Federal Financial Insights
February 1st •
Most Americans will experience living below the poverty line for at least one year when they are between the ages of twenty-five and seventy-five years old.
Low income families are working families that have incomes that are lower than twice the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
The FPL in the inner city areas and rural areas are lower than that in the suburban areas. Every year the FPL increases because the standard of living in the US also increases.
Since the United Stated is a rich nation, many people are under the impression that poor people in the US are poor only based on the standards of the American people. Truth is about 25% of American children are from low income families. Most of these families are single earner families that work full time but have low wages.
The FPL of an individual or family is the basis for their eligibility to certain federal programs and benefits. The FPL is a pre—determined amount of income that an individual or family needs for shelter, clothing, food and other basic needs. The FPL varies depending on geographical location and size of the family.
If you are in need of help, there are programs for low income families that you can take advantage of. Programs focusing on helping low income families range from financial assistance for paying mortgage, utility bills and rent to providing assistance with foreclosure.
There are also programs that can help with medical bills for low income and other related expenses. These resources for low income families are provided by charitable institutions and private companies as well as the federal and state governments.
There are private companies, charities and non-profit organizations that help low income families. They have available resources to provide credit counseling for low income families. They also have low income programs on how to get discounted or free health care. They are also able to provide short term rent help for low income families.
There are not too many non-profits and charities in rural areas. As such, residents of rural areas are unable to access most of the help for low income families provided by these organizations. Resources for families in need of financial assistance for bills payment may not be of reach.
No matter how challenging the circumstances may be, there are resources that can provide financial assistance for low income families in small towns and nearby areas.
Legal, illegal and undocumented immigrants are able to access programs for low income families. Many low income families assistance for the country’s newcomers focuses on providing hardship assistance to families with elderly members and children. Other low income families can apply as well.
Resources for low income families in this category range from providing a financial advisor for low income to extending financial help for needed families.
Grants for low income families to cover rental deposits can also be provided by several non-profit and churches. Although rent help is more widely given by non-profit organizations for low income families, some of these organizations that focus on helping poor families raise money for home security deposits.
This financial assistance program prioritize the homeless in paying rental deposits. Other poor families can also get this low income help as long as they are moving to a cheaper housing using or apartment.
Numerous charities, churches, non-profits as well as government housing agencies have a housing program for low income Patience is however needed if this low income assistance will be requested.
The queue is often long because there is limited funds and there is a high demand for low income rental assistance. This assistance is on a limited and short-term basis. The main intention of this assistance is to stop a low income family from being evicted.
Charities and government agencies are able to provide financial help for single income households with children. Single moms can get benefits for low income families such as emergency financial assistance, food assistance, child care and housing assistance.
Cable and phone companies have programs for qualified low income families with children that need assistance for low cost Internet services needed for work or school use. These assistance programs include setting up the system and help on how to use the computer and the Internet. Some qualified poor families can also get a free new computer.
Almost all privately owned utility companies programs to meet the needs of qualified low income families. Some of the low income resources are offered by the companies themselves. Some of the programs are provided in collaboration with charitable and non-profit organizations.
There is always a food bank/s in every country or state for programs geared toward hunger prevention. These food banks provide low income families with food, perishable items, groceries and even holiday meals.
The Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) of the federal government has certified numerous non-profit organizations to provide low cost or free counseling for anyone having difficulties paying their mortgage and those who are in the brink of a foreclosure.
Counselors are on hand to assist homeowners on how to be able to get on track in paying their mortgage. In many instances they are also able to prevent foreclosure.
Low income individuals can take advantage of free credit and debt counseling provided by local and national non-profit agencies. These agencies can also provide counseling for debt consolidation, low income credit repair and low income debt repair.
They can also assist individuals file bankruptcy and are able to give free advice on foreclosure. Agency counselors are also able to provide free assistance in handling medical and credit card debts.
There are federal and state funds that can help low income families with home improvements and repairs. The best place to approach though for such needs is the community action agency in your locality.
The community action agency can directly provide financial help or refer low income families to other non-profit organizations that can provide information on assistance programs for home repair.
Health care assistance programs are the most sought for help by low income families. Health Care assistance programs provide help for any medical need including medical debt and bills, hospital assistance and free health care.
When in the midst of an extreme emergency, low income families can get vouchers for bills payment or free household items. While this form of assistance can be difficult to get, there are programs poor families can rely on.
There are numerous websites that seek donations for slightly used items such as school and interview clothes, children’s toys, work uniforms and even furniture. Low income families can go to centers within thrift shops, free clothing closet, non-profit organizations and churches. Charities,
Federal and state government financial assistance programs are available to low income families. These programs prioritize households with very low income but the cash assistance can also be used to for living expenses and bills payment.
Government and non-profit financial assistance programs are available to households with a disabled family member. This financial aid can be requested if the certain income guidelines are met.
