How to Apply For Government Assistance

By Contributor

As of the date of publication, the U.S. economy is struggling, and you probably are as well. If you are having a difficult time paying your bills and supporting your family, there may be help for you. There are various forms of government assistance available to help you in your time of need. While it can be hard to ask for help, you should know it is available if you need it. Follow a few tips to apply for government assistance.

Almost every agency that offers government assistance requires the same information, so gather the necessary information ahead of time. You will need the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for all the members of your household, proof of employment and copies of your paycheck stubs, copies of your utility bills, vaccination records for your children and possibly copies of your previous year's taxes.

Once you have gathered all the information, you need to locate your local government agency. In some areas, this office is called the Department of Health and Human Services and, in other areas, it is called the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Your area may have a different name. The best way to find this office is to utilize the Internet.

You may be able to complete your application for government assistance online. However, you will need to eventually have a face-to-face appointment with a case worker to review your documentation and process your application completely. If you provide all the necessary documentation, you should receive confirmation or denial of benefits within 7 to 10 days.

Government assistance is determined based on income and need. You may be eligible to receive a variety of benefits, including cash assistance, food stamps, daycare assistance, medical benefits and help with your utility bills.

Once you begin receiving assistance, it is important to keep in mind you will have to reapply for assistance in the future to keep your benefits active. Stay in contact with your case worker to ensure your assistance is not discontinued.

Things You Will Need

  • Birth certificates and Social Security cards of your household members
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Copies of your bills
  • Proof of enrollment if you are attending school
  • Tax returns

Warning

Always be completely honest when applying for government assistance.