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Escambia County public and government assistance programs.

People who live in Escambia County can receive help from Community Services. The government affiliated organization coordinates both state of Florida as well as federal government public aid programs, such as food stamps, help for funeral expenses or SSI disability. They also work to address housing problems.

Clients must meet with case manager or social workers from the department in order to apply for services, and appointments for interviews can be scheduled by calling. Many of these resources are required to be provided by state law.

Food stamps are issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Needy households in Escambia County Florida can obtain vouchers to purchase food or groceries at the local store. It does not pay for prepared meals.

For those that enroll, clients receive electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that are accepted by most local grocery stores and supermarkets in Pensacola and nearby towns. The amount of financial assistance is determined by factors such as household size, their total saving and net income. SNAP is funded by the federal government and administered locally in Florida by each county’s social services department.

The Department also manages an emergency food stamp program for individuals and families in crisis. So this can accelerate the application process. Assistance with food expenses or grocery bills can be made available from this SNAP component within seven days to those in a crisis.

Individuals whose income does not exceed certain federal government poverty levels qualify for financial assistance to help pay for prescription medications. This is also available for elderly and disabled individuals who receive Social Security benefits and have an income that does not surpass 110% of the federal poverty level. The state has programs to help pay for, or allow people to save money on, any needed prescription drugs.

Another option for Florida residents, including those in Escambia, regardless of their income, is they can purchase medications for less money through the Discount Drug Card Program, which is designed to reduce prescription drug expenses for individuals who do not have insurance.




The card is for those who lack proper insurance coverage, no matter where they live. Also, individuals who are 60 years of age and older may be eligible for the program regardless of income and their insurance coverage. More information is available by calling 1-866-341-8894.

The social services department helps income-eligible individuals with paying for hospital and doctor bills from programs such as Medicaid and others. This monetary assistance is offered for emergency or critical care that was provided within the previous 30 days.

The program can include people who receive their emergency care at out-of-county hospitals as well. For those sites that treat impoverished Escambia County residents, the patient can receive payment for services rendered via the Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA), which is mandated by Florida laws and regulations. The hospital that provided treatment must apply for assistance to determine eligibility.

Medicaid recipients who live in Pensacola or other Escambia County nursing homes can receive $55 per month. Furthermore, those residents who receive Medicaid benefits are eligible for payments that subsidize hospitalization costs. Payments are 35% of the per diem rate for the 11th through 45th days of hospitalization. Both of these services are mandated by Florida statute as well, and the department will ensure people receive this when needed.

The senior nutrition program from Escambia County Community Services provides free nutritious meals each weekday to needy citizens who are 60 years of age and older as well as their spouses. This publicly funded service also features educational services to promote healthy eating habits, and senior citizens are encouraged to visit one of the nutrition centers located in Escambia County.

Income-eligible and elderly residents can make use of the financial aid available through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This is the state’s primary public benefit and is always in high demand, especially during the summer and winter months.

Government grants can help pay their electric and gas bills, including even air conditioning costs during the summer months. Clients may apply for the program at community action agencies and service centers in Pensacola or other locations. Public funds support LIHEAP.

While not as common, there may be cases in which emergency, short-term rental assistance is offered to individuals facing imminent eviction. Clients of Escambia County Community Services must lack income and have been denied services from other charity agencies.

Human Assistance is focused on job training and self-sufficiency. The county and its social workers will help with placement with local Escambia employers, and teach clients the skills they need to be successful.





Child protection services in Florida pay for the initial examination of children who may have been subject to abuse. These services are mandated by Florida statute and provided by the Child Protection Team.

Save on home phone and cell bills from the Lifeline and Link-Up Florida telephone assistance program. This will help all state residents that meet low income guidelines or receive public benefits, save money on phone bills. These government-funded programs provide affordable access to home telephone services and connections, with the goal of stopping a disconnection of service.

Assistance is also for veterans. The county will help them apply for any public aid they are entitled too, whether it is disability or low income housing. The departments also works closely with VA offices in the county in an effort to help the less members of the military as well as their immediate family members.

Funeral arrangements are offered to deceased individuals who lack the resources to pay for such services on their own. The state of Florida partners with local social service departments to ensure this occurs across the state.

Phone number for government aid and public benefits

Community Services is located at 221 Palafox Place, Pensacola, FL 32502. For applications or intake, call (850) 595-3130.


By Jon McNamara

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