on the list. Families that include disabled members, elderly folks, or veterans are usually placed higher on the list.

Much like with any other federal assistance, you need to make sure you provide accurate and truthful information. Of course, there are certain criteria you must satisfy to apply for HCV, however, they may vary from one PHA to the other:

  • Applicants must be 18+ years old US citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Any past drug-related criminal charges may affect the success of your application.
  • Families applying must make sure the number of members is limited to the number decided by their local PHA.
  • Applicants must not earn more than 50% of their local area median.

Housing Choice Vouchers holders are expected to pay around 30% of their income towards the new home’s rent. The federal government, through Section 8 will be financing the remaining rental fee. These vouchers also come with a huge perk and that is they can be used in other states. However, to transfer your voucher, you must take the permission of your PHA first.


Medical bills are another reason for financial struggles among Americans. These expensive medical bills can be an even bigger burden for low-income individuals and families. That’s why the federal government has more than one program in place to help lighten the burden.


This program covers all 50 states. Medicaid’s main aim is to provide free or low-cost healthcare coverage, especially to those who need it the most. The program’s highest priority includes low-income families, disabled people, families, and the elderly. The program operates on both state and federal levels, that’s why qualifications and benefits may vary according to the state where you live. However, the main qualifying criteria include:

  • A US citizen or eligible immigrant
  • A person whose financial situation can be seen as low-income or very-low-income


Although there are many programs out there, it’s easy to forget about federal assistance programs. Even if you know about them, you may get confused with which program to choose and how to apply. That’s why you should always look into Benefits.gov as it’s there to make your life easier.

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