Financial aid is aimed for the family’s basic needs including food, medical care, shelter and housing. Long-term assistance is also provided by helping the disabled person gain employment.
Local communities and states are given grants so they can provide eligible low income families with day care that they can afford. Funds from the government will subsidize a portion of the day care cost of the child and the family will shoulder the cost of whatever is in excess of the subsidy.
To qualify for this government funded community resources for low income families assistance programs, the parent of the child should be going to school, working or undergoing a job training program approved by the program.
The government together with some charities and non-profits have food assistance programs for low income families. These programs come in the form providing low cost or free food and groceries. Low cost groceries are also available to households of every income level.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created emergency financial assistance programs for low income families. These government home loans for low income come in the form of housing and rent assistance programs to assist poor families with their housing and rent expenses.
Numerous law offices all over the country receive funding and grants from the federal government so they can provide free legal services to low income families.
Low income homeowners and renters can get housing assistance from charity and government supported programs. These housing programs can be requested in local communities.
Free dental services including consultations, cleanings and check-ups are provide by volunteer and professional dentists to low income families. These programs are funded by private dental centers and the government.
Even with the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) in place about 20% of Americans still do not have access to the right health insurance. Even with insurance, millions of people still are not able to afford hospital and medicals bills.
Community health care centers and clinics are located in every state to offer low cost or free medical care to low income families.
All 50 states of the US provide low income families with free health care through the Health Resources and Services Administration. Low income families can get free medical services from these clinics funded by the federal government.
Low income veterans are provided with rental vouchers through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. Military personnel still in active duty are provided with mortgage assistance.
The Weatherization and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are programs of the federal government aimed at providing financial help to low income families. These programs help the poor pay their utility, cooling and heating expenses. They also provide tips on energy conservation.
These programs are able to provide financial assistance to millions of people so they can pay their energy expenses.
The Rural Development program through the US Department of Agriculture provide rental subsidy to low income families in the rural areas.
This program also provides housing assistance to the disabled and the elderly.
There are programs available to help with the payment of student loans for low income families as well as other school related expenses. This program aims to prepare as many low income individuals with the proper skills to qualify for the highly competitive job market.
Programs that help pay for school include deferring the payment of student loans or consolidation into a low interest bearing loan.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program focuses on workers whose jobs were scratched off because they have been outsourced overseas or for whatever reason. Unemployment compensation and training are provided to individuals who have been affected.
Close to 1.5 million families get assistance from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually. Housing assistance for low income family comes in the form of financial aid for payment of security deposits and rentals.
This organization which is funded by the federal government also provides assistance for the prevention of homelessness. It also helps low income families avoid evictions. Assistance comes in the form of rental vouches to help with housing expenses.
Community action agencies numbering to over 1,000 and are located all over the country. These centers provide various forms of assistance to moderate and low income families.
Assistance provided by these community action centers can range from short-term support for paying monthly bills to long-term assistance to help individuals get back on track to being self-sufficient.
Every state has low income assistance programs to help families who are struggling to meet their daily needs. State governments provide assistance in many forms. Assistance may range from financial aid for paying security deposits and monthly rental expenses to the LIHEAP program which provides financial aid for paying energy bills. Free health care is also available.
While the federal and local governments have numerous assistance programs to help low income families with everyday living, there are things that you yourself can do to fight poverty.
Here are three ways you can do to stay out of poverty:
These basic rules applies to everyone in the US regardless of race.
Young adults who dropped out of high school and got married before the age of 21 or had a child out of wedlock and did not hold a full-time job had a higher possibly of living in poverty. Some are lucky and end up being in the middle-class group.
The federal and local governments as well as charities, churches and non-profit organizations are already doing a lot to help low income families. Funding is not always sufficient but these organization are not remiss in their efforts to provide support.
Getting out of poverty has to be a personal decision which boils down to responsibility. Personal decisions can supersede everything that the government can do for low income individuals and families.
A child from a low income family at the moment already receives, pre-school to high school free education, college assistance, health care, housing assistance and job training. The role of personal responsibility needs to be emphasized in the fight towards getting out and avoiding poverty.
Young adults and even adolescents need to make wise decisions. Schooling needs to be a priority. Marriage at the right time and before childbearing should always be at the top of their minds. Work should be a top priority so they can afford to support their future family and work towards being part of the middle class instead of forever being a low income family.
Arguments that say that young adults who come from low income families often make wrong decisions which could lead them to also be low income is a flimsy excuse.
Parents, teachers as well as state and federal policymakers need to constantly remind them that responsibility is the major factor that will lead to success.
It is the government’s responsibility to provide low income individuals and families with assistance for basic needs but it is the choices and decisions you make that will seal your fate.
If you found this helpful, you may also be interested in getting assistance with housing for the disabled, free car repairs, help with utilities and heating, organizations that can help with bills and if you’re in Texas: the Texas Utility Bill Discount Program.