What Benefits and Financial Assistance U.S. government provide?

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed government aid services to their breaking point, as many people who had never needed them before were forced to use them. Here’s a list of significant government financial assistance and benefit programs for individuals and businesses, links to where and how to apply for them, and relevant deadlines.

Financial Assistance and Benefits For Individuals and Family

If you qualify due to low salaries, these programs will provide benefits in the form of funds, commodities, or services to help with essential living expenditures.

COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

Unemployment insurance (UI) is a federal-state program that compensates a portion of your salary if you lose your job due to no fault of your own. UI benefits are calculated as a proportion of a year’s earnings and can last up to 26 weeks. Remember that UI benefits are subject to federal taxes as well. You can seek an extension if necessary, but it is not guaranteed. The program is operated by individual states, each with its own eligibility and filing procedures.

Many allow you to file online, over the phone, or in person, though the COVID-19 outbreak has temporarily prevented in-person applications in many locations. When unemployment is high, several states grant longer benefits. However, this does not necessarily imply that you are eligible for more assistance.

During the epidemic, the federal government provided unemployment assistance through three unique programs:

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): A temporary program that prolonged an individual’s unemployment benefits. After finishing traditional UI benefits, eligible individuals received unemployment benefits for a total of 53 weeks.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): The PUA extended unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals, freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time employees. Self-employed people may not be eligible for UI, and PUA assists in providing them with financial assistance if they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
  • Individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were eligible for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Individuals who were qualified were given an additional $300 per week in federal benefits in addition to their normal unemployment benefits beginning March 14, 2021.
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LWA (Lost Wage Assistance) Program

The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program, which began on August 1, 2020, was a federal-state unemployment program that paid qualifying claimants $300 to $400 per week. The federal government funded $300 per claimant from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), with states responsible for the remaining $100.

LWA was created in reaction to the FPUC program’s expiration on July 31, 2020, and was intended to provide compensation until December 27, 2020.

Advantages of Unemployment Insurance

  • Partial pay until rehired or find another job.
  • It’s time to look for new/better job opportunities.
  • Possibility of pursuing education or training for a different career path.

The Drawbacks of Unemployment Insurance

  • Income is lower than when working (usually).
  • Regular benefits are only available for 26 weeks.
  • There are no employer-provided healthcare benefits.
  • Unemployment payments are taxed as income.

The following table compares the eligibility conditions for ordinary UI and FPUC, as well as the availability of certain benefits.

Type of UnemploymentU.S. CitizenSelf-Employed, etc.Job Loss ReasonExtra 13 WeeksLWA $300 Bonus
Unemployment insurance (UI)YesNoNot your faultMaybeYes
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)YesYesCOVID-19YesNo

Source: U.S. Department of Labor and FEMA

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), generally known as welfare, is another federally financed, state-run benefits program aimed to assist families in regaining independence after a period of hardship. Qualified applicants may be eligible for assistance with food, housing, home energy, childcare, and job training. TANF beneficiaries are required to participate in work activities as defined by their state.

Each state administers its own TANF program and establishes qualifying criteria. To sign up for assistance, go to your local county social services agency or call your state TANF office for local contact information. Qualifying for TANF does not exclude you from receiving other government programs.

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Benefits of TANF

  • Provides much-needed aid to families.
  • Targeted assistance for children.
  • Can complement income if you currently work.
  • Provides job training to encourage independence.

The disadvantages of TANF

  • The money required to qualify is frequently insufficient, which can result in a negative social stigma.
  • Uneven coverage due to state regulations.
  • Job searching may be discouraged.

Benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

People who are likely to die from a medical condition that prevents them from working for at least a year will get Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

To qualify, you must:

  • Have held a job or occupation that qualified for Social Security.
  • Meet the requirements for disability under Social Security.
  • Have sufficient recent and previous job history of being eligible for disability benefits.

The Social Security Disability Benefits pamphlet contains more details about SSDI. You can check if you qualify using the Social Security Disability Planner. You can submit an online application if you think you qualify.

More information on SSDI can be found in the Social Security Disability Benefits pamphlet. You can check your eligibility using the Social Security Disability Planner. You can apply online if you think you qualify.

Benefits of SSDI

  • Higher monthly income Social Security earnings record is frozen.
  • the potential for tax-free income.
  • provides rehabilitation and employment incentives.

SSDI’s disadvantages

  • It takes a long time to process and approve SSDI claims.
  • Low earnings
  • Eligibility will be evaluated every six months to seven years, based on the anticipation of medical condition improvement/recovery.
  • Can result in the loss of Medicaid or SSI benefits.

Rental Housing Subsidies

Subsidized rental housing comes in three varieties: privately owned subsidized housing, the housing choice voucher (HCV) program (previously Section 8), and U.S.Public housing provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. You find the housing you desire and apply for it at the leasing office when it is privately held. Resources.HUD.gov allows you to look for housing.

If you are not a qualified resident of Section 8 housing, you are more likely to use public housing. This means that you must rent from a local public housing authority, depending on your income. Depending on where you apply, there may be long wait times for HCV and public housing programs.

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Advantages of Subsidized Rental Housing

  • Lower-than-market rental rates.
  • The advantage of government control.
  • The ability to save for something better.
  • Programs provide options.

Cons of Subsidized Rental Housing

  • Can drain city resources and services.
  • Some of the current homes are in high-crime regions.
  • It is difficult to qualify.
  • Long waiting lists.

Immediate Assistance

If you need food right now, the USDA operates a National Hunger Hotline at 866-3-HUNGRY (866-348-6479), providing information and eligibility requirements in English and Spanish. The hotline, which connects you with emergency food providers, government programs, and social support agencies, is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Women, Infants, and Children’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC)

WIC provide low-income women and their young kids with nutritious food, dietary advice, and health, wellness, and social services consultations.

To be eligible, the mother must be pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum (up to six months after birth) with infants or children under the age of a year (under the age of five).


This insurance program is for the person aged above 65 years. Discuss to your human resources department regarding one’s Medicare offering and criteria if you are still working and protected by employer-provided health insurance 3 months before your 65th birthday.

The yearly deductible for Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital stays and nursing care, is $1,484 in 2021 and $1,556 in 2022. Most people do not pay a monthly Part A premium, and there are no coinsurance costs for hospital stays of 60 days or more.

Part B of Medicare provides doctor visits, tests, flu vaccines, physical therapy, and chemotherapy. Many Part B customers will pay a monthly premium of $148.50 in 2021 and $170.10 in 2022. The Part B deductible in 2021 is $203 and $233 in 2022.

Medicare Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program, which is handled by commercial insurance companies as an optional benefit. In 2021, the average monthly cost for Medicare Part D coverage will be $31.47, rising to $33 in 2022.

In conclusion, Many government assistance programs are available to individuals and businesses, some offering financial assistance, others providing services or resources. If you need help, try to find out what resources are available and see if you qualify for them. Many of these programs can help ease people’s financial burdens, particularly after the Covid pandemic.

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