How To Find and Apply For Government Assistance Programs

How To Find and Apply For Government Assistance Programs

Updated October 13, 2020
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How To Find and Apply For Government Assistance Programs

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Public financial assistance is available in the form of government grant money. Learn which you qualify for, and how to apply for them.

Government grants are essentially a form of financial assistance provided by the government to encourage growth, stabilize the economy, develop communities, and improve peoples' living standards. This money is awarded to individuals and organizations upon application and qualification, and once awarded, the money often does not need to be repaid. 

There are a variety of agencies that help with the administration and distribution of this financial assistance. These agencies also serve as the point of contact to facilitate how people apply for government grants. Free government grants are available to qualifying financially responsible US citizens.

Each grant is designed to target a specific issue or need of society. Many grants are accessible all through the year, while others have annual or periodic application deadlines.

Grants aren't just arbitrarily awarded for nonspecific reasons. To be considered for a grant, you submit a properly completed application demonstrating your eligibility for funding. But before you can even apply, you must determine which grant or grants are relevant to your specific need or situation.

Types Of Government Grants That Are Available

Many types of publicly available financial assistance come as free government grant money for US citizens and organizations. It is best to decide where you wish to solicit financial help from, to boost your chances of approval. When you apply for government grants in the wrong agencies, it can be time and resources wasting and discouraging when rejected. Fortunately, you can apply for government grants as many as possible. The best thing about this public financial assistance is that they are all free.

Grants exist at the federal, state, and even county level for a variety of different reasons. The most common types are education grants, disability grants, Grants for minorities, relocation grants, energy grants, and childcare/development assistance programs.  

Education Grants

Getting an education can be expensive, and most students take on debt to afford the cost. Many other potential students will forgo their desire to pursue a college education because they can't afford it. For this reason, the government provides a variety of grant funding to help make college more affordable.

  • Pell Grant: The Pell Grant provides free financial assistance for low-income students, disabled students, minority students, and former military students. To be considered for this type of funding, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This form helps the government determine the applicant's ability to pay for a student's college fees. 

  • Grants for Schools: Schools often need funding to provide high-quality educational resources. They also help schools weather harsh economic conditions or low enrollment. Most grants of this type are offered at the institutional level – individuals do not qualify.

  • Teaching Grants: Teaching grants are financial incentives offered to aspiring teachers to promote specific programs, such as art, science, and music. If you think you might want to study to become a teacher, you should review the available government grants in this category. 

Relocation Grants and Financial Assistance

The Housing and Urban Development Relocation Assistance and several government agencies run programs that provide relocation financial assistance to those who must relocate but cannot afford to do so. To apply for government grants in this category, you reach out to your local Public Housing Authority to complete the application. If you are successful, you may receive relocation assistance for up to 3 years. 

Disability Grants and Assistance

People with disabilities face unique challenges and have access to additional grant funding opportunities. These individuals qualify for disability grants to help with a variety of needs, including education, housing, and living expenses. To apply for government grants in this category, you must obtain legal testimonial and confirmations from doctors of your disability.  

The Supplemental Security Income program, also known as SSI, is the most common type of assistance in this category. However, there are many lesser-known grants in this category , including Home Based Primary Care, Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Benefits Program, Disabled Veterans Outreach, and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. 

The Energy Assistance Grants

The US Energy department provides several programs designed to provide individuals and large organizations with funding assistance. Whether you are a startup company in the energy sector trying to launch a pilot project or an established company that needs to expand, you can tap into energy support grants to help your business grow.

These energy grants are issued at the federal or state level, including the Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy, LPO Investments, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, and State Energy Programs. 

Childcare/Development Financial Assistance Programs

Caring for children is especially difficult for low-income working parents. For some people, their wages aren't enough to cover the childcare expense that enables them to work. The United States' Child Care and Development Block Grant Act offers federal financial assistance to states. This funding is then made available to assist low-income families and organizations with children under age 13.

The grant is administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Child care organizations and programs who want to apply for government grants specified for childcare must comply with state health and safety requirements. Part of this available financial assistance is also used to improve the quality of childcare through provider training. To apply for government grants for childcare and development, you should contact the lead agency for childcare in your state to get the application settled. 

Annually, the United States Government gives out a significant amount of money as financial assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Over $400 Billion has been awarded through grants to qualified businesses, organizations, and US citizens.

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