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Public assistance in Vermont.

Families who are struggling as well as low income individuals can receive help from public assistance programs in Vermont. A diverse number of social services and emergency aid is offered. Individuals can get help with expenses such as rent, obtain free food, health care, funds for energy bills, and assistance meeting other basic needs. In addition, case management and other advice is offered to those who need help.

Receive food assistance from 3SquaresVT, which is the new name of the food stamp program. This public assistance program is very extensive in the amount and type of help it can provide. The state can provide clients with a monthly cash payment to help them buy food and the program can really help people get “3 square” meals on their tables. The resource can also provide free school meals for your children and teenagers. Not only that, but 3SquaresVT can also provide phone bills assistance in the form of $30 to get a phone line installed as well as savings of $13 on your monthly phone bill.

Financial assistance for child care can help pay those day care and child care costs. A subsidy, which is really direct financial assistance, is offered as a cash payment that helps qualified low income and disadvantaged families with the cost of child care. The parent needs to be in job training or actively working, and all payments are made directly to an approved child care provider. Read more.

General Assistance can address basic needs of Vermont families. Examples of what can be provided for and paid for by the Emergency/General assistance program include burial costs, housing (including temporary housing and rent), utilities, personal needs items, food, burial and funeral costs.

This Vermont cash assistance program, which is offered by the Department for Children and Families, Agency of Human Services, may be able to help families and individuals with paying for their emergency, basic needs in a crisis. In addition to the immediate money provided to address the crisis, case managers can help individuals gain longer term self-sufficiency.

Essential Person is the program for the disabled, blind, and people who are over 65 years of age. The resource can help people stay in their homes. The Essential Person Program can help clients stay in their homes by contributing to the cost of having someone live with you to provide essential care and support.





Heating and fuel assistance can help during the winter. The Fuel Assistance program (which was also formally known as Home Heating Assistance) can help lower income people pay a portion of their home heating bills. It is offered for both renters and homeowners.

Low cost of free health insurance is offered in Vermont. The various health insurance and care programs are run under the umbrella name of Green Mountain Care. Most of the plans are open to all residents, regardless of their income or health status.

Long-Term Care Medicaid is also available. There are two main resources, and one of them is known as Choices for Care, which is Vermont's Long-Term Care Medicaid Program. This component helps eligible Vermonters pay their medical bills that could be incurred for long-term care services in the setting of their choice. If you apply and are found to be eligible for assistance, it the program helps you pay for long-term care and public health services in the setting of your choice.

Clients can be placed in your home or the home of another person; an approved nursing home in Vermont, or an approved assisted-living facility or residential care home.

Housing Assistance, including rent, shelter and other services are available across the state. The government OEO office supports emergency homeless shelters, housing assistance programs and other types of rent and tenant services throughout the state, including section 8 vouchers. To learn more about the various housing assistance and low income programs, please contact your local Community Action Agency for more information and details.

The state also has a saving and financial counseling program known as Individual Development Account. This state run resource helps lower-income Vermonters save money for a purchase such as a home, education, or a small business. Also get access to credit counseling and budgeting workshops. The Individual Development Account (IDA) is a matched-savings program that helps income-eligible Vermonters save money for a major purchase, which is most often something like capitalizing a small business, buying a home, or paying for college.





Phone Bill Assistance and Discounted Rates – Federal and state government funded programs can help make phone service (whether landline or cellular) more affordable for households with low income or who are working poor. The Vermont Department for Children and Families offers residents two main programs to help them pay their phone bills. They include Link-Up Vermont, which helps get phone service connected. Another option is Lifeline Telephone Service Credit, which may be able to assist with paying for the ongoing cost of phone service and bills.

Families with children can benefit from Reach Up. This public assistance program helps families with children by providing cash assistance for their basic needs and various bills. Other services are also offered that support work and self-sufficiency over the midterm.

Vermont’s Weatherization Program is paid for by federal government funds. It was created to help low income residents save money on their utility bills, with a focus on seniors, older Vermonters, people with disabilities, and families with children. Weatherization is free to qualified people, and it can help them save money, heating oil and fuel by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

To apply for financial help or social services, dial the Vermont Department for Children and Families, Agency of Human Services. The phone number is 1-800-479-6151.



By Jon McNamara

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