Public assistance in Miami-Dade County.

Miami Dade social services and public assistance can help low income families and individuals in the region. Resources can help with a number of expenses and basic needs, with priority given to seniors, the disabled, and families with children. Programs can help with paying electric bills, child care expenses, senior assistance and needs, and much more. Information on the services are below.

The Miami Dade Disability Services and Independent Living Program (DSAIL) can assist people with disabilities. The government provides various resources and services that were designed to assist people who range in age from 18 to 59 and who are disabled. If you fall outside of this age range they may have advice or referrals for you on other places to contact for cash assistance.

Services offered to the disabled by DSAIL include, but are not limited to, assistance in finding jobs and employment training. Locate safe, affordable housing and rental assistance programs. Social workers can provide case management, family and individual counseling, and group activity therapy. Other resources offered include in-home support as well as information and referral to other government and public assistance programs in Miami.

The main purpose of the government program is to assist persons of all backgrounds and incomes with finding assistance for all types of disabilities. Case managers from Human Services will help them maintain and/or acquire as much independence and autonomy as achievable, thus enabling the disabled to remain in the community as long as possible and also help them stay at their own personal home.

The Department of Child Development Services is a Miami-Dade County program that is focused on providing culturally comprehensive yet high quality school readiness and child care services for families across the region. The government agency works with an extensive network of coordinated resources, child care providers and support services that operate throughout Miami-Dade County. Government resources can assist families that are currently seeking referrals, child care information, resources, and financial assistance for education and/or early care.

Some of the child assistance programs offered will assist parents and families needing financially subsidized child care. Some of these services include Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten as well as School Readiness for children who range in age from infancy to 9 years of age. Information on Head Start can be provided too.





Additional Miami Child Development Services that are run include eligibility determination and placement of children through a network of licensed child care facilities throughout the county. They offer Developmental Screening and Assessment Services to identify children who are at-risk for developmental delays. The School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program provides payments for day care and child care. If you need further support, contact them for referral and general information on child related services as well as other resources.

Human Services and Community Action Agencies in Miami-Dade County provide senior services. Resources are focused on helping and fully supporting the elderly in southern Florida. Programs administered include Disability Services; Adult Day Care; Care Planning Unit; Veterans Services Program; Meals on Wheels; Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP); and Home Care Program. Also get referrals to senior specific public aid.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently assisting low income and senior eligible residents in Miami-Dade County's with payment of their electric and gas bills.  Applications are available at Community Action Agencies and Service Centers. This program is paid for by public funds.

Miami-Dade Eviction and Homeless Treatment Program – The Human Services department provides specialized services and public aid for people who are faced with imminent eviction. They also help the overall county-wide homeless population. Specifically the agency runs the following programs. They administer the Homeless Assessment and Referral and Tracking Services (HART) as well as Specialized Transitional Opportunity Program (STOP). Find a list of other eviction prevention programs in Miami Dade.

Housing assistance is offered  in Miami from the Emergency Food and Shelter Assistance (EFSA). The program will be utilized to help low income families and individuals in need of emergency rent or mortgage assistance. Public funds can also pay for utility bills too.

Weatherization can help reduce energy consumption in the home.  Human Services works to reduce the utility bills of low-income families. This is accomplished by offering  free conservation improvements to homes, such as windows or insulation.

Miami-Dade County Human Services may be able to offer free or low cost home delivered meals from the Meals on Wheels program. Food can be delivered each week to low-income, seniors, ill and/or homebound persons.




Prescription medications can be bought for less money if a Miami-Dade County family uses the Florida Discount Drug Card Program. The card is available all across Florida, and it was designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Florida residents that do not have insurance. There are some conditions that need to be met, including individuals may qualify for savings if they are under age 60 with a total family income under 300 percent of the federal government poverty level or if they are age 60 and older, and regardless of income at that age. Dial 1-866-341-8894.

Save money on phone bills from the Lifeline and Link-Up Florida telephone assistance programs. These two government funded serves can help all residents in Florida gain affordable access to telephone service and connections in their homes. Money can also be used to set up phone service.

To learn more or to apply for assistance, call 786-469-4600 to reach Human Services.


By Jon McNamara

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