Government grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals with a specific goal. Grant money never has to be repaid. If you are a Social Security recipient in need of help, government programs are available that can provide you with cash or bill-paying assistance. Supplemental Security Income and other government programs that provide emergency or reoccurring financial help are grants. Eligibility requirements for programs vary.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income -- or SSI -- benefits are available to adults over age 65, and disabled or blind individuals who do not receive enough to cover their basic needs. Although the SSI program is administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is funded by general-tax revenues. Applicants must meet certain income limits to qualify. Limits vary depending on your state, living arrangement, number of people living in the household and the type of income you receive. At the time of publication, the federal benefit rate is $674 for an individual and $1,011 for a couple. If approved, you will receive SSI payments each month.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides housing assistance to individuals and families who have a limited income. As long as you fall within the income-and-eligibility guidelines, you are eligible for HUD help. Generally, your income must be at or below 50 percent of the area median income for your county. In addition to public housing, you may qualify for rental aid to cover a private house or apartment through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. You must contribute 30 percent of your income to rent, while HUD pays the remaining balance. Subsidized housing is another option for low-income tenants. Apartments receive funding directly from HUD to offer rentals to the community at a reduced rate based on income. HUD will periodically review your eligibility to make sure you still qualify for assistance.
Department of Human Services
Your local department of human services is in charge of administering federal-assistance programs. In most states, SSI recipients are automatically eligible for food assistance and Medicaid. Social Security recipients are also eligible for Medicaid to supplement Medicare benefits as long as they meet the income and resource guidelines. People with low incomes may also qualify for cash grants on a monthly basis through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- or TANF -- program. The amount you receive varies depending on your state, household size and income. Cash can be used to pay bills, expenses or other needs.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps with electric, gas and propane bills for households who are unable to pay energy costs. Assistance is awarded in the form of a one-time payment contribution to prevent interruption of services or to reconnect service. The program is open to all households who have an income at or below 60 percent of the state-median income. When funding is limited, priority is given to elderly, disabled and households with children under 6 years of age.