Tuesday, January 10, 2023

How To Find Out If I Qualify For Government Assistance

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Can You Go To School

How to apply for federal COVID-19 benefits

We may approve education if it’s part of your case plan you developed with your social worker.

You may be eligible to apply if you do not have enough money to meet your basic needs, and:

  • your partner or spouse does not make enough money to meet your basic needs
  • you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and
  • you do not have a First Nation Status Number, and/or the last working person in your relationship does not have a First Nation Status Number.

You May Be Eligible For A Piece Of $45 Billion In Energy Assistance

As the northern hemisphere heads into winter, people are turning off their air conditioners and firing up their heaters. But electricity prices have increased close to 15% since last year and natural gas prices have risen about 25% during the same time, so heating your home costs significantly more. The increase is especially difficult for people with low incomes. About 40% of low-income households pay more than 10% of their pay on their energy needs. Even though you can cut back on your energy use in a lot of ways, you may not be able to save enough energy to cover the increased cost.

If you find yourself struggling to pay for heating costs this winter, you may qualify for energy assistance. The federal government distributes assistance funds — this winter’s amount is $4.5 billion — that go to households that need a bit of help. States, territories and tribes each get a portion to distribute. We’ll explain how you can apply, lay out what you can use the money for and touch on a few other possible sources of assistance.

You can lower your energy bill right now by adopting a few energy-smart practices. Find out how to lower your water heater temperature, look into an energy-saving smart device and heat and cool your home more efficiently. You can also set your smart thermostat to the ideal schedule for staying comfortable and saving money. Check out CNET’s Home Tips collection for more ideas.

Cons Of Student Financial Aid

  • Loan repayment required
  • Lifetime limits on Pell Grants
  • Private loans are more expensive and restrictive
  • Defaulting on loans hurts credit

Student loan payments, including principal and interest, on federally held student loans, have been suspended through Dec. 31, 2022 however, the suspension only applies to federal student loans held by the Department of Education.

The Department of Education also created an initiative called “Fresh Start” to help borrowers in default. Defaulted loans will return to repayment status and the record of default will be removed from credit reports.

The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March 2021 includes a provision that makes all student loan forgiveness from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2025, tax-free.

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Can I Get Help Paying My Utility Bills

There are a number of government programs available to help defer the costs of utility bills.

The Lifeline program run by the Federal Communications Commission helps low-income individuals and families get discounted landline and cell phone service. Lifeline provides a monthly discount of up to $9.25 on monthly telephone service, broadband Internet access service, or voice-broadband bundled service purchased from participating providers. Subscribers can receive a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, and you can get one Lifeline service per household.

Lifeline is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, commonwealth, territory, and on Tribal lands. To be eligible, you must have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income , Federal Public Housing Assistance , Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or Tribal programs . You can check online to see what providers offer Lifeline services in your area and see if and what kind of benefits you might qualify for.

Who Qualifies For Student Loan Forgiveness

Information On Government Grants

In August 2022, President Biden announced a plan for student loan forgiveness for up to $20,000 in federal loans per borrower. To receive the maximum forgiveness, a borrower must earn less than $125,000 a year and have received a Pell Grant in college. Those who did not receive a Pell Grant are eligible for $10,000 in forgiveness.

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If You Have A First Nation Status Number

Ask for help from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada or your First Nation’s office, if you or or the last working person in your relationship has a First Nation Status Number.

How’s your application assessed?

A social worker will look at your food, shelter and utility needs, as well as any and all money you’ve received in the 31 days before you apply.

If all of the money you received in the last 31 days is less than your need, you’re likely to be eligible for assistance.

Unemployment Insurance And Covid

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that pays part of your wages when you lose your job through no fault of your own. UI benefits are based on a percentage of a year’s earnings and last for a maximum of 26 weeks. Keep in mind that UI benefits are also subject to federal taxes. If needed, you can apply for an extension but it’s not guaranteed. Individual states run the program, each with its eligibility and filing requirements.

