Learn About Additional Resources
Whether or not you receive government assistance, utilizing as many government resources as possible is important to if you are struggling to afford basic necessities, such as food and shelter.
Like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, there are various government assistance programs that can provide you with the benefits or money assistance you need to better your financial situation and reach a point where you can support yourself independently.
You may be eligible to receive rental assistance, SNAP food benefits and utility assistance. Furthermore, many government sites offer tips on how to manage your money so that you can get back on your feet after receiving benefits. This may include learning how to set a weekly budget that takes into account all of your monthly bills and the expenses you have control over. While it is important to become self-sufficient, it is also important to know when to seek help in the event of an emergency crisis. To learn more about additional resources offered by the government, read the sections below.
Find Out About Other Government Assistance Programs
There are many government assistance programs available to underprivileged individuals and families struggling to obtain and maintain basic necessities, such as food and housing. To be more specific, TANF offers financial assistance to families in need, as well as to pregnant women. This financial assistance helps recipients pay for shelter, utilities, food, out-of-pocket medical expenses and more. Furthermore, there are financial assistance programs available for low-income individuals who are disabled or elderly, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Additionally, eligible individuals and families can receive monthly SNAP food benefits to purchase groceries as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These individuals receive their food benefits in the form of an EBT card that can be used at local grocery stores, convenience stores and farmers markets. For those who have trouble paying rent, the Housing Choice Voucher Program is a rental assistance program that provides subsidies for residents whose incomes are below a certain percentage of their area’s median income.
Note: To learn more about government assistance, download our guide.
Voucher recipients can choose from single-family homes, townhomes and apartments as long as they meet the Section 8 requirements and housing quality standards. Moreover, there are utility bill assistance programs for those who cannot afford their energy bills. The government also provides medical coverage for qualifying individuals to combat the high cost of health services. These programs assess an applicant’s income and monthly expenses, as well as a few other factors, to determine eligibility.
Tips for Getting Back on Your Feet
Many of these government assistance programs are only temporary and require that beneficiaries get back on their feet and become financially independent. This involves finding a secure and suitable job, learning how to manage your money, building your credit and using services provided by the government. If you recently received unemployment benefits, you may have learned how to properly search for work. The website for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) under the Department of Labor (DOL) provides tips on job interview preparation and how to build an impressive resume and cover letter.
Furthermore, the Consumer Information website under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides valuable information on comparison shopping and the best ways to build credit. This way, individuals can have a credit score that allows them to finance their homes or cars at a decent rate when they are ready. Additionally, many individuals may be eligible for federal student aid when going back to college whether or not they have received government benefits in the past.
To learn more about the benefits the government offers for eligible applicants, download our guide.
Tips to Set up an Effective Weekly Budget
In addition to government assistance programs, there are also many resources available to teach you how to set up an effective weekly budget. Individuals can download budget sample worksheets to calculate their income and evaluate their fixed and variable expenses. While fixed expenses include monthly bills, variable expenses include costs that may change month to month. For example, dining out, groceries and gym memberships are all considered variable expenses. By creating a weekly budget, individuals can better their finances and improve their long-term saving.
Furthermore, these government sites teach individuals how to remain financially stable by learning how to manage their money and avoid exceeding their budgets. This involves consistently monitoring their bank account statements and store receipts, as well as utilizing smartphone applications. These applications send push notifications when users are overspending in certain areas and when monthly bills are due. Users can also set short-term and long-term goals, such as a down payment on a car or retirement, in order to achieve them faster. By using these applications, individuals will have more of an incentive to save allowing them to leave comfortably in the event of an emergency.
What is emergency TANF assistance?
If your household ever experiences an emergency that leaves you struggling to pay rent or meet your financial responsibilities, do not hesitate to apply for emergency TANF assistance. An emergency crisis may include qualifying individuals receiving an eviction or foreclosure notice and a threat or termination of utilities. Additionally, you may receive emergency housing assistance if you or a member of your household is a victim of physical abuse. You may also receive financial assistance if you cannot afford to pay costs associated with moving. This may include your first month’s rent and security deposit. You may also receive government assistance for temporary housing, such as a hotel or motel, and keeping your belongings and furniture in a temporary storage.
To qualify, you must have a dependent child living in your home, as defined by your state’s age requirement. Additionally, you must not exceed the income limits established by your state for your household size. When applying for financial assistance, you must provide certain documentation regarding your identification, income and housing. This may include a paystub, utility bill and an apartment or house lease. Furthermore, you will need to provide evidence of the emergency crisis that has occurred or is occurring to receive emergency TANF assistance. This may include an eviction notice or utility shut-off notice.