There is government money available to assist you during an economic downturn as well as for daily necessities.
Whoever claimed “nothing in life is free” didn’t consider government programs that assist individuals in paying for things like education, daycare, and a new house. And there is considerably more help available during the coronavirus epidemic.
The government is providing free money in the form of COVID relief and other benefits.
Aside from pandemic payments, there are a variety of additional day-to-day government services accessible to individuals in need. However, unlike COVID relief, you must seek out and apply for this financial help.
Most of these programs are supported by taxes, so you do have to pay something, but it’s as near to free money as you’ll receive from the government. It should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on the availability of some of these programs.
1. Obtain assistance with utility costs
Do you need assistance paying your heating or phone bill? These programs may be of assistance:
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides assistance to low-income families with heating and cooling bills. Grants are distributed via states, which are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Each state has its own qualifying criteria, including income limits.
- The Lifeline program provides low-cost phone or internet access. Certain qualifying restrictions must be met
2. Obtain money for child care
For many families, daycare is a significant financial burden. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit group focusing on low- and middle-income workers, annual expenses for baby care vary from little under $5,000 in Mississippi to more than $22,600 in Washington, D.C.
Low-income families might benefit from the Child Care and Development Fund. The fund, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides money to states, territories, and tribes to send to families to assist pay for child care. Grants are based on income and usually cover care for children under the age of 13. Find the contact information for your state’s Child Care and Development Fund.
3. Unclaimed money can be recovered
This isn’t free money so much as it is money due to you. It may be a long-forgotten utility deposit, a misplaced savings bond, unclaimed life insurance benefits, or an uncashed salary.
When the owner of unclaimed cash cannot be traced, generally due to a clerical mistake or a company having an obsolete address on file, the monies are given over to the state. Unclaimed.org, a site linked with the National Association of State Treasurers, will help you determine whether you have money that has to be claimed.
More than $3 billion in previously unclaimed property was returned to owners during the 2019 fiscal year, with an average claim payout of $1,780.
4. Get help with the down payment
You want to purchase a house but don’t have enough money for a down payment. This is where state-based down payment assistance comes in. These scholarships and loans assist you in covering the initial expenditures of owning a property.
Prospective homeowners in Nevada, for example, may pay a fee and get a grant of up to 5% of their house loan value to go toward a down payment and closing fees. Help is not just available to low-income borrowers. Nevada’s grant program is offered to anyone with an annual income of less than $98,500 for government loans. Check to see whether you’re eligible.
See this guide to find down payment assistance programs in your state.
5. Look for health insurance tax credits
The future of the Affordable Care Act is, at best, hazy. But, for the time being, the program’s premium tax credits are still in effect. Here’s how it works:
Individuals and families who purchase health insurance via the government’s health insurance marketplace (HealthCare.gov) may be eligible for a credit against their rates. The credit may be applied to your insurance provider immediately, cutting your monthly expenses.
6. Apply for college grants and scholarships
Education subsidies, such as the federal Pell Grant, may help with college costs. Students who qualify for the Pell Grant might receive up to $6,345 for the 2020-21 school year. The actual amount given is determined by variables like financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status. Students may apply for the Pell Grant by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, often known as the FAFSA. The application is also used to be considered for a variety of governmental and institutional grants and scholarships.
Other federal college awards include:
- SEP stands for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
- The Grant for Teacher Education Assistance in College and Higher Education.
- The Service Grant for Iraq and Afghanistan.
You may also use the U.S. Department of Labor’s scholarship search tool to hunt for scholarships.
Be wary of scammers
While there are methods to get free money from the government, there are also grant scams that promise to provide you with free money from the government in order to steal from you. Don’t be duped. The government seldom contacts individuals with offers of free money, and when it does, it never does so via social media.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out our recent definitions: