How to Get Federal Assistance

by tempuser

The federal government provides families across the country with much needed assistance. Someone who is struggling to make ends meet might not have any extra room in their budget for basic necessities. This could mean that they struggle to afford fundamentals like groceries, health coverage, shelter, and childcare. Regardless of which area you’re struggling in, there is likely a federal program that provides relevant support. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, the first step you need to know is how to find what programs are out there and which one is best for you. Luckily, we have found a tool that can help!

Benefit Finder Can Help You Find Federal Assistance Opportunities

A good place to start when reviewing different options is This government website allows you to review more than 1,000 different programs. Each government program solves a specific problem in order to improve the quality of life of the recipient. For this reason, the assistance opportunity that best suits your needs depends on what you’re currently struggling with. 

Understandably, searching through that many assistance options would be overwhelming! Fortunately, the website features a search engine that makes it easier called Benefit Finder. The search engine works by using details about your personal situation to deliver what options might be best for you. The way it works is you answer some questions about yourself, your household, income level, and more. Using this information, the search engine will narrow down assistance programs that you could benefit from. After reviewing each option you can apply to the ones that you’re interested in. Keep in mind that using this tool doesn’t guarantee that you’ll qualify for any of the suggested programs.

Now that you know how this helpful search engine works, here is a list of some assistance opportunities that you can consider:

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

The HCV program or Section 8 is offered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Once a recipient of HCV is accepted into the program, they are responsible for finding their own rental to live in. The vouchers they were awarded are then used each month to cover some of their cost of rent. Although this is a federal program, it is operated and administered by local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). For this reason, you’ll primarily deal with your local office if you participate in this program. However, if you aren’t getting a response from them, you can reach out to your local HUD Field Office. At the end of the day, this program aims to provide safe and affordable housing to low-income households. If you think you can benefit from this kind of assistance, you’ll need to submit an application through your local PHA

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

In order for a family to receive assistance with TANF, they must have children. With this in mind, they offer a variety of support meant specifically for families. For example, they offer cash assistance, as well as other helpful and relevant services. The federal government provides supplies to both states and territories, with the ultimate goal being to help low-income families become self-sufficient and no longer need government assistance. If you would like more information on this program, contact your local TANF office


This public insurance program is not only funded by the federal government. State governments also contribute to this program. The federal government has guidelines in place that States must follow, but outside of this states are able to come up with their own rules. As a result, Medicaid programs will vary by state. However, regardless of where you live, this program benefits low-income individuals in need of affordable healthcare coverage. If you prefer to speak to someone directly, you can contact your state Medicaid office. Otherwise, you can submit an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace online.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

This federal program helps households with their energy bill. They do this by making repairs and improvements to the recipient’s homes. The goal of these improvements is to make the home more energy efficient. As a result, WAP not only can help lower the recipient’s energy bill but also makes the home safer. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) offers this program.  You can submit an application through your state weatherization office


Lifeline is a federal program that is available in every state. In addition, this program is available in territories and on tribal lands. Eligible low-income individuals can get up to $9.25 per month off of their wireless or wireline phone services. For people living on tribal lands, the discount can be at most $34.25. However, it is important to be aware that Lifeline limits its recipients to one service per household.  If you would like to apply to this program, you can use the National Verifier application system to do so. This program doesn’t only help with the cost of wireless services. Lifeline can also provide support on both broadband internet and voice services!

Grants for Higher Education

Many people believe that they can’t pursue a higher education because of the huge financial commitment it takes! However, there are opportunities for federal financial aid that could help with the cost. Keep in mind that you have to meet eligibility requirements to qualify for any assistance. You can determine what type of grant you are eligible for by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some grants that you can consider include:

  • Pell Grants
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants 

One of the biggest benefits to grants may be that they don’t need to be paid back (with exceptions). For more information or help with filling out a FAFSA, consult the financial aid office at your school!

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

If you have heard of food stamps, then you have heard of SNAP! This federal program has been helping families with the cost of groceries for decades. The amount of benefits a household can receive is dependent on their personal situation. Considerations are made for factors like household size and income level. Recipients get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card after they are accepted into the program. This is how the monthly assistance is made available. You can start the application process by contacting your state’s SNAP office!


There are many things that a household might need assistance with. If you have ever found yourself in a position where you’re struggling to afford basic necessities, it can feel like a helpless situation. However, there are places that you can turn to for help! has an online tool, Benefit Finder. This search engine helps you determine which federal assistance opportunities make the most sense for your particular needs. Besides that, you can consider one or more of the following popular programs:

Whether you need assistance with health coverage or the cost of groceries, there is likely a federal program that can make a difference! The most important thing you can do is not give up. You may be able to turn a corner. You just might need some help along the way.

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