Where to Turn for Emergency Financial Assistance

Published June 2020

Getting laid off from your job or having your hours reduced can be stressful. That job was how you were able to provide for yourself and your family. It put a roof over your head and food on the table. When you lose your job, your income grinds to a halt. Unfortunately, the same can not be said about your expenses. There are still bills to pay, even when you aren’t making money. These bills can drain any savings you may have, leaving you in a desperate financial situation.

No matter how financially savvy you are, sometimes there is no way to avoid a financial crisis. But, you don’t have to let it ruin you. There are many programs offering emergency financial assistance to those in need. Here are several steps you can take to help you through a financial crisis.

Unemployment Benefit Services

After losing your job, the first step is to find the unemployment benefits available to you. Unemployment Benefits is a federal service, but benefits vary from state to state. Search the internet for unemployment services in your state to see which apply to you. For example, searching “unemployment services California” will provide you with the information you need in that state.

It can take up to three weeks between applying for the benefit and receiving any funds. So, in a desperate financial situation, you will also need emergency financial assistance.

Get Government Help

In an emergency financial crisis, look to your government for help. There are several programs in place to provide emergency help. The Federal government can assist you with financial aid, disaster relief, healthcare, and medical assistance. Like unemployment benefits, these vary from state to state. Search Google for government benefits in your state, for example “Government Benefits Maryland”. Here you will find the different types of emergency financial aid for which you qualify. The government can help by providing you with food aid and housing services.

Government Housing Services

Having no money to pay your rent or mortgage is frightening. Failing to pay your rent will leave you homeless, with nowhere to go. If you need emergency assistance with your housing payments, these programs can help: The Department of Housing (HUD) and Section 8 can help in an emergency financial situation. They provide housing vouchers and assistance to help people find more affordable housing.

If you own your own house and can not make your next mortgage payment due to financial difficulties, reach out to your lender. It is possible to work out a forbearance plan. You can also apply to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAMP is a federal service that provides a way to reduce homeowner's mortgage payments.

Government Food Aid

It’s incredibly stressful when money is tight and you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from. Thankfully, government-funded programs can provide your family with food in times of need.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is available to all citizens that qualify. Previously called Food Stamps, it is the most well-known food aid service in the US. SNAP provides you with a card that can buy food for you and your family when you are in need.

Get Help From Your Community

When faced with a difficult situation in life, the best place to turn can often be your local community. The people in your community are willing to help, sometimes all you need to do is reach out. There are organizations in place to assist members of the community in times of strife.

Even if you are not religious and do not belong to a church group, you can still reach out to your local church for assistance in a time of hardship. Most offer some form of assistance to families in desperate financial situations. Churches have community food pantries and receive donations from members of the community. This allows them to provide hot meals and food packages to people in need. If you are in a financial struggle and cannot provide food for your family, get in touch with your local church.

The Community Action Agency can also help with financial assistance. If you are falling behind on your bills, reach out to your local CAA. CAA’s operate in all 50 states in the US, so no matter where you are, you should be able to find emergency financial help. They may help pay overdue utilities and provide your family with transportation services.

If you are facing financial difficulties and need emergency assistance, try reaching out to charity groups in your local community. They may be able to provide you with cash to meet utility bills, give you food, and help find you shelter. Government programs are also in place to help you through a tough financial situation by offering services like food aid and housing assistance.