Just one week remains to claim your benefits from LIHWAP and other grant programs! We’ve got the scoop on these upcoming deadlines as well as other low income news you need to know.
Every week, our team digs through thousands of headlines to find the information that you need to know. This week’s coverage includes free food, resource fairs, grant programs, help with your bills and even some brand new low income housing opportunities!
Nationwide Low Income News
From LIHWAP’s impending end to some new Medicare improvements, this week’s low income news update is a mixed bag of good and bad news.
Of course, all of this is overshadowed by the recent Social Security repayment crisis that is destroying the financial stability of hundreds of thousands fo low income Americans. You can learn more about that heartbreaking development in last week’s low income update.
LIHWAP Ending Soon; Apply Now!
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program will end on September 30 unless Congress takes action to reauthorize it. This program has helped more than one million people pay their water bills since 2020.
If you are eligible, it is critically important that you apply for this program immediately. In some areas, the program can pay up to $18,000 toward your water bills. That’s an insane amount of money and it’s not something you can afford to miss.
Contact your water utility, Community Action Council, or state department in charge of food stamps to figure out what you need to do to apply. If you search LIHWAP in your state, you should be able to find those application instructions. But act fast – the deadline is only a week away!
Improved Access to Medicaid for Seniors
This week, the Biden Administration finalized a rule that will make it easier for low income seniors to enroll in the Medicare Savings Program. This new rule cuts out some of the red tape and makes the program a bit simpler.
This program helps low income seniors get Medicaid to pay their Medicare premiums and cost-sharing. It is estimated that this rule will help 860,000 more seniors enroll.
This is especially important now because it was recently discovered that 1 in 4 low income seniors in America do not have any health care coverage.
Watch Out for Senior Medicare Scams!
Low income seniors are often targeted by scammers. According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund, 22% of low income seniors have received fraudulent calls, while only 10% of higher-income seniors have experienced this.
The study uncovered some troubling findings:
- Many seniors get unwanted calls and emails about Medicare plans, even though it’s not supposed to happen unless they ask for it.
- 96% of seniors feel overwhelmed by the numerous plan options available.
- 50% of them aren’t sure how hard it is to switch plans.
- 1 in 3 wish they knew more about benefits from different plans.
- 28% of low income seniors thought they wouldn’t need to change doctors when selecting a new plan.
- 25% of low income seniors want personal assistance in making this decision.
- 10% of seniors were asked for their Medicare or Social Security numbers before hearing about plan details.
Medicare open enrollment season runs from October 15 to December 7 every year. During this period, deceptive companies often use aggressive marketing tactics that can specifically target low income seniors. It’s crucial to exercise extreme caution.
Before making any decisions about changing your plan, it’s advisable to seek guidance from an unbiased third party. You can often find help from your local Area Agency on Aging.
Class action settlements happen when a company messes up, like using false advertising or selling faulty stuff. If you were hurt by it, there could be money coming your way.
You might actually have cash waiting for you right now and you might not even know it! Every dollar adds up so it’s important to keep an eye out for these settlements. Don’t miss out on the cash you deserve!
|Los Angeles Sewer Service Charges|
City of Los Angeles customers billed between May 4, 2016, and Jun 30, 2022
|Sept 24, 2023|
|Dole Fruit Bowl Settlement|
Anyone who bought a Dole Fruit Bowls product between January 1, 2017 and June 27, 2023
|Sept 25, 2023|
|TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Snack Sticks (est. $6)|
Anyone who bought TGI Friday’s shelf-stable Mozzarella Sticks snacks between January 1, 2017 and July 31, 2022.
|Sept 25, 2023|
|1st Auto & Casualty Insurance Sales Tax|
Missouri policyholders who were insured by 1st Auto and submitted a damage claim that resulted in a total loss between October 18, 2012 and May 5, 2022, may be eligible.
|Sept 27, 2023|
|Instagram Biometrics in Illinois|
Anyone who used Instagram while in Illinois between August 10, 2015 and August 16, 2023.
|Froedtert Health Meta Pixel Data Privacy|
If you logged into a MyChart patient portal that was maintained by Froedtert between February 1, 2017, and May 23, 2022, you may be eligible.
|Oct 5, 2023|
New settlements keep rolling in regularly, so remember to come back next week to review the updated list!
Fund Your Future with these Grants!
Have a business concept in mind? You’ll find grants available to support your business launch or expansion. This is essentially free money, with no repayment required!
