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What Government Benefits Are Available To Me

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Other Types Of Benefits And Programs For The Unemployed

10 Canadian Benefits Available Now | How to Check If You’re Eligible for Every Program

Educational Help

Federal agencies offer many unemployment education and training programs. They are generally free or low cost to the unemployed.

Self-Employment Help

Self-employment assistance programs help unemployed workers start their own small businesses. Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon offer this program.

Can I Get Help For A Mental Health Crisis

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK can connect you with a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. If you need help for a mental health crisis or are having suicidal thoughts, please call them.

You can also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line for 24/7 crisis interventions. Crisis Text Line uses a network of over 1,500 crisis counselor, all of whom have completed 34 hours of training on reflective listening, collaborative problem solving and crisis management.

Disability Living Allowance For Children

DLA for children helps with extra costs if your child is under 16 and has difficulty walking or needs extra looking after. If your child is 16 or over you can apply for PIP instead.

Find out how to claim DLA for children.

If you already get DLA for children but your childs condition has worsened and theyre not expected to live more than 6 months, you need to report a change of circumstances.

If youre eligible, you could get Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance at the same time as DLA for children.

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Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is meant for individuals who have to care for a child under the age of 12 or a family member who needs supervised care. This may occur because of school or facility closures or because the child or family member is sick, self-isolating or at risk of serious health complications due to the pandemic. An individual must be unable to work at least 50% of their scheduled work week.

This benefit provides $500 per week, for a period of up to 26 weeks per household.

To qualify, an individual must be the only person in their household applying for the benefit for a given week and must not be receiving paid leave from their employer.

You will find more information on the CRCB here.

Changes For Lone Parents Whose Youngest Or Only Child Is Aged 6 Or Over

MR Online

The Treasury Minister announced on 16 February 2021 that the changes which were due to come into effect on 8 April 2021 have been postponed for 12 months. This is to allow time for the local economy to recover and consequently for more job opportunities to be created. They will now come into effect on 7 April 2022.

The changes mean that you will only be able to claim income support solely on the basis that you are a lone parent if you are responsible for a child under 6 years of age.

If you are currently getting income support on the basis that you are a lone parent and your youngest or only child is aged 6 or over, or is approaching age 6, you should have been contacted by a Jobcentre employment adviser to discuss what these changes mean for you. Please contact the Jobcentre as soon as possible if they haven’t been in touch with you. You can call the JobCentre on +44 1624 687014 or email them at

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Free School Meals Milk Or Uniforms And Healthcare

Low income households – earning roughly under £16,000 – or on income-related benefits could get cash to help with sending their kids to school as well as free prescriptions, eye tests and dentist fees.

Meals and milk: You could get help for each child to pay for school lunches. If your council provides free milk, getting free meals makes you eligible for this too.

Uniforms: Some local councils also help with the cost of school clothing and footwear .

Fruit and veg: Healthy start is a scheme which gives £3.10/week in vouchers if you’re pregnant or have kids under four to buy milk and fresh or frozen fruit and veg. The vouchers can be redeemed at most big supermarkets as well as some corner shops, greengrocers and market stalls. See more info on Healthy Start.

Health costs: Help is available to pay for prescriptions, dental treatment, wigs, eye tests and glasses or contact lenses plus travel to hospital.

2021/22 amount: Varies, see above.

How to apply: You apply for meals/uniforms via your local school or council. Search for contact details for your local council on or just Google “”. Healthy Start applications can be made online or by calling 0345 607 6823.

To get help with healthcare, complete form HC1 to get a HC2 or HC3 certificate.

How Your Snap Benefits Work

  • Your state will issue benefits each month on a plastic electronic benefits transfer card. Much like a credit or debit card, you can use your EBT card to buy eligible food items. You must buy them from:

What help is available through Medicaid?

Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to eligible:

  • Adults with a low income

  • Children

  • People who are age 65 or over

  • People with disabilities

Am I eligible for Medicaid?

Check with your states Medicaid office to see if you or your family members are eligible for benefits. In general, it depends on at least one or a combination of:

  • Number of people in your family

  • If you are pregnant or have a disability

How do I apply for Medicaid?

There are two ways to apply for Medicaid:

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Veterans Administration Health Care

The primary criteria to receive VA health care benefits require that you be a military veteran or former member of the National Guard or Reserve who served on active duty and was not dishonorably discharged. Specific eligibility depends on when you served and for how long. The rules are complicated but well explained on the VA’s eligibility webpage.

Federal Benefits And Programs For Seniors

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Service Canada

The federal government is most responsible for income security programs for seniors. They manage two major public pension programs through Service Canada:

  • Old Age Security , based on years of living in Canada, and
  • Canada Pension Plan , based on years of work in Canada and the amount paid into the plan.

OAS benefits represent about 14% of pre-retirement earnings for someone earning at the average wage, while CPP provides about 25%. It is generally considered that retirement income should replace about 60% to 70% of pre-retirement earnings for retirees to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

More information on the various income security programs can be found at Service Canada. We also provide more information below. You can find your nearest Service Canada Office by clicking here: Find your nearest Service Canada office

Seniors Canada

Information about most federal government programs for seniors can be found below, and at Seniors Canada.

Find information you need on community organizations, retirement residences, medical offices, etc.

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Appeals To The Social Security Tribunal

Appeals of denial of OAS, CPP or EI go to the new Social Security Tribunal . In all cases the appellant must have requested a reconsideration from the respective Ministry involved as the first step to any appeal. The possible steps of an appeal are:

Another way to look at this is:

Tribunal members hear appeals in both General and Appeal Divisions by teleconference or videoconference facilities whenever possible. Participation in these virtual hearings, and electronic document filing and communications to and from the Tribunal will present a challenge to older adults . The website for the tribunal is here: Social Security Tribunal

Guide for SST Appeals

There are three guide books for making an appeal to the SST.

