Find help from low income assistance programs.

Numerous state and federal government organizations, charities, and other companies offer a wide variety of low income assistance programs. You can find programs that can help with paying your rent, utility bills, mortgage, or provide foreclosure assistance. Other services can help with medical bills or related expenses, and much more. In addition, there are charity organizations that provide assistance to low income families.

State low income assistance programs

  • All state governments offer assistance in some form or fashion to residents that may be struggling. State governments offer such low income programs as LIHEAP energy bill assistance, many states will provide help with paying rent and security deposits, they may offer free health care, and more. Find a list of states and the low income assistance programs they offer.
  • Community Action Agency:
    There are over 1,100 community action agencies located across the country that provide low and moderate income families with various services. The programs and resources that are administered can provide people with short term assistance with paying their bills. These agencies will also be able to coordinate long term support so people can get back on their feet. Find a listing of community action agencies.

Federal government low income programs

  • Low income housing assistance:
    The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organization helps almost 1.5 million families annually with paying their rent and security deposits. The federal government funded organization also helps prevent evictions and provides resources to stop homelessness. They offer rental vouchers to those low income families who are struggling with their housing expenses. Find more details on how to get help with rent.





  • Job training:
    If your job was eliminated due to your position being shipped overseas or for any other reason, you can be eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program. This is a service which provides training to people that are impacted as well as additional unemployment compensation. Continue with Trade Adjustment Act.
  • Education assistance:
    There are numerous low income assistance programs to help people pay college loans and other school expenses. The goal is to ensure that everyone has the skills they need to keep up with the ever changing job market. You can defer loans, consolidate them into low interest loans, and more. Find ways to get help with student loans.
  • Rent help for low income rural families:
    The US Department of Agriculture gives rent help to low income rural families. This will be a subsidy, and the assistance is available from the Rural Development program. They also provide the disabled, elderly, and others with housing assistance. Find how to get rent help from the USDA.
  • Energy bill assistance:
    There are at least two federal programs that can help low income families pay their heating or cooling costs, save money on their utility bills and also conserve energy. LIHEAP and Weatherization assistance help millions of people every year with their home energy expenses. Find other ways to get help with electric bills.
  • Low income housing assistance for military personnel and veterans:
    Mortgage assistance is offered to active duty military personnel, and the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program provides rental vouchers to low income veterans.
  • Free low income health care programs:
    The federal governments Health Resources and Services Administration provides free health care to low income people throughout all 50 states. Low income families and individuals can stop by these clinics to get their medical needs addressed. More info on Health Resources and Services Administration.





  • Free or low cost health care from clinics:
    It is estimated that almost 20% of Americans lack proper health insurance, even after the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) has gone into place. Millions of others do not have enough money to pay for their medical and hospital bills, even though they have some form of insurance. Every state has community clinics and health care centers that provide free or low cost medical care to its residents. More on free clinics.
  • Dental care offered by government supported dental clinics:
    Hundreds of government and private funded dental centers can offer a number of free services, including check ups, cleanings, consultations, and referrals. Patients can get their needs met, or low income families can learn about other dental programs for their needs. Both professional and volunteers dentists contribute their time to the free dental clinics.
  • Assistance programs for tenants and homeowners:
    The are government supported and charity programs that focus on addressing housing needs of low income families or those in poverty. They operate in local communities and provide support to those who need it to deal with today’s challenging economy. Both renters and homeowners can apply for housing assistance.
  • Low income legal advice:
    The federal government provides grants and funding to hundreds of law offices across the country. The attorneys at these locations offer low income families a variety of free legal services. This is known as pro-bono, and lawyers give free legal assistance to the poor and indigent.
  • Section 8 Housing:
    This rent and housing assistance program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help low income renters with housing expenses. Learn more on Section 8.
  • Free or low cost food:
    The low income and other needy individuals have resources available to them that can provide them with free or low cost food as well as groceries. They include government funded food assistance programs and there are also non-profits and charities that offer people of all income levels access to low cost groceries.
  • Child care subsidies and voucher:
    Grants are provided to states and local communities in an effort to provide affordable day care to qualified low income families. The parent will need to be working, going to school, or in some form of approved job training program. Government funding will only pay a portion of your overall child care costs and the family will still need to make various co-payments to the provider. Find details on government child care programs.
  • Financial aid for the disabled:
    Households that have a member with a disability and that meet income guidelines can apply for help from several non-profits as well as government programs. Most of the assistance available is to help the family meet basic needs of housing, food, shelter, and medical care. However longer term support may be provided too, such as information on how the disabled person can rejoin the workforce. More on financial assistance for the disabled.




  • Low income Welfare benefits:
    States as well as the federal government provide this form of cash assistance to the poor. Most of the money goes to very low income households, but the funds can be used to help pay for a wide variety of bills as well as household living expenses. More on welfare benefits.

