Families can get help from several government and public assistance programs in Bergen County New Jersey. Services can provide financial assistance for basic needs in an emergency, food stamps, child care, and a number of other resources. While funding is limited and qualifications do need to be met by applicants, below is additional information on the various Bergen County social services and public aid.
Bergen County families can apply for financial help from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federal government funded program provides assistance and grants for paying cooling and utility bills. Priority is given to seniors, disabled, and families with children who are most at risk. Cash grants can help low income households pay costs, including heating and cooling bills. Even those Bergen County households with their heat expense included in their rent are also eligible for financial assistance. There is also an emergency component for people who are faced with a crisis.
Bergen County emergency financial assistance is available to residents. There is a program available for General Assistance and SSI qualified individuals who are facing eviction, who are currently homeless, or who are faced with a crisis situation. The emergency must be something that was not of their doing. The emergency assistance provided includes, but is not limited to, temporary rental assistance to assure a permanent living arrangement, emergency shelter and food, replacement of furniture and clothing, car repairs, and possibly funds for paying utility and apartment security deposits.
Transportation for medical and doctor appointments may be coordinated for SSI and Medicaid eligible individuals in need of medical care. Get a ride to your local Bergen County doctor or hospital.
Child and day care may be provided. This is an IVA funded assistance program for those on public assistance, including TANF/WFNJ eligible families and children (pre-schoolers and children needing after-school care). Child care assistance may be provided for those who need care in their own home, who need services in a family day care setting or at a local day care center because of emotional, medical, or social reasons. There is also an emergency service for children whose parent(s) is out of the home temporarily and in a crisis. Examples may be a parent who has been hospitalized. Child care assistance is arranged for and public money can help pay the costs for child care either in the child's own home, at the home of a relative, or an approved provider.
Food stamps are available in Bergen County, and are paid for by U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Services. The Non-Public Assistance (NPA) Food Stamp Program can provide a supplemental food allowance to low income families and other qualified individuals. The aid is offered in the form of coupons and vouchers. Food stamp benefits will help people buy groceries and food, and are accepted at most retailers. In addition to the food assistance program, the county also conducts an Employment and Training Program under the guidance of the Public Welfare's Office of Economic Self Sufficiency to promote maximum independence where possible. This involves providing social services, case management, and job finding services.
The TANF/WFNJ work program is a government assistance program which provides employment related services, including help with finding a job, to TANF/WFNJ eligible parents. Bergen County provides case management services which includes, but is not limited to, the initial and ongoing assessment of each participant's required work activities. They will determine an individual’s need for support services. This can include payment for services such as transportation and financial assistance for child care that may be needed by the participant to engage in work-related activities.
New Jersey Care is a health care program to help blind, disabled, and aged individuals, and pregnant women and children under age 19 meet their medical needs and help pay for hospital and medical bills. This program is also run by the Bergen County Board of Social Services. Various income limits apply before people can qualify for this public medical program. This health care program provides expanded eligibility for Medicaid to a group of families or individuals whose income exceeds TANF/WFNJ or Medicaid Only standards. Aged, blind and disabled individuals must have income below established government guidelines.
Medicaid is a health care program of medical benefits under Title XIX. Assistance is offered for disabled, aged, blind, or other very low income individuals who do not wish to receive a money payment (SSI) but who have financial and/or medical eligibility concerns.
Call the Bergen County Board of Social Services at 201-368-4200.
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