How to Apply for Low Income Help

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There are many resources out there for low-income families. The government has programs that can help low-income families pay for food, heat for their home, college education and housing. Many people do not know that there are resources out there for them and where to go to get the help they need.

Apply for Low-Income Housing

  • Visit your local Housing Authority or HUD office. They have programs for public housing, low income home ownership and Section 8. Find out when their open application period is. Public housing is always available, but applications are not necessarily accepted all year round.

  • Fill out the application. Like most government programs, the application process is usually long and involved. Stick with it and fill it out completely.

  • Gather all of the necessary paperwork. These programs require documentation of your situation. You will to provide proof of income, your identity and the identity of any dependents.

  • Send in all of your paperwork and wait for an appointment. You may have to go through more than one appointment before you are completed with the entire application process. If you are in dire need of housing, let the case worker know this. They will often move you to the top of the waiting list and give you resources to find temporary housing.

  • Continue to check in with them. For programs such as Section 8 and HUD home ownership, you will be placed on a waiting list. Check in with your social worker to see where you are on the waiting list and what you need to do in the mean time.

Government Assistance

  • Visit your local State Department of Human Resources. Fill out an application for food stamps and/or welfare assistance. Most states allow you to apply for Medicare at the same time so that you and your family can also receive health benefits. If you need this, make sure that you indicate this. You can fill out the application and leave it there. They will either give you an appointment right then or mail it to you in a couple of days.

  • Gather all of your documentation before your appointment. If you are in dire need of food stamps and/or cash for your family, you can receive benefits immediately as long as you provide proof of this. Bring all the documents that they require on the day of your appointment.

  • Complete all requirements. Depending on your state, you may be required to participate in programs that help you find a job or some type of training. Participate with these programs so that you can continue to receive your benefits.

Tuition Assistance

  • Fill out the FAFSA application at your school's financial aid office or online. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) pays all or some of the tuition of students from low income families. You may be qualified for grant and/or loan money.

  • Take in proof of income to the financial aid office. You may be required to produce the previous year's tax return to prove financial status.

  • Receive your SAR in the mail. The SAR is a form from the Department of Education that states how much assistance that you will qualify for. This is for your records; the school would have received a copy if you listed them during the application process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check with the local Department of Human Resources for other programs that can help you with other assistance.

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