ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Low Income and Needy Assistance: Financial, Food, and More Help

Updated on May 4, 2015

Many people who go through difficulties and cannot pay their bills do not know of the variety of resources that are available out there. They may need utility assistance, stable housing, or food stamps. It often depends on how many people are in a household, the total income of the household, the insurance capabilities of the family, and other variables that are dependent upon the organization providing the resources.

Once a family or individual has put together a large variety of resources, they can sift through them to see which sources apply to their needs. Most resources are happy to help in any and every way that they can. The following information should provide you or the person you know who is in need with a huge variety of resources, places to get resources, the steps on how to get resources, and the websites that will help you find the resources you need.

Food Stamps

DHS helps buy food. It was formally known as the Food Stamp Program and is now know as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You can print the initial application online, and mail it in to the Department of Human Resources.

The application will ask for your income, how much cash you have, how much you pay in rent, and information about your utilities. This information will tell them if you can get food benefits within seven calendar days. They may send you back a packet asking for more information. If you go in person, go first thing in the morning, when they open. Bring your pay stubs from the last 60 days, your bank statements, your utility bills, a photo ID, and your tax returns. It can take quite a while to get approved. You can call them, and you can possibly get most of it done by phone. You can also fax the forms in. Be sure to continuously follow up with them as to what your status is. After they receive the form, DHS will schedule you for an interview. To the interview, you need to bring:

To Get Food Stamps You Need:
Driver’s License (or ID)
Social Security Number or Card
Proof of Citizenship
Proof of Income for Everyone Living with You (Pay Stubs)

Charities

Some will offer assistance with rent and utilities. Most will offer a large amount of food to stock you up for several months.

Churches

Churches can help pay your rent, utilities, and offer other financial assistance. Almost all churches will provide you with free food from their food bank.

Medicare

Medicaid helps pay for medical costs for pregnant women and families with children, helps pay for medical costs for people who are elderly or disabled, helps pay for nursing care in your home or in a nursing home, helps pay for Medicare Part A and B premiums, provides the State Supplemental Payment (SSP) (this gives a small cash payment to low-income people who are blind, 65 years of age or older, of receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability, and finally, helps with Family Planning Services (helps pay for birth control and family planning services). You can print the initial application online, and mail it in to the Department of Human Resources.

The application will ask if anyone needs medical care today. They may send you back a packet asking for more information. If you go in person, go first thing in the morning, when they open. Bring your pay stubs from the last 60 days, your bank statements, your utility bills, a photo ID, and your tax returns. It can take quite a while to get approved. You can call them, and you can possibly get most of it done by phone. You can also fax the forms in. Be sure to continuously follow up with them as to what your status is. After they receive the form, DHS will schedule you for an interview. To the interview, you need to bring:

Medicare Needs:
Driver’s License (or ID)
Social Security Number or Card
Proof of Citizenship
Proof of Income for Everyone Living with You (Pay Stubs)

Medical Clinics, Pharmacies, Laboratories, Psychiatrists, Counselors, Eye Doctors, and Dentists

Most of the services are free or only charged at a fraction of the cost. If you have health insurance, many will still treat you at no cost. For those who see paid medical physicians, explaining your situation to the billing department can go a long ways. Many billing departments will make out a payment plan with you in order for you to make a dint in your medical bills. Provided you pay just a little bit each month, they will not send you to a collection agency and harm your credit.

Prescriptions

www.needymeds.org offers a list of local places offering a variety of medical services. Some will treat the uninsured, underinsured, Medicare patients, Medicaid patients, insured, and some have no restrictions. Each Clinic is different. The same holds true for income levels. Some accept low income families, and others accept all income levels. The fees per Clinic vary as well. Some are free, low cost, or on a sliding scale based on income. Finally, there are many that speak English and/or Spanish. The details of the services that are offered include:

 
Pediatric Services
Medical Services
Dental Services
Vision Services
Lab Services
Counseling and Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse
Primary Care Doctors
Pharmacy Services
OB/GYN Services
Health Education Services
Family Planning Services
Addiction Services
Social Services
Women’s Health Services

Child Care

Child Care Subsidy helps pay for care of your child so you can work, go to school, or attend training. You can print the initial application online, and mail it in to the Department of Human Resources. The application will ask if you are in danger of losing a job due to lack of child care, if you have made payment arrangements with the child care provider until a decision can be made on your child care application, and if you are starting a new job. They may send you back a packet asking for more information. If you go in person, go first thing in the morning, when they open.

