Are You Missing Out On Government Benefits?
Now that many COVID relief plans have expired, Americans are looking for other ways to save money or supplement their income. While most people are familiar with programs like SNAP and Social Security, there are many other state and federal government programs available that can help people who are struggling financially. Let’s look at these government benefits that are often overlooked.
Discounted Phone and Internet Service
Access to consistent, reliable phone and internet services is essential for maintaining personal safety and performing everyday tasks. The Lifeline Program offers discounted wired or wireless phone and broadband internet services to consumers who can prove financial need. Consumers must first apply for the program, and if approved, must re-certify annually. Learn more about the Lifeline Program and submit an application.
Tax Credits for Health Insurance
Consumers who purchase health care coverage for themselves or their families through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be eligible to receive a credit toward their insurance premiums. Generally, credits are paid directly to the insurance provider to lower monthly premium payments. Income requirements for the tax credits vary by state. To learn more and see if you qualify for these government benefits, visit HealthCare.gov
Down Payment Assistance for First-time Homebuyers
Many people’s dreams of homeownership are delayed because they can’t afford a down payment. What they don’t realize is that there are programs at the state, county and even city levels that help people become homeowners. There are also programs meant to help specific groups, such as first responders or educators. Along with cash grant programs, there may be several types of zero-interest home loans available, depending on where you live. To find out what’s available in your area, start by contacting your state’s housing finance agency.
Recover Unclaimed Funds
If you’ve ever wondered what happened to that long-ago deposit you made to the electric company or your state tax refund from where you lived three states ago, you might have unclaimed funds coming to you. When businesses or government entities can’t locate someone they owe money to, those funds are turned over to the state, where they remain until someone claims them. In 2019, more than $3 billion in unclaimed funds were returned to their rightful owners. Start your search for unclaimed funds by visiting Unclaimed.org. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Money for College
Don’t let the thought of racking up student loan debt prevent you from pursuing a college education. Federal grants, such as the Pell Grant, can put college within your reach and lessen your reliance on student loans. There are several other types of federal grants available. Additionally, you’ll also want to apply for scholarships. Billions of dollars in grants and scholarship money go unclaimed every year. Find out your eligibility for grant money by completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form.