Low income assistance from charities and private companies

  • Charity organizations:
    Charities and other nonprofit as well as financial aid organizations offer a tremendous amount of help for low income families. You can find credit counseling, information on applying to free and discounted health care, short term rent assistance, and much more. Find low income assistance programs offered by numerous charities.
  • Clothes, household goods and basic needs:
    Families can turn to centers such as free clothing closets, thrift stores, churches, non-profit organizations or other charities. Thousands of sites across the nation collect gently used goods, including furniture, work uniforms, toys for children, interview and school clothes and more. They then provide the items, often for free, to those who need help. Free clothes are widely available.
  • Christmas programs from charities:
    Thousands of charities and volunteer groups provide free toys, meals, food and more to children so they can experience holiday joy. The applications are generally processed first come and served to low income parents, including single moms or dads. Find local free Christmas assistance programs.

  • Sources of free items:
    Low income families that are in an emergency, or those that are facing an exceptional hardship, can be given free stuff for their household. There may be a combination of vouchers to pay bills or assistance in the form of basic needs. This form of support is often hard to get, but programs can assist. Find details on places to turn to for free items.
  • Help with medical expenses, debts, prescription drugs, and health care:
    Health care related concerns may be the most commonly requested low income assistance program. For example, you can get free prescription drugs from pharmaceutical companies, free health care from retail clinics, hospital aid, help with medical bills and debt, and a wide variety of other medical needs met. Find the top health care assistance programs for low to moderate income individuals and families.
  • Home Repairs:
    Both grants and low interest loans exist for paying for home repairs and improvements. State and federal funds typically are available, but your local community action agency is usually the place to apply to for help. Or they can redirect you to other organizations for information on how to apply for a home repair program.
  • Free debt and credit counseling:
    Numerous national and local non-profit credit counseling agencies exist for low income individuals. They can provide free foreclosure advice, enrollment into debt management plans, and help people file for bankruptcy. Counselors will provide free assistance to help with dealing with credit card debts and free medical debt assistance. Learn more on the credit counseling agencies.
  • Foreclosure and housing counseling:
    Millions of homeowners are struggling to pay their monthly mortgage or they may be close to or facing a foreclosure. Hundreds of non-profit organizations across the country are certified by the federal government Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) to provide free or low cost advice to anyone that owns their home. Counselors will help people stop a foreclosure or get back on track with paying their mortgage. Many of the foreclosure prevention services are free to low income clients. More on free foreclosure help.
  • Food pantries provide reduced priced or free food:
    Get information on places to turn to for food, groceries, perishable items, holiday meals, and other forms of hunger prevention programs. Every state and county is served by one or more food banks. There are thousands of centers, and find a food pantry near you.
  • Financial assistance for heating, cooling, and energy bills:
    Most utility companies, which are privately owned, run numerous assistance programs for qualified customers that are living in poverty or have a low income. Some services and resources they provide themselves, and others are administered in partnership with local non-profit and charity organizations. Energy assistance can include grants and other forms of financial assistance programs.
  • Internet:
    Households with children that meet low income guidelines can receive low cost access to the Internet for school or work usage. Programs are offered by both phone and cable companies. They will provide set up of the system, training on how to use it, and some companies will even offer a new computer to qualified low income families. There are various programs for low cost internet access.
  • Programs for low income single mothers:
    For households that live on one income and have children, there are charities as well as government agencies that can be turned to for financial help. They may offer the parent food or applications to emergency financial assistance, housing, or child care. Other resources may also be provided, and find help for single moms.





  • Rent assistance and housing:
    Thousands of non-profits, government housing agencies, churches, and charities across the nation will often have funds to contribute towards paying someone’s rent or housing expenses. Most of the assistance provided is offered on a limited basis, is provided for a very short period of time, and the money is intended to stop an eviction. Many of the programs also have waiting lists in place, and with the high demand for rental help, funds are limited. Find locations that offer emergency rent help.
  • Rental deposits:
    While not as common and widely available as rent help, several churches, agencies, and non-profits do focus on providing financial help and grants for paying security deposits. Some resources focus on the homeless, and others may help people pay a deposit provided they are moving into a more affordable apartment or housing unit. Read more assistance with deposits.
  • Immigrant services:
    Whether undocumented, legal, or illegal immigrants, there are programs to help low income newcomers to this country. Many of the resources focus on meeting the financial needs of those with children or the elderly, but others can apply as well for everything from legal advice to cash aid. Find a list of immigrant assistance programs.
  • Rural programs:
    Unfortunately those families that reside in more rural areas have less access to low income programs than other individuals. There are fewer charities, non-profits, as well as resources for paying bills and many of them may not be near by. So there are challenges, but the fact is that the poor and low income in small towns and outlying areas can get financial help. Find how to get assistance in rural communities.


By Jon McNamara

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