Many people benefited from government funds during the COVID crisis, but there are other financial aid programs for regular necessities. Nobody ever stated that “nothing in life is free,” because government programs help people pay for college, daycare, and a new home.
It’s never a bad idea to look into your possibilities. The government provides money for free.
With the provision of sizeable COVID relief in 2020 and 2021, free money from the government took on a whole new meaning. While much of the pandemic-related help has halted, for the time being, persons in need can still benefit from other government programs. However, unlike the stimulus checks automatically distributed during COVID, you will have to look for and apply for this financial assistance.
Taxes fund the majority of these programs, so you do have to pay anything, but it’s as near to getting free money from the government as you’ll get.
Make an application for college scholarships.
Education subsidies, such as the federal Pell Grant, can help with college costs. For the award year 2022-23, students eligible for the Pell Grant could receive up to $6,495 in funding.
The actual amount awarded is determined by several variables, including financial need, tuition costs, and enrollment status. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used by students to apply for the Pell Grant. Many governmental and institutional grants and scholarships are also based on the application.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant are all examples of federal college grants. You can also use the U.S. Department of Labor’s scholarship search tool to look for scholarships.
Seek assistance with utility costs.
Do you need assistance paying your heating or phone bills? These programs might be able to assist you:
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program subsidizes heating and cooling expenditures for low-income families. States, which receive funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, provide grants. Each state has its eligibility criteria, including income thresholds.
- The Lifeline program provides low-cost phone and internet service. You must meet certain eligibility restrictions.
Game plans are the foundation for financial success. Find methods to save money by combining your cash, credit cards, and bank accounts into one convenient location.
Recover money that has been left unclaimed.
This isn’t quite free money; it’s money that you owe to yourself. All possibilities are a forgotten utility deposit, a missing savings bond, an unclaimed life insurance payout, or an uncashed paycheck. When the owner of unclaimed cash cannot be traced, generally due to a clerical error or a company having an obsolete address on file, the monies are turned over to the state.
To see if you have money waiting to be claimed, go to unclaimed.org, a website run by the National Association of State Treasurers.
Over $2.8 billion in previously unclaimed property was restored to owners during the fiscal year 2020, with an average claim payment of about $1,600.
Look for health insurance tax credits.
Individuals and families who purchase health insurance through the government’s health insurance marketplace (HealthCare.gov) may be eligible for a premium credit. The premium tax credit can be sent to your insurance company immediately, cutting your monthly payments.
Obtain assistance with the down payment
You want to buy a house but don’t have enough money for a down payment. This is where state-based down payment aid comes in. These scholarships and loans assist you in covering the initial costs of property ownership.
According to PaydayNow, Prospective homeowners in Nevada, for example, can pay a fee and receive a grant worth up to 5% of their house loan value to go toward a down payment and closing costs. Low-income borrowers aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Nevada’s grant program is offered to anyone with an annual income of less than $105,000 for government loans. Check to see whether you’re eligible. Find down payment help programs in your state using NerdWallet’s guide.
Find a way to pay for child care.
For many families, daycare is a significant financial burden. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit focused on low- and middle-income workers, annual costs for baby care range from little under $5,000 in Mississippi to more than $22,600 in Washington, D.C.
Low-income families might benefit from the Child Care and Development Fund. The fund administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services, provides money to states, territories, and tribes to help families pay for child care. Grants are based on income and often cover child care for children under 13. Find the contact information for your state’s Child Care and Development Fund.
While there are legitimate ways to obtain free money from the government, there are also grant scams that falsely claim to provide you with free money from the government to defraud you.
Don’t be deceived. The government rarely contacts people with free money offers, and when it does, it never does so via social media.