If you meet the income requirements, you likely qualify for a number of government assistance programs. From Section 8 housing to low income health insurance and more, you can receive immediate benefits where you need them most.
Even if you don’t qualify for government grants, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can’t get financial assistance. You can still receive financial help from private companies that can help you cover your expenses and get back on your feet.
Government Grant Assistance
The biggest government grant that reaches Americans across the country is Section 8. This low income housing program gives you vouchers that you can use to cover a large portion of your housing costs.
All you need to do is meet the income and residency requirements, choose an approved home from a housing list and follow these application steps:
- Choose an application method, such as online, by mail or in person.
- Provide the name, age, employment status and Social Security Number (SSN) of each household member on the Section 8 application form.
- Input tax, income and expense information.
- Submit your application.
After you apply, you’ll be placed on a waiting list until you are next to receive a housing voucher. At that point, you will be given the voucher and you can select a PHA-approved home to use it on.
Another type of government assistance that doesn’t need to be paid back is TANF. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families helps low-income families by giving them cash assistance to help cover their expenses.
Unlike Section 8 assistance, you do not have to use these benefits to pay a specific expense. You can use them where you see fit, according to your own budget. Apply online by filling out a general benefits form and submitting it to your state. The same form can help you get Food Stamps benefits.
Low Income Insurance Options
Just like housing benefits, you may qualify for cheap or even free health insurance. There are plenty of low income insurance types and plans available. The first options you’ll want to consider are part of the federal health care program. These include:
- Medicaid – This medical assistance program offers low-cost or completely free healthcare depending on your income. Individuals and families can save hundreds of dollars while still receiving the same essential services like hospital and preventive care.
- Medicare – This federal health insurance program covers Americans who are 65 years of age or older, as well as citizens with disabilities or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Members receive hospital and preventive care, and they can add prescription coverage and more to their plans.
- CHIP – If you do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has your kids covered. CHIP provides essential coverage to all members, including hospital care, preventive treatment and more.
You can sign up for Medicaid online for maximum convenience. Medicare and CHIP also have online application portals. The federal healthcare programs have a streamlined application process to help you start receiving benefits ASAP.
Even if you don’t qualify for government medical assistance, there are plenty of affordable health insurance options that are not federally funded. Some of your best options for private cheap health insurance include:
- Short term health insurance – If you need temporary coverage for a very low cost, short term health insurance plans are a good option to consider. You may not be covered for any pre-existing conditions, but the best short term health insurance will keep you insured for up to 360 days while you’re in the process of applying for Medicaid, for example.
- Catastrophic insurance – If you’re 29 years of age or younger and in good health, catastrophic health insurance plans may be the perfect fit. The coverage is cheap. Monthly cost is very low, but deductibles are high. So, if anything, you’d pay expenses out of pocket.
- Bronze health insurance – This type of plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace is one of the most affordable, because it offers low monthly premiums and some free services. The deductibles are rather high. But this is a good fit if you’re looking for extended affordable care.
Social Security Disability Insurance
If you or someone you know is disabled or blind, they may qualify to receive payments every month through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. To start receiving benefits, call or visit your local Social Security office, or apply online in minutes through the digital application portal.
In order to fill out the Social Security Disability application as accurately as possible, be sure to have the following information available:
- The Social Security Number (SSN) of the applicant
- Contact information for the professionals that have taken care of them (i.e. doctors)
- Medical records that prove or explain their disability
- Laboratory and test results
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the applicant must have worked a certain number of quarters and paid a certain amount in Social Security taxes.
Personal Loan Financial Assistance
If you have an immediate or long-term need for cash, taking out a personal loan can help. These loans are offered by banks, credit unions and even reputable online lenders. They’re a great option if you need to make a big purchase or cover one, like housing costs or a car.
Personal loans are often compared to credit cards, because both allow you to borrow money. But loans have some clear advantages:
- Personal loan interest rates are lower than credit card interest rates.
- You can borrow more money with a loan than you can borrow on a credit card.
- You can pay back these loans over the course of 2 to 5 years in affordable monthly installments.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for personal loans for bad credit, there are options available. Interest rates may be slightly higher if your credit score is low, but you can still get the cash assistance you need when you need it.
Credit Card Debt Consolidation Programs
Debt consolidation lets you combine all your existing lines of debt through one lender – potentially lowering your total monthly payments AND interest.
With credit card debt consolidation, you will not have to worry about paying off several different lenders each month. This is because all of your debt will be consolidated onto one credit card.
If you have good credit, it will be relatively easy to find a lender willing to offer you a low-interest card. Some lenders even offer an introductory zero-percent interest rate, which may save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Even if you don’t have a high credit score, the application process for a credit card consolidation loan is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Check if you’re prequalified online. By filling out a short application, you can already see potential offers you may receive.
- Review the loan terms of different offers. Take a look at the various loan options to see which one works for your budget.
- Apply for the debt relief option of your choice. Once you’ve evaluated your budget and the loan terms, apply for the option through the lender.
- Wait for approval. If the lender approves your application after reviewing your information, you can start paying back your consolidated debts.
Assistance With Filing Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy doesn’t need to be a scary term. This legal process can actually help you re-organize your debt and develop a plan for repayment that works for you.
If you are wondering how bankruptcies work, there are two main types to consider. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the more common form. With this type of process, your nonexempt assets are used to pay back your lenders. Meanwhile, Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you a 3 to 5-year repayment plan.
With the right guidance, going through this process can actually reduce your financial strain. But you have to take the right steps and make informed decisions along the way. Fortunately, a bankruptcy attorney can walk you through this process so that you can get back on your feet.
You can get in touch with affordable bankruptcy lawyers online to see if this is the right decision for you, and to find out the first steps to take.