There are multiple programs available to provide financial help for those who are unemployed and needy families. The application and interview process can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the system and may need some guidance in taking the necessary steps. Whether you're unemployed, homeless, have children, or just short on cash for basic needs, there's financial aid programs from which you can temporarily benefit. In this article, you will find much information on the programs that are available to you.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and/or Welfare
Requirements vary from state to state, but the application and interview process are similar in most states. Go to USA.gov to find which benefits are right for you. From this website, you will find instructions in obtaining unemployment benefits, which will take you to CareerOneStop. There will be a drop-down menu where you can find your state of residence. It will then give you a list of resources that are available in your state of residence. The general links below include:
• General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program
• To File a UI Claim Online
• To File A Claim By Telephone
You will either receive a phone call or a letter from your local unemployment office. If your application has not been rejected, someone in the unemployment office will acquire and provide you with a date and time for an interview. This is the only way you will be able to qualify for unemployment. You will be asked to bring a list of paperwork, such as your social security number, photo identification, tax return information, and the earnings from the previous year. The length of the interview can be anywhere between thirty to sixty minutes. Some states offer an option of a phone interview lasting approximately the same time. However, if you opt for the phone interview, you will be required to fax copies of your paperwork making the application and interview process longer. You can expect an unemployment check on an average of three weeks after being approved for unemployment benefits.
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
This is a program that will allow you to purchase food with a personalized card, which will be sent through the mail after your interview. Only certain foods are banned, such as alcoholic beverages, prepared (toasted or warmed up) meals, and it cannot be used at any restaurants. If you visit FNS.USDA.gov, you will see a list of options that are available, including an entire section to the left on how to apply. Most states have the same general income requirements, and application/interview process. If you are approved to receive cash assistance, food stamps, or otherwise, you will have to complete an interview every six months to keep your benefits. If you fail to complete this step, your benefits will immediately stop and you will have to reapply.
An alternative to welfare, you can use NeedHelpPayingBills to help you with any expenses you are struggling to afford. Locate the drop-down menu on the upper left corner of the page and you will find a variety of options to choose from and how to apply. The options include:
• Rental Assistance
• Mortgage Help
• State And Local Programs
• Work From Home Options
• Medical Billing Assistance
• Charity Assistance
• Debt Counseling
• Low Interest Loans
• Student Loans
• Electric And Heating Bills
• Other Bills
For free phone services, you can find information on either SafelinkWireless or QLinkWireless. Safelink will either provide you with a phone, or you can use a phone, if you already own one, to have full use of their services. Both companies include limited minutes with unlimited text messaging. This service will deduct each minute from your plan that you spend on your mobile internet. Both companies are prompt and reliable. You must provide them with your full name, birth date, a valid email address, and your actual home address. Days after your application is received, they will mail you a basic phone to your house. You must follow the directions that came with the phone in order to activate either service. With both companies, you must make at least one call minimum every month to keep your plan activated.
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