Understanding Government Grants and Financial Aid

If you're going through financial hardship and trying to attain higher education or pay off medical bills, government aid can be extremely helpful. The problem is that many people mistakenly feel that they are entitled to government aid, but no one is guaranteed assistance by the government simply for living in a country. The government has to believe that there's a good reason to provide that aid first.

As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and there's also no such thing as free money from the government. The government does offer a wide range of programs dedicated to providing aid and relief to those in need. Each government-funded program focuses on a specific need, such as job training, health care, child care, education, or proper nutrition. By having these separate programs, people can apply to the program that covers their situation instead of simply making a general request for financial help. This makes distributing aid appropriately a far easier task.

You can start the process to receive government aid by filling out an application to a specific program. Applications typically have questions regarding your financial situation, and you have to meet the eligibility requirements. If you're approved, remember that aid programs almost never pay in cash.

While Benefits.gov isn't able to directly connect you with government programs or approve you for any aid, it can assist you in determining which government aid programs may be right for you. During difficult times, these government programs are often a lifesaver for families struggling to make ends meet. Being on a government aid program likely isn't your ideal solution, but when bills are adding up and you have mouths to feed, that assistance can keep food on your table so no one in your family goes hungry.

Using Benefits.gov is fast and easy. First go to the homepage, and then click on one of these two options:

Benefits Finder: Select this option if you need government aid, but aren't sure what programs are available that can help you. Fill out the questionnaire with information about your current situation and why you're looking for aid. After you submit the survey, the benefits finder looks through all the available government programs and provides you with a personalized list of possible benefits.

Browse Benefits: Select this option if you already know what benefits and program are right for you. With this option, you can look through benefits by assistance categories. You're able to sort the benefits list by the federal agency, state, or category.

Getting Grants

Grants are different from government aid because they are awards, and they aren't intended to be an assistance program. Benefits.gov is unable to help you obtain any government grants, but you can find and apply for all available government grants at http://www.grants.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Benefits.gov know what aid programs I may be eligible for?

Benefits.gov has an advanced computer software that compares the answers you provide in your Benefits Finder questionnaire with currently available government aid programs, of which there are over 1,000. While the system only requires you to answer the first set of questions, you'll have better results if you fill out the entire questionnaire, as the system will be more accurate and can find more possible programs.

Why does my survey say I 'may' be eligible?

Aid isn't guaranteed until the government benefits program approves your application. Benefit eligibility can also change suddenly due to certain events, such as a birthday, an accident, a death in the family, or a medical procedure. To determine with 100-percent accuracy if you're eligible for a program, you have to complete an application.

Here are direct links to individual grant opportunities:

Rural Rental Assistance

Description: Rural Rental Assistance is used to reduce the rent paid by low-income families who live in eligible Rural Rental Housing (RRH) and Farm Labor Housing (FLH) projects financed by the Rural Housing Service. To receive assistance, monthly rent payments must exceed 30 percent of a household's adjusted monthly income.

Next Steps: Application Process

Good Neighbor Next Door Program

If you are a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or teacher, this program may help you purchase a home in a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revitalization area by offering qualified purchasers a 50 percent discount off the list price of homes available from HUD's inventory. You must agree to live in the home for three years and it must be your sole residence.

Next Steps: Application Process

Disaster Relief Assistance

The FEMA Housing Portal is intended to help individuals and families who have been displaced by a disaster find a place to live. The portal consolidates rental resources to help individuals and families find available rental units in their area.

Next Steps: Application Process

Housing Loans and Grants

The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants program provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, modernize, or to remove health and safety hazards in their rural dwellings.

Next Steps: Application Process

Full List Of Housing Grant Opportunities

If you haven't found what you're looking for then please review all the potential opportunities using the following link:

Next Steps: Application Process

To apply online please visit Benefits.gov

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