People in need of financial assistance can seek the support of numerous private and public agencies. Financial assistance programs are designed to help individuals with expenses such as rent, education, medical bills and small business start-up funds. Some programs are provided based on financial need or family size. Prior to requesting financial assistance, applicants are advised to review the eligibility criteria.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides cash payments to qualified families. The eligibility criteria to receive TANF payments is determined according to family size and income. Monthly TANF cash payments can be used to purchase household necessities such as food, laundry supplies and household equipment as well as for making utility and rent payments or to purchase medical supplies. Eligible applicants will receive TANF payments for up to six months. TANF recipients are required to renew their benefits every six months, and can only receive assistance for 12-36 months. TANF also provides a one-time financial assistance of $1,000 to qualified applicants. Applicants must meet income and household size requirements to qualify for the one-time TANF financial assistance. Cash payments can be used to cover the cost of medical emergencies or to pay living expenses during short-term crises such as a job loss.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross supports military personnel and their family members under the Casualty Travel Assistance Program. CTAP provides financial support to cover emergency travel and burial expenses for service members who were killed while on active duty. The fund can also be used to visit service members who were wounded in a combat zone. CTAP funds can be used to cover expenses such as air travel, lodging and meals. Applicants should contact their local Red Cross to obtain the guidelines and submit their request.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration provides a comprehensive service to entrepreneurs who wish to start or expand their business. In partnership with several financial institutions, SBA offers financial support to small business owners through guaranteed loans, bonds and venture capital programs. The service is designed to meet the financial needs of small business owners, and is administered by SBA.
U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
The U.S. Department of Education provides financial aid in the form of grants and loans to help cover the costs of tuition and living expenses. To be eligible for financial assistance, students must first file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, available online. Pell Grants are need-based assistance programs designed to assist students attending DOE-authorized postsecondary institutions; students receive check payments directly from participating institutions.
Selam Nuri has been writing academic articles and working across the curriculum since 2001. She has been published online at various websites and earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2006 from the City University of New York.