Every state in the United States recognizes and has laws and rules to deal with and assist its citizens when some of its citizens fall into a situation of financial emergency. Each state has its own state Dept. of Welfare for families and especially for children. Each state also provides its Dept. of Welfare with a variety of tools that can be of help to a family in a financial crisis, with a focus on protecting the weak, sickly, and, again, especially any children. A few examples of the assistance tools are food stamp programs, emergency healthcare, and job assistance and placement programs. Each state approaches these situations a little differently, but each state does have the same goal, and that is to assist when and where possible. As mentioned before, each state has its own rules around its own welfare programs. These rules include the criteria for a family or individual to qualify to state welfare assistance. Each state’s guideline on income is likely different, and the state that makes a difference to a family is the one in which the family resides.
The initial step for an individual or family in gaining any possible assistance is to recognize that the family or individual is in a situation where assistance is needed. Many people admitted that they were embarrassed at having fallen into a financial difficulty. Delaying the inquiring to the local state welfare office only increases the difficulties that the family or individual are trying to handle. It simply and all too often just makes it that more difficult. Recognizing that the issue exists leads to the contacting of the local state office of state welfare to ask questions but primarily to set up an appointment. The representative will be able to provide answers and direction to just about every question and concern one might have. One simply needs to ask. Ask the representative what information and evidence one should bring to the meeting. The typical types of needed information are: overdue and upcoming homecare bills, eviction notices or overdue mortgage bills, food expenditure receipts, birth and medical records for each member of the family (medical record copies can be made by one’s doctor(s) – simply tell that the records are for your appointment with welfare), and current school information for each child that is in school.
Another group one can petition is local non-profit charitable organizations. Make an appointment. Bring the same information to the appointment. Many such organizations receive donations and local town and city support for assisting residents of that town or city that need ready cash or longer term assistance for food and shelter. Find out about every such organization in the area and petition at each one for assistance. These organizations have unique processes and rules in assisting, but many often require less information than does the state. Look for grants by any entity as this may be a source of cash. Application requirements are likely to differ with each organization as well as its processing of applications. Be patient.
Even if getting assistance is difficult, keep the state welfare rep who is assigned to the family or individual case. This person may be able to make additional suggestions.