(DailyTreasure.com) – The federal government provides services and federal assistance to help American families acquire life’s necessities such as housing and food. Whether your needs are temporary or longer-term, being able to count on these programs can give you the confidence you need to navigate the economic upturns and downturns. Knowing what federally funded programs exist and who they are designed to help can make it possible to access these options.
The three main categories of assistance the federal government provides can be organized into:
Programs that provide financial assistance may provide actual cash or debit funds that can be used at the discretion of the receiver for various purposes such as home goods, rent, or other needs. These generally help specific populations in their most urgent times of need. Some examples include:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits– If your financial needs are exasperated by a recognized disability, SSDI benefits can provide temporary and long-term assistance that can help fill the gap in your budget. If you qualify, you can receive monthly benefits and opportunities to receive training and incentives as you need work that you can reasonably accomplish.
Unemployment insurance (UI)– the federal government provides most of the funds that are distributed through state administration to persons who find themselves unexpectedly without work.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TNAF)– For families struggling to get back on their feet, TNAF can provide financial relief in the form of funds that can be used for childcare, rent, or other necessary items. Although the qualifications can be quite strict, for families who need help urgently, this program can be a lifeline.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)– If you are over 65 or have a long-term disability such as blindness that affects your ability to work, SSI can provide you with a monthly minimum of income. Although qualifying before 65 is difficult, if you need income you can count on this program can assist.
Housing assistance programs specifically work to provide families with adequate housing. This could be through:
Housing Choice Voucher Program– This program provides a voucher that can be used as part of a renter’s monthly payment. When you qualify, you can use the voucher as any apartment that meets the qualifications and accepts the payment.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)- This useful government-funded program provides assistance to families by increasing the energy efficiency of homes.
Nutrition assistance programs primarily work to make sure that American families have access to healthy food. These include well-known programs such as:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)– SNAP benefits are deposited into an account that can be accessed through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card when paying for groceries at many local grocery establishments. This program leaves the food choices up to the recipient, which allows families to meal plan and select the foods that are most useful to them. This can include snacks, dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables, and meat.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)– Through funding provided by the federal government, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases large amounts of nutritious food and provides this food to local and state food pantries and shelters. This food is directly accessible to low-income or elderly people in accessible locations.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)– Similar to the TEFAP, the food used for CSFP is provided by the USDA. It’s distribution is specific to individuals who are 60 years or older and benefit from supplemental foods that help round out senior diets.
If your family needs help affording adequate housing, healthy food, or any other life basics, take advantage of these and other federally funded programs designed to assist.
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