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You May Be Eligible For More Assistance Than You Think

 

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Sometimes we are thrust into a position we hadn’t planned for. Raising children is expensive, no doubt about it! If you could use some help in this area, see some things below that you may qualify for.

FINANCIAL

  • Check out Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in your state. This is a program of the federal government designed to help families achieve independence. States are given block grants and include programs that may include cash assistance, food stamps, and free or low-cost daycare. You can contact Social Services or your state’s TANF program.
  • If you make too much to qualify for TANF, see if a “Child-Only Grant” or Work First program is available to you.
  • See if the child is eligible for Social Security benefits. If the child is disabled, or if their parents are deceased, he may receive benefits. If he is a dependent grandchild, he may also qualify. He should be eligible for benefits when the grandparent retires. If the grandparent is already retired, he (she) would have to adopt the child for him to get benefits. This generally applies to children under 18, or 18 – 19 and a full-time student. You can find out if the child is eligible at your local Social Security office, or call 800-772-1213 or see www.ssa.gov.
  • Also, go to benefitscheckup.org to see if you qualify for other financial programs. This may include help with prescriptions, energy bills, and food.
  • If you care for the child more than six months of a given year, you can probably claim the dependent exemption, which reduces your taxable income. You may be able to take the earned income credit on your taxes. This will depend on your income and the number of people living in your home. Of course, for any of this, you should be able to provide proof that the child lives with you if the IRS challenges the deduction.
  • If the child is placed in your care through the foster care system, you are usually given a set amount for his care. This can be discussed with his social worker.
  • If you decide to adopt, you may be able to get financial assistance with this.
  • Remember, if the child has special needs, there are many resources available to you.There is an increasing number of resources, so you may find more. I encourage you to explore websites and talk to people who can help you find solutions for your situation.I hope you find something useful to you or someone you know in this list. 
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