What Is a Government Hardship Grant?
This is a type of grant provided by the government to give people fast cash to help them pay their bills, such as household bills, medical bills, etc. It also works as a government assistance or debt relief program for individuals who are in need and low-income families.
Unlike loans where you have to pay back what you owe with interest, government grants and benefits are not expected to be returned. They are also widely available and adaptable, ensuring that there are always new financing opportunities.
Who Can Get a Financial Hardship Grant from the Government?
The federal government only gives hardship grants to state governments, local governments, nonprofit organizations, universities and colleges, research labs, law enforcement agencies, and businesses. These grants are aimed toward funding programs that can benefit an entire community or specific groups.
There is currently no government hardship grant for individuals to cover personal expenses or start businesses. However, there are federal benefit programs to help individuals and low-income families lower their expenses or become financially self-sufficient.
These programs come essentially as government subsidies to help offset the cost of services and commodities, ranging from health insurance to food, education, etc. This way, families in need can use their limited resources to further improve their economic situation.
Recipients of these benefits must provide proof of their low income. Most of these programs are only available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Many of them also have state requirements, depending on family size and combined family income.
How to Apply for Government Hardship Grants?
You can apply for these grants by visiting the official website, Grants.gov. Here, you will get access to over 1,000 government programs for free. You can search for these grants according to your needs, then click on the relevant program you want.
There, you will find the complete details, including eligibility criteria, what it entails, the deadline for application, etc. Before going ahead with a government hardship grant application, you will need to prove that you are eligible and needy.
Once you find the grant you need and fill in the required information, you can complete the application process.
How Does the Government Help Me with a Hardship Grant?
Despite the federal government not providing hardship grants for individuals, several government benefits can help take care of your expenses. These programs can help people with low incomes get financial help for the following:
Food Benefit Programs
The federal government provides many food-assistant benefits to help people struggling to bring home the bacon. For instance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, may be what you need to pay for groceries.
If eligible, you can get a benefit card to help you pay at specific grocery stores or farmers' markets. Furthermore, there is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program that provides packages of healthy food to senior citizens every month.
Likewise, the WIC Program is a short-term benefit for mothers and their young children. It includes access to healthy food and nutrition counseling. Children in school can also get healthy, free or discounted lunches through the National School Lunch Program.
There are also healthcare programs available to people with low income. A typical example is Medicaid, a program that offers free and discounted health services to people and families with low incomes.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is another great offering that is available for low-income families that do not qualify for Medicaid. This program comes in to help children from such families.
Housing Benefit Programs
The federal government also offers many housing benefits to low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. In the Public Housing Program, the government provides rental apartments or houses for the above-listed people. It helps low-income families afford housing stability and well-resourced housing opportunities.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is another great program for people with limited incomes that is lower than their energy bills. It is a form of home improvement to pay for air conditioning and heating bills at a low cost. Likewise, the Housing Choice Voucher Program helps people with low-income pay for their rental housing.
It is cash assistance that the federal government uses to help people in need. There are different types of financial assistance, and one of the most significant ones is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
This welfare program provides cash, job training, and child care to families with low incomes for a limited period. You can enroll in the program at your local county office. Another one is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides cash to senior citizens and people with disabilities.
To learn more, visit the following websites:
Alternative Options to Hardship Grants: Find a Loan
While government grants for financial hardship may provide you with fast cash, they are not designed for individuals. Hardship loans may come in handy if you need quick cash. Some of the loan options you can try include:
401(k) Hardship Withdrawal
You may have some immediate financial needs in some circumstances. In that case, you can borrow some money from your 401(k) plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows a 401(k) hardship withdrawal for emergencies like medical expenses, tuition, and fees, funeral expenses, to prevent house eviction, etc.
Before you get this type of loan, your employer must have implemented this feature, and you must have been contributing. Your employer or plan administrator will also decide if you qualify for the loan or not.
A cash advance is an attractive option because it provides quick funding to people. You can get access to cash advances through WeLoans. The process is convenient as you can easily specify the cash advance amount you need.
WeLoans connects you with independent lenders who are willing to offer cash advances with reasonable terms. Once the lender approves your loan and you sign the loan agreement, you will get instant funding. The cash advance may be up to $5,000 depending on the lender.
The Best Place to Take out a LoanApply Now
You can take personal loans for any financial reason, including financial hardship. You will have to pay the money back in monthly installments, including the agreed interest. Most personal loans are not backed by collateral, and you can repay them within two to seven years.
There are direct lenders available to provide loans from $100 to $35,000 if you need to meet their qualification criteria. The interest rate and related fees will depend on the loan amount, loan term, and credit score. You can also get personal loans from banks, credit unions, online lenders, etc.