Most states, many companies, and various groups and organizations provide help and aid from a family assistance program. Most family assistance programs will support individuals and families during their times of critical need. They provide a variety of help, typically in the form of short-term relief. You can often find emergency resources to provide support to someone facing a serious medical condition or medical bills, help when someone losses a job, assistance with rent, death of an immediate family member, help pay utility bills, or deal with the impact of a natural disaster. Many of the family assistance programs focus on addressing the needs of children, seniors, and others who are considered most at risk. Assistance available from these programs may include:
Some people may think of family assistance as being strictly from the federal and state government Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program. However, family assistance is much more than that and can include employer assistance programs, charities, and other aid organizations. The focus is often on providing short term financial assistance so that people can pay for their basic needs and emergency bills, while at the same time providing longer term self-sufficiency and support.
A number of eligibility criteria will need to be met by applicants, and they will vary by state. Families or low income persons who apply for or receive cash benefits from a family assistance program must meet certain requirements that are put into place. For example, most states will require that applicants participate in activities that will help them become able to support their families over the mid-to long term. This can include, but is not limited to, cooperating with child support, participating in job training programs, and also obtaining a part or full time job.
Contact your employer to determine if they have a plan, review state assistance programs in your state, and contact charities and organizations to determine what family assistance programs they offer. Also, if you are a member of the military, they will often have their own programs to help.
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