Guide to Government Financial Assistance Programs

The recently concluded economic crisis which directly struck the United States has had crippling effects to average American citizens. With millions of jobs lost and thousands of homes foreclosed, recovery from such financial disaster is extremely difficult and straining.

On the other hand, the U.S. Government has introduced several financial assistance programs that can help legitimate American citizens in recovering from their personal financial downfalls.

The following are some of the programs introduced by the government to assist the financial needs of American citizens and alleviate the harsh effects of poverty.

Student loans and grants – Federal Student Aid

One of the more popular financial assistance programs of the U.S. government is the student loans and grant program by the Federal Student Aid. According to the government’s student aid program website, the government allocates more than $150 billion to different student aid programs.

Supplemental Security Income – Social Security Administration

Supplemental Security Income or simply SSI is a monthly financial assistance program for low-income people over 65 years of age. Similarly, disabled and blind children can also receive monthly SSI grants. The Social Security Administration is the agency responsible in handling and approving SSI applications.

Disaster assistance programs – Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides financial assistance programs for families who were struck by a natural disaster particularly flood, earthquake, fire etc. The government’s disaster assistance program provides financial assistance to those whose property was damaged by a natural disaster.

Apart from the direct financial assistance, crisis counseling and disaster unemployment programs are also offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

In 2010, a total of $5.1 billion plus $490 million contingency fund were appropriated for the LIHEAP program. The LIHEAP program aims to aid low income households on their energy expenses. Families which are eligible for this program are those who do not exceed 150% of the poverty level.

Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)

The Federal Public Housing Assistance Program is a program that was established to provide adequate housing to low income households. Similarly, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also provides low interest housing loans to deserving families.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is a federal assistance program that provides cash to deserving, low income households. The said financial assistance program which started in 1996 has helped millions of families in alleviating the effects of poverty.