Twenty-six weeks of unemployment benefits is just not long enough for a rehire in these severe recessionary times. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are learning that stark truth. Job hunts are taking an historically unprecedented amount of time. Though the checks have quit coming, you still have ways to keep shelter (your home) and foodstuffs in the pantry. The odd thing about these extra benefits that people can apply for has to do with pride.
Some Americans have looked down their nose at folks who sought assistance under these programs. Other Americans have felt too proud to avail themselves of these benefits. This well-meaning country attached some funds from each American hard-earned salary to protect the unfortunate. These programs exist for every American. It is foolish to forgo programs that were meant as safety nets for anybody in need.
Workers out of work may be approved for a compensation extension. Extensions are not uncommon. In fact, these tough times have pushed government administrators to automatically extend all benefits from time to time. The higher the jobless rates, the better your chances for an extension.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that used to be called public assistance or welfare. Federally funded, this program can help you pay for fact-of-life expediencies. Food stamps and even help with your job search are among the benefits. To be eligible for TANF, you will have to meet certain benchmarks. It is true that TANF is funded by the federal government, but each state is allowed to administer the disbursement of food stamps and payouts. So benefits can vary somewhat from state to state.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) oversees the parceling out of food stamp benefits for folks all over the nation. Qualifying for SNAP will allow you food stamps for up to twenty-six weeks. If that is not enough time, you can re-apply and get extensions that will last from 13-20 weeks. Your income, or lack thereof, and the number in your household will determine the monetary amount of assistance you will receive.
Nowadays, food stamp benefits come in the form of an EBT card. Monthly money will be automatically and electronically sent directly to your EBT card account. You use it much as you would a debit card. Restrictions apply regarding your purchases. Household items, like paper cups or floor wax, or pre-prepared foods from the deli such as salads or birthday cakes, are not usually covered with an EBT card.
Low income people who cannot afford traditional benefit from a federal program termed Medicaid. Your health care provider is paid directly from the program. If you are eligible for Medicaid, in some states you may have to cover some of your health care costs. In other states, the program can cover one-hundred percent of the medical costs. Also, if you do not qualify, your children may. Probably the best approach is to apply and see who in your household might be covered.
Home Energy Assistance Program (H.E.A.P.) lends a hand to households experiencing financial problems who need energy bill assistance. Once you qualify, you will receive help paying your winter heating bills and your summer air-cooling bills.
There is certainly no need to feel bad about applying for these benefits. You paid hard-earned money in taxes to provide these benefits for others, it is just that now you are one of the others. No embarrassment needed or wanted.
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