Once you have completed the application and interview, the earliest date you can get help with child care is the date you bring all needed information into your local DHS office. You can mail, fax, or take in person the form to your local DHS office. Be sure to continuously follow up with them as to what your status is. After they receive the form, DHS will schedule you for an interview. To the interview, you need to bring:

Child Care Checklist:
Driver’s License (or ID)
Social Security Number or Card
Proof of Citizenship
Proof of Income for Everyone Living with You (Pay Stubs)
Proof of Your Need for Child Care (Work or School Schedule and the Day Care You Wish to Use)

TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)

TANF helps low income families with minor children by providing temporary cash and services. You can print the initial application online, and mail it in to the Department of Human Resources. They may send you back a packet asking for more information. If you go in person, go first thing in the morning, when they open. You can mail, fax, or take in person the form to your local DHS office. Be sure to continuously follow up with them as to what your status is. After they receive the form, DHS will schedule you for an interview. To the interview, you need to bring:

TANF:
Driver’s License (or ID)
Social Security Number or Card
Proof of Citizenship
Proof of Income for Everyone Living with You (Pay Stubs)

Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS)

DRS helps with job placement.

The Unemployment Office

You can use their Internet for free. They have a free copier, scanner, email, and much more technology to help you with your business or administrative needs. They offer classes to teach you how to interview, create a resume, and find a job.

Libraries

Libraries offer almost all technological devices you would ever need free of charge. You are also free to browse their books, and increase your knowledge on a particular subject by reading up on it. Libraries offer book readings, book clubs, and even craft clubs so that you can avoid social anxiety.

Goodwill (www.goodwill.org)

Your local Goodwill office can provide a large variety of resources to help you out. You can fill out a Goodwill application; they often have many Goodwill jobs available. The Career Center will help you with mock interviews, write your resume, and teach you interview skills. A resource guide from the Goodwill may include:

What Goodwill Can Help With:
Clothing
Utility Assistance
Eye Exams
Literacy
Community Mental Health Counseling Centers
Legal
Food Pantries
Free or Reduced Cost Medical Clinics
Reduced Rate Dental Care Resource Centers
Prescription Assistance
Transportation
Hispanic Center
Latino Community Development Agency
Weight Loss Assistance
Housing Assistance
Housing for Persons with Disabilities and Felony Records
Homelessness

Utilities

DHS can also help with utility payments. The program is called “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Walk-In Application.” You can get the form online. The application will ask about your income, resources, expenses, and your primary source of heating or cooling fuel. You must attach a copy of your most recent utility bills.

Hospitals and Lawyers

Large local hospitals may have a “Community Outreach” (possibly only listing a Food Pantry List by zip code). Many lawyers who deal with disability or social security know of a ton of resources and will gladly provide you with that information for free. Many lawyers will help you get Social Security Disability for free or for a very small fee.

Having a solid knowledge of where you can find help when you need it is a valuable tool. You may not be going through tough times at the moment, but if you are prepared and it does happen, you will be thankful that you compiled the information for your region in advance.

Using a binder with labeled tabs can help you sift through large amount of paper by category. Some of the categories covered here are food stamps, Medicaid, daycare assistance, TANF, DRS job assistance, the Goodwill, utility assistance, prescription and medical resources, unemployment assistance, information about help from lawyers and hospitals, charities, library resources, and churches.

Offers detailed information by state about the following:

  • Tax Information
  • Veterans
  • Women
  • Doctors
  • Skin Care
  • Name Change Help
  • 401K’s
  • National and State Agencies
  • Spiritual Services
  • Counseling and Therapy
  • Benefits Eligibility
  • Care Giving
  • Children and Family
  • Disability Resources
  • Domestic Violence
  • Homeless and Housing
  • Long-term Care
  • Maternity and Pregnancy
  • Medical and Health
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Addiction Treatment
  • Food Distribution
  • Home Healthcare
  • Nursing Homes
  • RX Assistance
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Children’s Health
  • Death and Bereavement
  • Education and Aid
  • Energy Assistance
  • Employment and Training
  • Financial Assistance
  • Housing Financing
  • Housing Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • And More

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    Thank you! I hope they are useful and that you become one of my faithful followers! Happy hubbing! ~Michele

  • Organised Kaos profile image

    Anne 3 years ago from Hobart, Tasmania ~ Australia.(The little bit broken off the bottom of AUS)

    Your hubs are great and detailed.

    Thanks

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 4 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    Thanks! I know everyone goes thru rough times, and I hope this helps those who are struggling.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

    You have given readers some valuable resources here. I had never heard of a couple of these before.

    Thanks for sharing this info. Voted UP, etc.

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 4 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    Thank you so much! I really do hope it helps someone!! :)

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    How very helpful this is for those who need assistance. And, like you say, it's a good idea to prepare for possible hard times and/or emergencies. Great job and excellent resources!

    I voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting and sharing!

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 4 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your visit! :)

  • livingsta profile image

    livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    This is useful information for anyone looking for help. Voted up and sharing this!