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Federal, Local and non-profit Assistance
Emergency financial aid and assistance for individuals and families are available from state, federal and non profits agencies. Here you’ll find out how to find money for people and families in need.
The loss of income due to unemployment, a natural disaster or an emergency can leave us very vulnerable, specially when we can’t count on a second income or money saved.
Financial security is a basic need for us, without money we can’t support our families and afford the most basic of services. Things like healthy food, heat, electricity and our homes can all be at risk during times of hardships.
This time make us think about ways to get cash to pay for medical bills, light bills and even our rent. And, the answer is yes you can find financial assistance and grants from governmental agencies and some non profit organizations.
So, let’s get into the why’s and how’s for getting hardships cash assistance.
First, we’ll discuss why you may need financial assistance. Things like loss of income, illness and inability to return to work are common reasons.
Then, we’ll take a look at the many assistance programs available to you, including unemployment insurance benefits. If you lost your job due to a specific emergency, make sure to mention that emergency on your applications and interviews.
Lastly, I list some additional ideas you can use to earn money.
Who qualifies for Emergency Assistance during Hardships?
Each financial assistance program has its own requirements and rules, you’ll have to dig into your selected ones (chose the ones you’re most likely to qualify)
However, in general these programs require that; you fall into one of the emergencies the program is designed to cover. Your income level and whether you can get back to work soon.
The list below is not meant to be an all inclusive list of resources for emergencies assistance; these are just some of the resources at the federal and local levels. Also, exclusive resources for residents of New York City.
The Cash Assistance Programs for Hardships and Emergencies
Financial assistance for medical bills, medications and mental health
People can face financial hardships due to inability to pay for large medical bills. This can even include going into bankruptcy when all other options fail. If you’re looking for help to pay for medical bills these resources can help you.
Medicaid – If you have low income or no income you may be eligible for the government program Medicaid. This program provides free or low cost health insurance for children, adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities.
Community based and Governmental Medical Programs
- 211.org – you can get information on community clinics and mental health programs.
- Use the Benefits.gov website to find your state’s Medicaid applications.
- The National Association of Free Clinics and Charitable Clinics. Here you can look by your zip code for local free clinics.
- At the site NeedyMeds.org you can find State sponsored medical and financial assistance programs. Look by state to find many of the resources available.
- CHIP health programs for children sponsored by Medicaid. Program is run by each state and requirements varies.
- RxAssist – pharmaceutical companies sponsored financial assistance to pay for prescription medication. Search the database to find individual programs.
- Medicine Assistance Tools – A tool you can use to find help for medications bills. In 3 steps you can find many of the programs that help you pay for your prescriptions.
- Health Wellness Foundation – Helps for the uninsured or underinsured — help with co-payments, premiums, and out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Cancer Care.org – Helps with Cancer treatment costs. Also, with transportation, home care and child care expenses.
New York City Community based Medical Assistance
Site Site.org – This site alone lists more than one hundred community based resources, help to pay for insurance and to eliminate or reduce medical bills. There are programs that provide financial assistance for your medical expenses. Each program has its requirements and rules.
Emergency Financial Assistance for Heat and Electricity Bills
Below you’ll find programs to help you pay for light and heat expenses.
HEAP — National Home Energy Assistant Program. This program offers assistance to home owners and to renters who fell behind payments and have their services disconnected.
To find out if your are eligible to receive low income home energy assistance program help contact your local office.
New York Energy Assistance program and Utility Assistance Program
These are two local programs for New York City. The HEAP program is for low income families and the UAP is for individuals who are elderly or disabled. Check these programs out to see if you’re eligible.
Emergency Food Assistance during Hardships
The Federal SNAP program used to be known as the Food Stamp Program is for low income families and individuals. Benefits are disbursed monthly if you qualify. Among the eligible foods included in this programs are;Fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry fish and others.
