Public assistance and social services in DeKalb County.

Whether you need food or cash for paying for basic needs, or other aid, then public assistance programs in DeKalb County Georgia may be able to help. The local government provides a number of services for low income families and people who are struggling. While the number of residents who may qualify is limited, and the government can’t address all needs, some short term aid may be provided. Call (404) 370-5000, or get more details below.

Government food and cash assistance

Food vouchers and stamps can be offered by the DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services as well as the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Family and Children Services. Public food programs are offered for people who are unemployed, working but are receiving low wages, or if they receive welfare or some other form of government cash assistance. It is really for people who have a limited income and are struggling with buying their food and groceries for their families. The exact amount of food stamps a DeKalb County household can receive is based on U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. This particular service was not intended to provide all of the food family may need, but to only supplement their budget and existing resources.

Cash, employment, and social services are all provided by the DeKalb County Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The objective is to offer financial assistance and case management on a temporary basis to qualified families. Some of the resources offered include work opportunities, job preparation, enforcement of Child Support, and other support services. Of course cash provided by the government can help pay for immediate needs, such as shelter and energy expenses.

DeKalb County residents can at most receive cash assistance and aid from TANF for at most 48 months. Applicants need to have children, be pregnant, and/or meet other low income guidelines as established by Georgia and federal government requirements.

You can also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the DeKalb Department of Family and Children Services. This resource is a financial assistance/grant program administered by the federal government Social Security organization. This can provide individuals with a monthly check for paying for their expenses, as well as offer free health care from Medicaid.





Pregnant women can receive free or low cost medical care from Right From The Start Medicaid. This service can pay for medical bills for pregnant women for up to 60 days after they give birth. It will also pay health care expenses for the delivery and medical care required by their children. Some of the medical care services covered include postpartum home visits, peri-natal case management, and also even expenses such as substance abuse day treatment for pregnant women. Georgia's Medicaid public health care benefits are offered to people who meet up to 200% of government poverty guidelines. Another nice feature of this Right From The Start Medicaid program is that pregnant women in DeKalb County may even get health insurance coverage while waiting for their eligibility to be decided by the state.

Access high quality and affordable child care from the Child Care and Parent Services (CAPS). The DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services can arrange for, and help families, find free or low cost child care. Cash assistance may also be available to help pay for some of the costs. Paying for child care may provide some people the opportunity to accept or retain employment, begin or continue going to school, or time to get job skill training. The county will only help pay these child care costs if someone is in job training, working, or actively seeking employment. All day care or child care providers that are paid for by government funds must be state licensed, registered, or an approved facility.

As indicated above, some of the key requirements are that the applicant needs to be employed at least 25 hours per week. Or if there are two parents in the family, then the applicant needs to be working at minimum 35 hours per week. Or the applicant needs to be enrolled and actively attending an approved training or educational program.

Public health care in DeKalb County

In addition to the various programs and government resources above, uninsured, seniors and low income patients in the region have several other services available to them. They include those listed below.





Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries can pay an eligible individual's Medicare co-insurance expenses and deductibles. Note that no financial assistance is offered for prescription medications from this service.

Adult Medically Needy is offered to individuals if their medical bills exceed a certain percentage of their total household income. DeKalb County will currently limit Medically Needy assistance to one month, and it only pays for health care bills after the spend down limit is met. There are no household income limits that need to be met by applicants.

Low Income Medicaid can help pay for both children and adult medical bills. The eligibility requirements usually follow the government regulations for Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) rules (as per above), however there are no work requirements. Children and teenagers up to age 18 may qualify for aid, both single and two parent households can qualify for public health care, and a number of other service are offered for the low income.

DeKalb County Medical Treatment Facility can help pay for hospice care, nursing homes, hospital stays of 30 days of more, and Community Care Services in DeKalb County. The income limit for MTF's is adjusted annually.




By Jon McNamara

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