Many allow you to file online, by phone, orin person, though the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted in-person applications in many places. Some states provide extended benefits when unemployment is high. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you qualify for extended help.

The federal government provided relief for unemployed individuals during the pandemic through three special programs:

All three of these programs officially expired on Sept. 5, 2021. Eligible individuals may still qualify for unemployment claims as long as they are still unemployed and are within the first 26 weeks of their UI benefits.

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Your Income And Savings Must Be Below A Certain Limit

When you apply for social assistance, you must have very little income or savings.

On the application form, you must declare all income that you currently receive. You must also declare all savings and property you have.

The cut-off amount for eligibility is different depending on your situation. For example, a single person without children cannot have more than $887 of savings at the time of application. A couple with two children cannot have more than $1807.

A certain amount of your property does not count, such as part of the value of a house or a vehicle.

Once you start receiving social assistance, you can have slightly more in savings and property.

If your savings and property are more than the allowed amounts, your social assistance benefits will be reduced or you could become ineligible to receive benefits. If you receive more benefits than you should, you must pay the money back.

Women Infants And Children

This app will help you track your stimulus check

The WIC is a program that caters to the special dietary needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children up to the age of 5. The complete name of the benefits program is The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

This government assistance program aims to provide nutritious diets, dietary and health supplements, awareness drives around healthy eating and breastfeeding, and so on. It also provides qualifying people with access to health services.

It is run by the Food and Nutrition Service at both the national as well as state levels. To enroll in WIC, you may contact the concerned agency in your state. Here is a list of local agencies where you can sign up.

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What Your Loan Servicer Must Do If You Request Forbearance

If you’re having trouble making payments on your federally backed mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your loan servicer. They must:

  • Defer or reduce your payments for six months if you contact them to make arrangements.

  • You can request an extension if you need it. For most loans, your forbearance can be extended up to 12 months.

  • Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.

  • Homeless Resources For Special Groups

    These resources are geared toward specific audiences:

    Veterans

    Youth

    People With Mental Illness

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    If You Live In Whitehorse

  • Phone the office in Whitehorse between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Friday. You’ll complete a pre-intake appointment over the phone with a social worker.
  • The social worker you speak with will see if you’re likely eligible for assistance.
  • If you’re likely to be eligible, they’ll set you up with an intake appointment.
  • The social worker will email you forms to complete for your intake appointment. It’s important that you provide all information required on these forms.
  • After your intake appointment and you’re approved to receive for social assistance, your assistance is assessed each month. You apply for assistance by submitting your assistance application card along with any required documentation. This may include:

    You have to get approval before buying prescription drugs. If you buy a prescription without approval, you probably will not be reimbursed. Social assistance does not pay for over-the-counter medication.

    How To Get Help Paying Rent

    Get &  Keep the Assistance Programs Your Family Needs

    If you need help paying your rent, contact your state housing finance agency or your local public housing agency office. You may qualify for government programs to get help with your rent payments.

    • If you need immediate, emergency assistance
    • To find out what other help may be available for you locally

    Even if you don’t qualify for rental assistance through these agencies, they may be able to refer you to a community organization that can help. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area. They may help you directly or offer you referral information.

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    Search By Type Of Program

    There are three main types of affordable rental housing that are supported by HUD:

    • Privately owned, subsidized housing in which landlords are paid by the government to offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. Search for an apartment and apply directly at the rental management office.
    • For complaints about subsidized housing, call the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line at .
  • Public Housing provides affordable rental houses or apartments for low-income families, people who are elderly, and people with disabilities. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program in which you find a rental property yourself, and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.
  • If you have trouble contacting your local public housing agency, contact your local HUD field office for help.

    If you’re a landlord, learn how you can participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

    Identify And Complain About Housing Discrimination

    Housing discrimination happens when a housing provider gets in the way of a person renting or buying housing because of their

    • Familial status

    A housing provider that discriminates against someone could be a landlord or a real estate management company. It could also be a lending institution like a bank or other organization that aids in the homebuying process.

