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Public assistance and government aid Indiana.

Several public assistance programs are offered to low income residents by Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration. Get help in applying for Medicaid or SNAP food stamps, or low income families can get cash assistance from TANF or free day care vouchers. The Indiana FSSA (Family and Social Services Administration) processes applications for these benefits as well as operates Hoosier Care and other public assistance programs.

The social services are focused on helping the less fortunate across Indiana get the help they need for their basic needs. The public assistance programs from FSSA, also listed by county below, typically give priority to seniors, the elderly, unemployed, and families with children. A local Division of Family Resources office in Indiana can also help with eligibility rules or applications.

Indiana food assistance programs from SNAP or WIC

Receive free or low cost food and groceries from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP, which is the new name for Indiana food stamps. The Family and Social Services Administration in Indiana manages this public program on behalf of the federal government.

This resource provides government food assistance to low income families. While it is a federal government program that is fully funded by the United States Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the state runs it at the local level and most county social service offices accept applications. The Indiana SNAP program can help ensure low income individuals and families get the nutrition they need at no cost to them.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children from Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration is also known as WIC. Low income parents with newborns can get assistance from this public benefit program. FSSA will ensure that parents get the baby formula, healthy food, and education around ensuring their newborns are raised and fed properly.

Children can benefit from Head Start. This child development program ensures children get access to health, educational, nutritional, and social and other services that they need. The Indiana Head Start program will distribute grants and financial aid directly to local private non-profits and public programs. The federal government money needs to be used to provide comprehensive education and overall child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families in Indiana. Head Start will give priority to assisting preschoolers with developing the early math and reading skills they need for long term success in school.




Overall, the Head Start service can help children enhance their social and cognitive abilities and lead to increased development of children through the provision of health care, educational, teachings, and nutritional development. Agencies in Indiana that offer this public program will also engage parents in their children's learning. This is a key to helping individuals make progress toward their literacy and educational goals. A lot of effort is put into ensure parents participate in these Head Start programs.

Public assistance from cash and financial aid

Cash assistance or grants can be obtained in Indiana from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This program was created to replace the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), which was formerly known as "welfare". Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration runs TANF. A number of welfare reform efforts in both Indiana and across the nation have placed an emphasis on personal responsibility and also work first. Indiana Division of Family Resources (DFR) can also assist with TANF. Find more details on cash assistance in Indiana.

This will in effect replace cash assistance with transitional services that help people depend less on public aid, improve their job skills, and gain employment. The Indiana TANF program provides cash assistance for basic needs such as housing and energy bills, and it also offers supportive services to assist the family gain self-sufficiency. Most Indiana individuals on the cash aid also get Medicaid or SNAP food stamps as well. The state as well as federal government pay for this welfare assistance program, and thousands of Indiana families benefit from it.

Job training is provided by Indiana Manpower and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT). It offers education, job training, career counseling and other support to recipients of public aid including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).The government job training and placement are often mandatory programs for anyone that is eligible for FSSA benefits. It is intended to be welfare to work for the state.

Indiana government healthcare insurance plans

Receive free or low cost health care from Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration. One of the primary resources offered is Medicaid (HIP / HHW / CHIP). About 15% of the state’s population are receiving medical benefits from this public assistance health program at any one time. It can help people stay healthy or address a medical condition they have. Medicaid is a form of government health insurance that is also part of the Hoosier Care benefit programs.





Specifically in Indiana one of the programs is known as Hoosier Healthwise. The state is doing its best to ensure that residents, including children and pregnant women, receive the doctor visits and access to medical care that they need. Helping people get off to a healthy start in their critical developmental years is important. So Hoosier Healthwise is working to support early healthcare for babies, young children, newborns and pregnant women.

Hoosier Rx provides medications. The state can assist thousands of low-income seniors and those without insurance buy the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy. There is also information on patient assistance programs from pharmaceutical companies. Some elderly may qualify for free medications, while others may receive a significant discount and may need to pay a minimal fee.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is funded by the federal government, and is the primary public health program for children. The program can health insurance to uninsured children, even if their family’s income is too high for other government care such as Medicaid. So low to moderate income families in Indiana can apply for this medical bill assistance program.

Another service is the Indiana Chronic Disease Management Program. This is focused on people of all ages, but mostly seniors. It is targeted at the state’s most vulnerable Medicaid recipients, and it can help them improve their health condition and also manage chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.
Through Indiana’s Medicaid waiver programs, the state can help people with disabilities as well as seniors become active members of their communities instead of living in a hospital or home.

Child Care and Development Fund is the state’s subsidy program that provides affordable child care to low income families. The parent needs to be working, in school, or attending job training. There is usually a waiting list in Indiana for this public assistance program, and funding is limited. Also, those who are enrolled will still need to pay a portion of their child care costs. Continue with Indiana child care assistance.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a public assistance program created by the Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). It can offer quality unique services to support and enhance the skills of people with disabilities. They will be able to prepare for a job, obtain one or retain employment. Social workers will stay active in someone’s rehabilitation. This will allow people with disabilities the ability achieve a greater level of independence in their living environments as well as work place.

Other services offered by the state include Blind Services, First Steps, Deaf Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Disability Assistance, information on Community Clinics and more.

Apply for public assistance in Indiana from FSSA

To learn more about these social services or public assistance, call Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration at 800-403-0864. Families can get assistance applying for food assistance from SNAP, job programs, Medicaid, cash aid and other benefits.

Lake County

Marion County


By Jon McNamara

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