Fourth Stimulus Won’t Happen, But These Federal Programs Aid Those In Financial Need

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miodrag ignjatovic /

Unless you live in California, which is currently in the midst of offering statewide stimulus checks to those in need, it’s very unlikely you’ll be receiving any additional Federal assistance any time soon. And with the end of federal unemployment assistance back in September, you may feel at even more of a loss.

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The American Rescue Plan issued $300 weekly payments for eligible persons who were unemployed and unable to work due to pandemic-related reasons. Many states decided to do away with the money earlier in the year, but those payments came to their full several months back.

Fortunately, there are a bevy of federal options still available to you if you are in need of financial help. However, it’s important to check your state’s website regarding unemployment benefits. Each state provides its own programs and treats the taxation of unemployment benefits differently. Below are programs available from the federal government, separate from your state, that can provide help.

Self-Employment Assistance

The Department of Labor provides funds for states to partake in a voluntary program called self-employment assistance. SEA provides weekly allowances, and SEA allowances are the same weekly amounts as the worker’s regular unemployment insurance benefits. The difference is that participants work full-time on starting their business instead of looking for wage and salary jobs.  The program is designed to encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses. States can pay a SEA allowance instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits to help unemployed workers while establishing businesses. To see if your state participates and to access The State Workforce Agency website, click here.

Make Your Money Work for You

Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance

If you are unable to return to work due to a classifiable disability, you may be able to receive compensation from federal programs. Short-term policies may pay for up to two years and most last for a few months to a year. Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.

Disability can range from certain pregnancies to injuries, so look here for all the definitions under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

The CSFP is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), and provides low-income elderly individuals with supplemental nutritious food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture each month. In order to be eligible for the program, an individual must be 60 years or older and must have household income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

TANF is a federally funded, state-run benefits program. It is also known as welfare and helps families achieve independence after experiencing temporary difficulties. TANF can help with daily essentials such as food, housing, home energy, child care and job training.

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Last updated: October 18, 2021


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