As of 2019, almost 34 million people were poor in the United States, according to the latest figure provided by the US Census. Many of them benefited from the economic stimulus aid approved both by the government led by Donald Trump, and later by the current government of Joe Biden. These reliefs were granted due to the economic disaster generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, that help has ended or is almost extinct, but it is not the only option that exists for the government to help low-income people.
In this article we are going to tell you about five of these programs so that you understand them, find out what you need for eligibility and how each of them is managed.
1.- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
It is known as TANF, for its acronym in English. This program is financed by the federal government, but it is administered by each of the states that make up the United States.
Each state will grant the amount that will be for each qualified person , that is, not all states give exactly the same figure. For example, in Oklahoma, the maximum amount an adult and two children can receive through TANF cash assistance is $292 per month, while for a family of three in Washington state, it is $654. a month.
Programs run by each state may include child care assistance, job readiness, and job assistance, the official website explains.
The requirements to obtain eligibility are:
-Be a resident of the state where the so-called TANF is requested.
-Be US citizens, legal aliens, or qualified aliens.
-Being unemployed or underemployed.
-Have low or very low income.
-Having a child 18 years old or younger, or
-Being pregnant, or
-Being 18 years old or younger and being the head of the household.
2.- SNAP Program
Although it is better known as SNAP , it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in its Spanish translation. It is also known as food stamps, although this dynamic is no longer handled that way. While food stamps used to be given to families in need at various retail stores, now all you do is put a balance on an EBT card and it works like a debit card.
The benefits are deposited monthly and will depend on the income of the family and its number of members. Although it is a federal program, led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), each state is in charge of administering it and determining the eligibility requirements.
These include meeting gross and net income limits based on household size. According to the USDA, the average SNAP benefit per household in 2021 was $210.07 per month.
You can use the following link to find which office you should go to in your state to submit your application.
3.- Child Care and Development Fund
The Child Care and Development Fund is designed for low-income families who, due to their working conditions, cannot take care of their children. It is also justified by the fulfillment of educational tasks, or for work-related training.
Income limits are determined by each state, so they will vary from state to state. According to the National Association of Counties, in 2018, the last year for which data was available, only 14% of eligible children participated in the CCDF . This program is an initiative of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Only those under 13 or under 19 who cannot care for themselves and have low income qualify. If you want to qualify, you must submit your application to the Office of Child Care (OCC) . You must also be employed or, in some states, enrolled in a training or education program. You can enter this link to locate the state agencies that are responsible for carrying out this program.
4.- Supplemental Security Income
It is also known as SSI, for its acronym in English. It is a federal program that is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It focuses on helping adults and children who are disabled or blind. They must be low-income and have few resources.
Although this program is administered by the SSA, it is not funded by taxes collected by Social Security. According to the official website of the SSA, the monthly maximum for an eligible person is up to $841 per month. An eligible person who is married could receive cash benefits up to a maximum of $1,261.
An eligible person with an eligible spouse could receive $1,261. An essential person, someone who lives in the home and cares for the eligible person, could receive $421. To start your application, you can enter the following link.
5.- Energy assistance for low-income households
The US Department of Health and Human Services leads the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP. Although it is a federal program, as in the previous ones, each state decides whether or not a household is eligible to obtain this financial aid.
As explained by the Benefits.gov site, anyone who is enrolled in the SNAP program is almost certainly automatically eligible for LIHEAP . The aid granted can range from $500 dollars to $1,500 dollars and is paid directly to the company providing the service.