OAS/CPP Appeals

CLAS prepared this guide which explains how to challenge a decision about your CPP or OAS claim. It discusses reconsiderations and how to get a copy of your file, as well as information about appealing to the General Division and the Appeal Division. Finally it provides information about rescinding or amending a decision. You can find this CLAS guide here: Challenging OAS/CPP Decisions

EI Appeals
CPP Disability Appeals

The Disability Alliance BC has prepared guide for people representing themselves with a Canada Pension Plan Disability appeal to the SST. It is also useful for community workers who help people who are in this situation. The guide includes sections on:

Do You Own Your Home Rent

Home Owners: There may be some mortgage relief programs available to you. And, your home equity could be a valuable source of money, but consider your options carefully.

  • Reverse Mortgages: Explore the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage.
  • Defer Consumer Loan Payments: Many banks are stepping up to help borrowers get through this situation. You can look up your lenders on this list from the banking trade association to see what concessions are being offered.

Renters and Homeowners: Due to the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a nationwide eviction and foreclosure moratorium.

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Check Deductions From Your Wages Are Correct

Your employer might take money from your wages before youre paid. These are called deductions. Deductions can include:

  • things required by law, such as tax, national insurance and student loan repayments
  • things you’ve agreed to, such as pension contributions
  • money taken to pay a creditor directly

If you think your employer is making deductions they shouldnt, or that the amount taken is wrong, contact your nearest Citizens Advice. They can help you challenge the deductions your employer is making.

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families , also known as welfare, is another federally funded, state-run benefits program designed to help families achieve independence following temporary difficulty. Qualified recipients may receive help with food, housing, home energy, childcare, and job training. TANF recipients must engage in some type of work activity as defined by their state.

Each state runs its own TANF program and determines eligibility criteria. To sign up for benefits, you can apply at your local county social services agency or call your state TANF office for local contact information. Qualifying for TANF does not disqualify you for other government benefits.

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Get Benefits If You’re Terminally Ill

If youre living with a terminal illness and your doctor or a medical professional has said you might have less than 6 months to live, you may:

  • get benefits at a higher rate or get extra money
  • start getting payments quicker than usual

This is sometimes called special rules.

If you live longer than 6 months following your claim, your benefits will continue but your claim may be reviewed after 3 years.

This guide is also available in Welsh .

Small Business Lending Fund

The Small Business Lending Fund , created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is a dedicated fund that provides capital to community banks and community development loan funds to encourage those organizations to lend to small businesses. Information about this fund, including the location of lending institutions near you, can be found on the U.S. Treasury Small Business Lending Fund website.

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Learn About The Types Of Food You Can Buy With Snap Benefits

If youre eligible, you can purchase food using benefits that are issued to you monthly. You can use your SNAP benefits to buy a variety of foods for your household, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Dairy products

  • Breads and cereals

See the United States Department of Agriculture’s list of foods and products you can buy using SNAP benefits.

Renting Out A Room In Your Home

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If you have a spare room you might want to rent it out as a source of income. There are things you should check before renting out a room including:

  • if you need permission from your landlord or mortgage lender
  • how any extra income might affect the benefits you receive
  • if you’ll lose the 25% single person discount on your council tax

If youre a taxpayer the Rent a Room Scheme allows you to earn £7,500 a year tax free by renting out a room in your home.

Check how to join the Rent a Room Scheme on GOV.UK.

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How To Apply For Ontario Works

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

Only submit one application for you and your family that lives 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 names, dates of birth and status in Canada
  • address
  • 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

Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application

A caseworker from your local Ontario Works office will 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

Meet with a 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.

You will be also be asked to sign your application package, including a consent form to allow Ontario Works to access information about you from other government programs or organizations . This information will help to determine if you qualify for assistance.

Federal Employees Retirement System

FERS, which replaced the Civil Service Retirement System in 1987, provides benefits to civilian government workers through three programs: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan .

Eligibility for FERS benefits is determined by your age and number of years of service. The CSRS and FERS planning and applying websites provide complete information depending on how close you are to retirement.

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Check Youre Being Paid The Right Wage

Check the National Minimum Wage calculator on GOV.UK to see if youre being paid the right amount. You can also check if your employer owes you money.

If youre not being paid the right amount, start by having an informal conversation with your employer. If they agree theyve made a mistake, ask them to pay you what youre owed.

Get help speaking to your employer if youre not being paid minimum wage. You should do this as soon as possible because theres a 3 month time limit on when you can make a claim against your employer.

If this doesnt help, contact your nearest Citizens Advice. They can help you take further action, such as raising a formal grievance.

Income And Assets Tests

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These tests measure your income and the value of your assets .

If your income or assets are above certain limits, your pension payment will be reduced, or you may not be eligible at all.

Your income includes money from:

  • employment

See income test for pensions on the Services Australia website.

Your assets include things like:

  • investment properties
  • caravans, cars and boats
  • business assets

Your family home, if you live in it, isn’t counted as an asset. However, if you decide to sell, it could affect your pension.

If you have any assets overseas, their value will be converted into the equivalent Australian dollar amount.

See assets on the Services Australia website.

To talk to someone about the Age Pension income and assets tests, contact the Services Australia Financial Information Service.

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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.

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Loans

For mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has extended the foreclosure moratorium on real estate owned evictions until Sept 30, 2021. REO properties are bank-owned properties that were seized as a result of default.

Meanwhile, the Secretaries of USDA, HUD, VA, Treasury, and FHFA Acting Director extended foreclosure moratoriums for those agencies through Sept. 30, 2021.

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