How to Get Government Assistance

by Flora Richards-Gustafson ; Updated July 27, 2017
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Government assistance is available for individuals in different walks of life. While many of the assistance programs are for those who have low incomes, assistance is also available for small business owners, homeowners, first-time homebuyers, crime victims and so on. The trick to getting government assistance is taking the initiative to seek it and knowing where to look. Once you know this, representatives in each program can help you with the application process.

Step 1

Visit your local Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) office. DHS case workers can let you know which government assistant programs you may be eligible for, give you the applications for those programs and give you referrals to other government agencies that can help you. The DHS office can help you obtain food stamps, health insurance, job training, enforce child support, mental health and medical services and adoption or foster care support. The DHS office also helps those who are refugees, homeless or are in need of temporary financial assistance.

Step 2

Talk to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) representative for housing needs. Programs offered by HUD provide housing rental assistance to low-income families, home loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and mortgage insurance.

Step 3

Fill out an application for assistance through the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are disabled. You can obtain an application by calling your local Social Security office and asking them to send one to you. Disability benefits may be awarded to children, youths and adults who have been disabled for at least 12 months or are expected to be disabled for this amount of time.

Step 4

Check out the Small Business Administration (SBA) if you need a loan for your business. The SBA provides small business loans as well as disaster loans. Talk you your district’s SBA office for more information about getting a loan for your business.

Step 5

Seek assistance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) if you are the victim of a crime. Reimbursement and compensation programs are available for those who are direct victims of an international terrorist act or for victims who have crime-related expenses. Contact your state’s DOJ office for more information regarding these programs.

Step 6

Contact your local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office if you live in a rural area and need housing assistance. The USDA offers rental assistance programs for rural-area apartments and home loans for houses in rural areas to qualifying low-income individuals.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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