How to Qualify for Public Aid

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In order for an individual or family to receive public aid certain requirements must be met. Public aid consists of federally funded programs designed to assist individuals and families with low incomes, according to the Maps of the World website. Public aid includes medical expense assistance, public housing, disability assistance and food stamps. It is advisable that an individual researches public aid programs and gather personal information before applying for particular forms of public assistance. As requirements for assistance can vary between states, it is important to check state and national requirements.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Local phone book
  • Address of local public assistance office
  • Financial statements
  • Form of identification
  • Social security card
  • Log on to the Internet, if possible, in order to research the various forms of available public aid. The Give Well website explains that the goal of public assistance programs is to provide direct assistance to individuals or families experiencing financial hardships. Although some individuals will receive public aid long-term, the intent of the programs is to help citizens stabilize their lives and work towards improving their financial situation so that they will not need the aid indefinitely.

  • Access the Department of Health and Human Services website in order to learn about the various public aid programs, such as information about temporary financial and bill-paying assistance, low cost medical insurance, child care reimbursement, Medicare and Medicaid. It is helpful to be aware of the various programs available before visiting the local public assistance office.

  • Review the requirements for qualifying for public aid. The Give Well website notes that public aid is based on the federal poverty line. An individual is considered to be able to support himself if he or his family is 200 percent above the poverty line.

  • Schedule an appointment with a financial assistant at the local public assistance office. An individual or couple applying for public aid will need to provide financial statements, personal identification and social security cards, according to the Department of Health and Human Services website. The financial assistant will be able to analyze the financial situation and recommend programs for assistance.

  • Complete all of the necessary paperwork in order to begin receiving public assistance. It is important that an individual understands the conditions of the public aid, in addition to how long the aid will be available, notes the Give Well website. In most cases, public aid is meant to be a temporary form of assistance to help an individual or a family rebuild their lives.

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