Public aid and assistance in St. Louis.

St. Louis Department of Social Services offers financial aid to working poor and very low income families. The county social service department can provide applications to public benefits ranging from SNAP food stamps to cash assistance from TA. There is also aid for housing needs, such as grants for heating bills or section 8 rental assistance vouchers.

Residents should note that any assistance paid out will require the individual to enroll into case management, which emphasizes employment. This will be required from families, singles, or really anyone in St. Louis. Even if someone now has a job, the social service department will require that the person either gain new skills or a higher paying job. This is always required as any government aid is short term only, and the true goal is to get people off of welfare.

Temporary Assistance, or TA, is the main county resource that offers families small amounts of cash. This can be thought of as a grant, and the funds are used for a wide variety of living expenses, ranging from medications to food or rent. Most of this aid is for families with young children, though there can be some options for adults without children if they have no other options available to them.

Child care assistance is often offered for people on TA. This is available as the result of funding from the state of Missouri as well as the federal government, and vouchers will be issued to help pay for a portion of expenses for income qualified parents. All providers of day care need to be approved by the social service department in St. Louis, and this is a very limited program.

The St. Louis Department of Social Services (DSS) will require that applicants be in training or working, and this can include searching for a job. The county can even offer information on subsidized day care, if this is one of the barriers that the family is facing when it comes to employment.

LIHEAP in Missouri is another government grant program. There is both the regular, ongoing portion of the program as well as Crisis Intervention. The assistance is focused on paying winter heating bills, with the possibility of some limited funding for summer cooling or air conditioning expenses. Continue with LIHEAP energy bill grants in Missouri.





When it comes to this benefit, senior citizens as well as the disabled will take priority for any funds from LIHEAP. There is also additional support for households with young children in St. Louis, and all applicants will of course need to meet income and other guidelines in place. Either a credit or grant will be issued for the households utility bills.

Social Services can also help families enroll into public health care programs. Examples of them include HealthNet for Kids, which is for individuals that are age 19 or younger. There are other options as well, which include HealthNet for Pregnant Women and Newborns, Medicaid, Medicare, as well as HealthNet for Families (MHF).

While the terms and conditions of each of these will vary, in general they offer many of the same benefits. They are public assistance programs that try to ensure all people, regardless of age or income, have some type of access to affordable medical care or health insurance. They can pay for bills on check ups, medications, dental visits, and other related costs. In some cases the coverage will extend to a newborn in St. Louis even as they continue to age and grow up.

Hunger prevention is provided SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) or food stamps. This is the county's main public aid programs for providing affordable groceries and food to working poor families. Many children and senior citizens in the city and county also receive some type of monthly benefit from this government resource.




Using state and federal funds, the county office of DSS will issue the client an EBT card, and it can help pay a portion of their monthly food expenses. The debit card, also known as the Missouri Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) can be used to shop at local retailers or grocery stores, and thousands of families across the state and country rely on it for their food needs.

While there are several offices in the area, the main one is at 3101 Chouteau, St. Louis, Missouri 63103. For information on DSS services, call 1-855-373-4636.

By Jon McNamara

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