If you need a little financial assistance to get through tough times, you may have heard that the U.S. government has a host of grants available to help you out, but this is only partially true. The government does have grants available, but they largely go to schools, organizations and research. Most government grants are not available to individuals, and none are available for personal financial assistance. There are, however, nonprofit and private organizations that offer grants for personal financial assistance and a variety of other purposes.
Personal Government Grants
While there aren't many government grants available to individuals, there are various government programs that can offer financial assistance. When looking for government grants or benefits, be sure to avoid scams by searching only on official government websites. Search government databases for benefits, grants and loans to assist with affordable rental housing, food assistance, education or assistance paying bills, among other categories of aid. These government grants and programs have different eligibility requirements and typically cater to low-moderate income applicants as well as veterans, the unemployed and retirees.
Nonprofit and Private Grants
Where government grants for personal financial assistance may be somewhat lacking, there are numerous nonprofit and private organizations that assist those in need. Like government grants and benefits, these nonprofit grants do not have to be repaid, and each has its own eligibility criteria. You can find assistance in different areas ranging from help with utility bills, holiday gifts, emergency food assistance and much more.
One such nonprofit is Modest Needs. Modest needs is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation that offers short-term and one-time assistance to those who qualify. This organization's focus is on individuals who don't qualify for other types of assistance, but who are still in need. The organization offers self-sufficiency grants, homecoming heroes grants for returning U.S. veterans and holiday gift grants.
If you find yourself faced with unexpected healthcare costs and you can't afford the co-payment or other out-of-pocket expenses, you may be able to get some relief from the HealthWell Foundation. The HealthWell Foundation assists under-insured people with chronic or life-altering diseases, and since 2004 has helped more than 320,000 patients with medication or treatments they'd otherwise not have been able to afford. In 2016, more than $169.8 million in grants were awarded through its Disease Funds. Requirements for assistance include your current health insurance status, medical condition and income level.
There are unscrupulous organizations and websites that prey on those looking for personal financial assistance. It's best to do your homework and thoroughly research any organization, charity or website before applying for assistance. Charity Navigator is one site you can use to double-check a charity before either donating or inquiring about assistance.