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Public assistance and government benefits from Missouri DSS.

Find details on public assistance programs that are offered to low income families and individuals in Missouri from DSS, or the Department of Social Services. Get access to benefits including SNAP food stamps, Medicaid health care, cash assistance, and more. Find free grant money, food programs and other DSS social services in Missouri below.

DSS will help low-income families, seniors, disabled people and unemployed in Missouri (among others) make it through a difficult period. They coordinate financial help from public or government funds for paying bills and basic needs by county below. Agencies also provide information on how residents can improve their overall financial condition.

Government cash assistance and free money from DSS in Missouri

Missouri Temporary Assistance Program will offer cash assistance to families with children, including single moms and dads. The main objective is to offer public funds and to these families so that the children can be cared for in their own home. Another goal is to lower a families overall dependency on public aid by promoting employment, job preparation, transportation or a free car for work and marriage.. Get details on how to apply for DHS car voucher.

Funds and grants may also be used to prevent non-marital pregnancies and encourage the formation and maintenance of self-sufficient two-parent families. Cash assistance from DSS in Missouri can pay for housing, transportation (including gas for a job or car repairs), utility bills, and other stuff for a home. Learn more on Missouri cash assistance TA program as well as the FSD centers that operate it.

Some of the key terms and criteria of Temporary Assistance (TA) include the following. In order to get cash assistance (TANF) from the Department of Social Services in Missouri, recipients of the program must be currently working or in training/work type activities (such as employment, job training, subsidized, job search and job readiness assistance, etc.). They need to be doing this after at most two years of receiving assistance. Read more on welfare and applying for TANF across the nation.

Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can help people in two different ways. There are two primary parts of this program. The first is the Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) and the second is the Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA). While both are focused on paying heating bills, there may be some funds for extreme summer heat conditions. Learn more on LIHEAP in Missouri.




The regular portion known as EA was created to provide cash grants and financial assistance to help pay regular monthly electric and heating bills. Public assistance and funds are paid out in the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March. Applicants will need to meet certain conditions including income, available resources, family size, and responsibility for payment of home heating costs.

If someone applies and they are found to be eligible for EA then that may also qualify individuals for additional financial assistance through the crisis component, which will offer financial aid when someone is faced with a disconnection or it may help when they are low on fuel or heating oil. There is also weatherization from DSS in Missouri, which provides free energy conservation updates, home or AC repairs, pluming or AC work and more. The free grant money for home repairs and weatherization is often combined with LIEAP electric bill help as well.

Assistance for child care costs is available. Most of the funding comes from the federal government and the state’s allotment can change every year. Missouri can pay for a portion of your costs, if the applicant meets conditions. Some of the eligibility conditions include income limits and the applicant also needs to be employed or in job training. Since public funds are so limited, there is usually a waiting list. More details on Missouri free child care assistance.

Many families on TANF (cash aid) is Missouri also can get financial aid from the government in paying for their cell phone bill or a free home phone. Lifeline and Link-Up are the main programs, as well as a free cell phone service from telecommunication provers. All companies participate, and learn more on Missouri Lifeline.

Free Missouri DSS government food assistance programs

Food assistance, meals, and free or low cost groceries can will provided from the Food Stamp Program / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Missouri. This government mandated public assistance program is run by the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS). SNAP was created to promote the general welfare and safeguard the health and well-being of the states (and nation’s) low income and senior population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households.





Food stamps in Missouri , including emergency EBT cards, will provide low-income families, single mothers and people with no money a free EBT card, which can be used to pay for groceries. Households can buy free or canned groceries, baby formula, hygiene supplies and other goods. The program formally goes by the name of the Food Stamp Program in Missouri. Recipients of the program will need to use a debit card known as the Missouri Electronic Benefit Transfer card in order to purchase food at their grocery stores.

Free medical and health care programs from the Missouri Department of Social Services

Missouri HealthNet for Kids - This program provide free or cheap public healthcare coverage for children less than 19 years of age whose total family income falls within certain parameters. There is also free mental health counseling as well as therapy for kids and teens as part of this DSS service. It is part of the CHIP medical insurance plans in Missouri. The state will help pay for medical, mental health and dental needs of low to moderate income children. Learn more on, and find free therapy for teens.

MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women and Newborns - Similar to the kids program above, however this is the state’s MO HealthNet program for newborns and pregnant women. This medical care program provides healthcare and medical coverage that is paid for by public funds including sixty-day postpartum coverage. Aid is offered for pregnant women that meet income guidelines. Once determined to be eligible, the coverage continues through the client’s postpartum period despite subsequent increases in income.

Some other notes on this service and people who can get help include children that are born to a woman eligible for and receiving MO HealthNet and/or the MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women. Families that are involved in these health insurance coverage plans on the date of the infant’s birth continue to be eligible for MO HealthNet coverage throughout the first year of life as long as the child remains in the mother’s home and maintains Missouri residence.

Medicaid, also known as the Missouri HealthNet for Families (MHF) - Entire families may receive public health care and services from this program. There will be free medication, mental health counseling, emergency dental care from DSS / Medicaid and more, Families whose income does not exceed the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) income standards may qualify Or find free clinics, dentists, psychologist and other forms of care.

Uninsured Women's Health Services Program - MO HealthNet coverage is offered for uninsured women ages 18 up to age 55 whose total net family income does not exceed 185% of the federal government poverty level when factoring in their household size.





How to apply for government assistance in Missouri

Each program referenced above has conditions that need to be met, including income and/or age. Funding is also limited. To get more information or to apply, dial the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) at (573) 751-3221, 855-823-4908 or 800-392-1261. There are also local county and city offices (Family Resource centers) to try for public aid. They include the following:

Boone County

Kansas City

St. Louis


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