7 Ways You Can Get Free Government Money

7 Ways You Can Get Free Government Money

Aileen Barker

by Aileen Barker
Senior Contributing Writer

Updated December 4, 2020
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7 Ways You Can Get Free Government Money

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There are hundreds, if not thousands, of government programs available that can provide financial assistance to those who need it.

Did you know that there are government programs available that supply funds and assistance to people in need? It may seem a little counterintuitive since most people are used to paying money to the federal government in the form of taxes.

There are many programs available that make it possible to get free money from the government for a variety of reasons. While many of these programs are specifically meant for low-income families, others serve other groups as well.

Apply for College Grants To Pay For Your Education

One of the most significant expenses people face in their lifetimes is the cost of college. Student loans are the most common way to pay tuition, but if you or your child are considering pursuing a college education in the future, there are free grants available to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

You can begin the application process online at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website to see if you qualify for the Pell Grant, but it could amount to thousands of dollars in assistance programs throughout your college career.

Buy A Home With Down Payment Assistance

If you are looking to buy a house, you may qualify for down payment assistance from the government. There are down payment grants available, and they vary by state, but you can visit the FHA Down Payment Grants page to see the different programs and whether they offer grants. Most states have more than one program, so if you don't qualify for one, make sure you check for other programs offered by another government agency.

Help with Child Care Expenses

Families with young children often have a difficult time covering the cost of daycare so they can earn a living to provide for their families. If you currently pay for or need childcare for your children, the Child Care and Development Fund may be able to provide assistance. On their website you can find a list of state offices that you can contact to see if you qualify for assistance for paying for child care. Whether you work for a large company, a small business, or are unemployed, it may not matter – if your income is within the limits, you can qualify.

Tax Credit for Health Insurance

As part of the Affordable Care Act, you may qualify for a credit towards your health insurance premiums. When you buy coverage through the government's marketplace at Healthcare.gov you will be able to see if you're eligible for a subsidized healthcare plan. A tax credit is a benefit you only take when you file taxes, but if you aren't applying it towards your tax return, you're leaving money on the table. Even if someone else prepares your taxes for you, you should be aware of the most popular tax credits and deductions you can take.

Search for Unclaimed Money

This one may seem a little strange, or even unbelievable, but it's true: have you heard of people finding out that they had unclaimed money they didn't realize existed? While this isn't technically money from the government, it is real money that is held by your state government in your name, and you can collect for free if you fill out some paperwork.

How does this free money accumulate? Typical sources of include things like utility bill refunds, stock dividends, expired gift card proceeds, or uncollected paychecks. State governments hold the funds, so each state has a different website and process. Start your search by visiting the unclaimed money search within your state.

Claim Unemployment Benefits

This may seem obvious, but many people don't think they qualify and don't bother applying: if you have lost your job, regardless of why, make sure that you apply for Unemployment, which will give you temporary benefits until you find a new job. The benefits you receive will vary based on what your income was and what your state offers. Most people can qualify for some temporary unemployment benefits while searching for a new job.

Apply For Help with Housing Repairs

People 62 and older who live in an urban area and meet specific income requirements may qualify for a government grant to help pay for repairs and improvements to their homes. The grant is called the Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grant Program. This program can provide a grant up to $7,500 that can be used to remove or repair safety hazards.

Get Help With Your Cell Phone and Internet Bill

If you're struggling to make ends meet financially, you should consider applying for the Lifeline Program which can provide you with a free phone and/or mobile phone service if you qualify. It's fairly a straightforward application process that will reduce or possibly eliminate your out-of-pocket cost for these services. There are income requirements that vary from one region to another, and if you are already receiving SNAP or Medicare benefits, you likely already qualify. If you've already got service, you won't have to switch carriers to take advantage of this benefit program.