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What Are the Best Tips for Getting Financial Help from the Government?

Article Details
  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are times when an individual or family may need financial help from the government. During these times, understanding the best way to locate resources available to them may mean the difference between getting by and financial ruin. Some of the best tips for getting financial help from the government include identifying needs, researching available benefits, contacting governmental agencies, and speaking with those experienced in finding financial help.

Assessing needs is an important step in locating financial help from the government. Reviewing their current financial situation can help individuals and families identify the areas where they are falling short. This includes completing an accurate budget and sitting down to crunch the numbers.

Understanding the needs of the family can often help point someone in the right direction. By identifying specific areas of need, individuals can often narrow down helpful options from a wide range of commonly available social service programs. Areas where families typically fall short include housing, food, insurance, and utility costs.

Various government agencies focus on specific areas of need. Those needing help with housing can contact a local urban development center for information on low-income housing help. Families in need of food assistance can start by contacting local family service agencies and churches for directions related to getting financial help from the government. Local health departments and low-cost clinics can help with information related to government help for health insurance, and local utility companies can provide direction on applying for government assistance for utility payments.

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After identifying specific needs and resources, researching available benefits should be the next step. This can be done by contacting local agencies and programs identified as a possible source of help, such as regional health and human services departments or health departments, and speaking to a qualified counselor. Other resources can include agencies responsible for helping specific subsets of the population, such as the elderly and young children.

Staying in touch with someone well versed in the application process and the qualifications for various government programs is essential. Getting financial help from the government often requires providing verification of income and demonstrating a need for financial assistance. Supporting documents, such as paystubs, utility bills, proof of address, and income tax returns are just a few of the documents that may be requested at any time to prove initial and ongoing need for various government financial assistance programs. Keeping case workers appraised of any changes in income can also help them assess ongoing needs and find additional help as needed.

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