Emergency food assistance – If you’re hungry now and have no money, you can call the national hunger hotline. Monday thru Friday 7.00 am – 10.00 pm. National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) English and 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) Spanish.
Food Assistance for Seniors
- Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program – Provides coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs. For use at Farmers Market.
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program – Provides a monthly package nutritious food.
New York food assistance
New York emergency food assistance program. Community kitchens. This program funds food pantries thru out New York. If you need food you can go to one of these pantries for your meals.
You can also apply for the SNAP or Food Stamps program. This program is for individuals and families with low income. Generally, this means below the Federal poverty levels.
Emergency Assistance for Housing Needs – Help with Rent
The Federal housing program from HUD. This program provides the Section 8 housing voucher and privately owned subsidized housing assistance.
Catholic Charities provides housing assistance and financial assistance in various states.
Emergencies solutions grants – provides help for individuals and families to get housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness.
New York housing assistance
New York City Housing Connect – Lists resources and programs for individuals and families to obtain housing assistance in New York City. Including, NYC Rental Supplemental Program and Section 8 vouchers.
Emergency Financial Assistance for Veterans
Veterans can apply for any of the programs mentioned above. However, there are other assistance dedicated to veterans. This financial help includes; housing, food assistance and cash assistance.
The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross connects veterans and their families with local, state and national resources across the United States and offices on military installations. the Red Cross helps veterans to gather information and documentation to support claims.
The Veterans Administration – The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans put veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless in touch with local and state resources.
Veterans and their families can also call at (877-424-3838 to speak to a counselor and obtain help.
New York Emergency Assistance for Veterans
In New York you can check the Office of Veteran Services to find local resources providing assistance.
Financial Help for Disaster Declarations
FEMA is the main Federal government agency responsible for the administration of funds when a disaster’s been declared in a state. FEMA handles disasters such as emergency during hurricanes, tornados and flooding.
Department of Health and Human Services administer the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Also, it provides assistance for the Tribal Assistance Programs.
Filing for Unemployment
If you’ve lost your job due to a disaster or other reasons you can apply for unemployment insurance in your state. This program is administered by each state. However, you can obtain more information on the USA.gov website.
CarersOneStop can help with unemployment benefits, job training, and finding a new job.
Coronavirus unemployment insurance benefits. You can also claim unemployment insurance if your job loss is related to the Coronavirus. Use the link above to your state unemployment office.
Things you can do if you’re going thru Hardships or an Emergency
During a time of hardship some people may experience anxiety and overwhelming feelings. It’s a good idea to take a break, make a checklist and take notes, while you gather your thoughts together. Give yourself a few days before trying to find a new job or try a side hustle.
Once you’re ready, go over your resume and review your financials to see what shape are you in. Check how much money you have on hand and how much unemployment benefits you can get.
After cutting expenses and accessing your overall situation you may want to do some of the following.
Make extra money with a Side Hustle
There are so many ways to earn full-time and part-time money with side hustles. Many of these jobs are flexible and you can do them from home.
- How to Make Money with Flexible Side hustles
- 17 Ways to make Paypal money Fast
- How to Thrive during a Recession
Review your Credit and your Debts
Review your credit cards, personal loans and other debt. Take a look at the balances and interest rate. Try to consolidate into lower interest rate cards. Negotiate new terms on your debts.
Explain to your credit card companies and other debtors your hardships and the reasons. Many of them will rather lower the interest rates and make room for new terms rather than not collect on the debt.
- How to get rid of debt with the Avalanche method
- 5 hacks to improve your credit score
- 5 Credit card mistakes to stop making
Even though you may be experiencing financial hardships, you’re not alone. There are many programs available at the national and local levels to help you get back on track with help and free money.
Getting help from local and non-profit organizations is faster than obtaining it from Federal aid. You can apply for all levels, but start with your local and non profit organizations first.
Finally, when you feel ready you can explore new job opportunities and side hustles to make extra money and build up your savings.