    Housing discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination covered by the Act can take many forms beyond just raising prices or lying about availability. For example, the Act addresses wheelchair access in some newer properties. Learn what the Fair Housing Act covers, how to complain, and how the investigation process works.

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    Learn About State Food Programs For Seniors

    Most states offer these programs for seniors with a low income:

    How To Apply For Ontario Works

    How to track the status of your stimulus check

    Follow the steps below to apply for Ontario Works online. It takes 20 to 30 minutes.

    Submit one application for you and your immediate family members who live with you.

    Before you start

    Make sure all family members included in your application are with you when you fill out the form so they can provide their consent and confirm their information.

    Have your familys identification and tax documents ready, such as:

    • social insurance numbers

    Step 1: fill in your personal information

    You will be asked to fill out your familys:

    • full legal names, dates of birth and status in Canada
    • email addresses
    • total monthly income and assets
    • other expenses, such as child care
    • bank account information to get your payment quickly through direct bank deposit

    Once complete, submit your application.

    Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application

    A caseworker from your local Ontario Works office will review your application and call you within four business days of submitting your application to schedule an appointment. This does not include weekends and holidays.

    Step 3: meet with Ontario Works to sign and verify your application

    Meet with an intake caseworker for your verification appointment.

    The caseworker might ask you to provide more information, like copies of bills or other documents, so we can verify the information you included in your application.

    Step 4: get approved and receive your payment

    Step 5: develop a plan

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    Figure Out Who Services Your Mortgage

    Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month. This is who you need to contact about your mortgage relief options.

    If you dont know or cant remember who currently services your mortgage, there are several ways to find out, including looking at your mortgage statement for contact information.

    Whats Available How To Qualify And Where To Apply

    The COVID-19 pandemic put government assistance programs into overdrive, as many people who never needed them before now had to use them. Heres a descriptive list of major government assistance programs for individuals and businesses, with links to where and how to apply to them and applicable deadlines.

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    Federal Pell Grant Program

    The Department of Education runs the Federal Pell Grant Program to promote postsecondary education for students from low-income households. Grants are similar to scholarships and dont need to be repaid. They are designed to go to undergraduate students based on factors such as the cost of attendance at the school and expected family and student contribution. In 2017, there were approximately 4,800 participating postsecondary institutions and grants were awarded for amounts between $592 and $5,920, with the average award totaling $4,050 per recipient.

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    Other Types Of Help If Youre Homeless

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    Visit Benefits.gov to find out if youre eligible and how to apply for other types of help. This may include financial assistance, transportation, food, counseling, and more.

    If you dont have medical insurance, you can use HRSA health centers. They give checkups, treatment when youre sick, pregnancy care, and immunizations for your children.

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    Free Money From The Government

    The federal government does not offer grants or free money to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses, contrary to what you might see online or in the media. Websites or other publications claiming to offer “free money from the government” are often scams. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

    What Government Assistance Is Available In The Us

    There are many government assistance programs available in the U.S. Some of these are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families , Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , Veterans Administration Healthcare, and food program waivers. Spending time researching what programs are available in the areas where you need assistance could help ease your financial burden.

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    Get Help With Utility Bills

    Need help paying your heating or phone bill? These programs may be able to help:

    • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households cover heating and cooling costs. Grants are issued via states, which receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. Each state sets its own eligibility requirements, including income levels.

    • The Lifeline program offers discounted phone or internet service. You must meet certain eligibility requirements.

    How To Apply For Eia

    Overview of VA pension benefits and how to apply | VA.gov

    NOTICE

    In order to follow public health recommendations on social distancing, Employment and Income Assistance is taking steps to reduce the need for in-person office visits.

    If you need to apply for EIA benefits, you may start your application process using the EIA Online Application Portal at .

    You will be contacted by an EIA staff at a telephone number that you give us to talk about your application and see if you are financially eligible for income assistance.

    If you cannot be reached by phone, please call us at 204-948-4000 or 1-855-944-8111 to speak to someone about other ways to complete your application.

    Common Case Management Forms:

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