Public assistance and government aid in Oregon.
If you need help in Oregon, find information on public assistance programs and learn how they may be able to help you and your family in an emergency situation. The Department of Human Services and other Oregon agencies listed below administer a number of resources for low income families, seniors, and others who are struggling or are faced with an emergency. Some of the public assistance can include cash for bills, medical care, food, and other aid.
Public financial assistance programs
Oregon Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – This federal government created program can offer cash assistance and grants to low-income families. Priority is given to families with children. The cash assistance is intended to provide the family with time to get back on track financially so that the family can work to become self-sufficient over the mid to long term.
The public program's primary goal is to greatly reduce the number of Oregon families that are currently living in poverty. So an individual will be able to work with a case worker to find employment, access job training, and use other community resources. TANF can usually provide several hundred dollars per month in aid that can be used to pay bills and expenses.
Food Stamps and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Low-income families and households can get access to the means needed to meet their nutritional needs. The primary goal of the public funded food assistance program is to help improve the health and well being of Oregon families, with a focus on children.
While the amount of public aid distributed by Department of Human Services will vary, depending on your total household income and allowable deductions, families in Oregon may be able to get up to $162 worth of food stamps per month as part of SNAP.
Clients will be provided a debit type card as part of the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system, which allows recipients of SNAP food stamps to obtain their benefits and free food by using an Oregon Trail Card at the grocery store or supermarket card-scanning devices. Contrary to popular opinion, SNAP benefits provided to families in Oregon are not meant to meet all of the food needs of an individual or a household, but rather the food is meant to supplement their nutritional needs.
In Oregon, the SNAP program is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) Children, Adults and Families (CAF) Division. The issuance of vouchers and benefits are provided through DHS and AAA offices across the state. Dial Oregon SafeNet 1-800-723-3638 for information on how to apply for food stamps.
Oregon Telephone Assistance Program – This is also called the LifeLine and Linkup program. It provides low income customers with a phone at a reduced rate. This ensures that everyone has affordable phone service, and this telephone program goes a long way towards helping people save money on landlines and cellular phone bills. Find more details on Telephone bill assistance in Oregon.
Low-income, eligible seniors can receive a check from the Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program. The vouchers can be used to buy fresh Oregon grown vegetables, fruit, and herbs at approved farmer's markets and farm stands across the state.
Home-delivered meals, including Meals on Wheels, can provide groceries and hot meals delivered several times a week or even daily if need be. The meals are delivered around the lunch hour to Medicaid eligible people with disabilities as well as home bound seniors and those who cannot prepare their own meals and provide for themselves.
Weekend meals, usually frozen, may also be available. The days for home delivery vary based on the local agency running the public program. For adults over age 60, a donation is requested in order to participate. For Medicaid eligible adults over age 65 or Medicaid eligible individuals, the state/federal government Medicaid program may cover the costs of the meals. Read more Meals on Wheels.
Group and congregate meals are available in some local Oregon towns and communities. Non-profits, churches and charities may offer free nutritious meals in a group setting, often located in public facilities such as schools, senior centers, churches and housing projects for older adults and the less fortunate. Social contact is emphasized. Frequently, the mealtime also includes a wide array of social and recreational activities, including case management. Transportation is sometimes provided to the center as well. Participants contribute what they can to the cost of buying the food for the meal.
Oregon parenting and daycare assistance programs
Oregon Family Support and Connections is a wide ranging program that was created to help families meet the challenges of being a parent in the world today. It offers information on a number of services and public assistance programs.
Work with a family advocate in your town or city. The family will be assigned to work with an advocate, and together you will create a plan to overcome a crisis or to help with everyday needs. Services offered include these:
- Locate resources, both non-profits and government programs.
- Help paying for and arranging child care.
- Job issues, including careering counseling and help finding a job.
- Emergency services, including financial assistance for paying bills, rent, housing, medications, and more.
- Transportation for work, job interviews, and appointments.
- Learn about rent and housing assistance in Oregon.
- Support for domestic violence.
- Budgeting, including debt reduction and credit repair. The publicly funded support and connections from DHS will also emphasive saving and investing, including free smartphone apps to invest.
- Drug and alcohol and treatment services
- Advice on getting an education and learning about scholarships.
- Application site for energy bill assistance Oregon.
Child care assistance is available from the Oregon Employment Related Day Care Program (ERDC). The public funded resource helps low-income and working poor families pay for child care costs. This helps parents to get job training, stay employed, and provides children the opportunity to be well cared-for in stable child care arrangements and providers. Almost 20,000 families receive help for paying child care every year.
Another service offered is that ERDC also works with child care partners and other providers across the state to help families keep good child care or find a provider. They work with providers to improve the availability of quality child care in Oregon, and to develop resources for child care providers and parents. Continue with free Oregon child care programs.
Free government and public healthcare in Oregon
Oregon Health Plan, part of Medicaid, is also run by the Department of Human Services. The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) offers free or low cost health care to its members. The public medical care program covers a wide range of medical services and benefits such as prescription drugs, doctor's visits, checkups, and other medically necessary services and supplies. In order to qualify for this plan, among other things you must have been without private health insurance for at least the last 6 months. In addition, applicants must be pregnant or under 19 years of age.
Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) medical program helps lower income people who have Medicare pay for their basic medical bills such as co-pays and premiums.
Additional medical care can be administered by the Oregon Supplemental Income Program Medicaid, also known as OSIPM. Another public health assistance program that provides for a wide range of medical benefits including lab work, doctor's visits, family planning, prescription drugs and other medical care. In addition, after being successfully enrolled patients may also qualify for in-home health care, adult foster homes, cash for special needs, residential care, assisted living, nursing home care and more. Assistance from this public resource is focused on seniors or the disabled.
The government in Oregon works with community clinics too. They often accept public health insurance or private policies as well. They can be a great option for the low income, poor, migrants, or indigent too. A wide variety of medical and dental services are offered from free, public supported clinics. Find more details on free community clinics in Oregon.
Government assistance from Oregon Counties and Cities
Call the Oregon Department of Human Services at 503-945-5944, or find a county DHS office and local public assistance programs below..