Our sponsor, Skip, offers a database of entrepreneur loans to assist you in getting started. Below, you’ll find a list of grant programs currently open for applications:
|Awesome Grant – $1,000|
Got an awesome idea for a project or business? Apply on the Awesome Foundations website! You don’t need an established business or anything – just an awesome idea. This grant is awarded monthly.
|September Skip Grants – $1,000|
These grants are open to US-based small business owners. Applications are due September 27, 2023.
|#SupportSmallBiz Grant – $2,500|
This grant will be awarded to four Latinx small business owners who run for-profit businesses in the United States.
|$5,000 Skip Growth Grant – $5,000 |
This grant is available to US-based small business owners. Applications are due September 30, 2023.
|Small Business Sweepstakes – $5,000|
Index is giving away $5,000 to a small business owner! The application is quick and easy, and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. You have to apply by September 30, 2023.
|Fearless Strivers Grant Contest – $20,000|
The Fearless Fund is giving away $20,000 to four black women business owners! You must submit your application by September 30, 2023.
|IncFile Fresh Start Business Grant – $2,500|
If you’re thinking about starting a new business or growing your existing business in a significant way, then you may be eligible for a $2,500 grant and an IncFile Gold Plan! This grant requires you to submit a two-minute video and a business plan.
|FedEx Entrepreneur Fund 2023 – up to $10,000|
This program will provide $10,000 each to 30 eligible entrepreneurs. In order to be eligible, you must have a disability or a connection to the military (such as a veterans, military spouses or family members). Applications are due October 6.
|“No” Grant – $2,000|
This grant is open to US-based moms over age 18. Applications are due October 31, 2023.
Local Low Income News
We’ve found local low income news updates for Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, Wisconsin and Wyoming!
Find your state subheading below to find the information that applies to you.
On October 14, Pinal County is hosting a Veterans Resource Fair.
Contact your local Community Action Council for application instructions.
A new law has capped HOA fee increases to protect low income homeowners from foreclosure. The current law caps HOA fee increases at 20% for all homeowners, but many low income homeowners have been pushed into foreclosure because their HOA fees are higher than their entire mortgage after a few years. That’s why AB 572 ensures that low income homeowners’ HOA fees do not increase by more than 5% plus the rate of inflation or 10%, whichever is less. Unfortunately, this bill will only protect HOA documents signed after January 1, 2025.
Los Angeles has launched its Emergency Renters Assistance Program! This program is only accepting applications until October 2 so you need to act fast.
In order to be eligible, you need to meet these requirements:
- You must be a resident of the city of LA.
- At least one member of your household must have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income, significant expenses, or experienced financial hardship in or after March 2020.
- You must have unpaid rent that is was due any time between April 2020 and now.
- Your household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income.
To apply for the Los Angeles Emergency Renters Assistance Program, you will need to apply online or call (888) 379-3150 during open business hours.
In Brentwood, the City Council has unanimously approved a water and garbage bill discount for low income seniors and disabled customers. This plan could help eligible customers save $14.08 on their water bills and $10.73 on their garbage service.
In Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley, the Imperial Irrigation District’s Residential Energy Assistance Program is undergoing some changes. The age limit for the 30% discount was lowered from 62 to 60, and a 20% discount was implemented for eligible customers who are under the age of 60. Get the details on this and other changes from the Calexico Chronicle.
In Long Beach, there’s a new affordable housing complex for low income seniors! This development is called Heritage Gardens and serves those who are at least 55 years old. Applications are open now until October 6. Tenants will be selected on October 11.
In Orange County, applications are open for the Housing Choice Voucher Program waitlist. They are accepting 12,000 more households for the wait list. Applications will close September 29, so act fast!
In Tracy, the Tracy Seniors Association is helping seniors repair and modify their homes. Some of the things they can do include installing grab bars, handrails, ramps and more.
Don’t miss out on these upcoming events!
- Sept 27 – Virginia Avenue Park Open House & Resource Fair in Santa Monica
- Sept 28 – Gilroy Unified School District Resource Fair (includes free food, school supplies and more!)
- Sept 28 – MSJC Eagle Landing Resource Fair in San Jacinto
- Oct 1 – Sonoma County Housing Authority will open the Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist. It closes October 31!
- Oct 5 – Small Business Resource Fair in Encinitas
- Oct 8 – Down Syndrome Information Alliance resource fair in Sacramento
The city of Littleton has decided to redevelop Geneva Village. This development has provided housing for low income seniors for decades but needs about $5 million repairs to remain habitable. The city has decided to redevelop the site into new housing that will serve a wider range of residents.
Don’t miss out on the Special Education Legal Fund Resource Fair on Oct 1.
The Federal Poverty Level claims that a family of four is impoverished if they earn $30,000 a year or less. However, the United Way of Connecticut has found that a family of four needs to earn over $106,000 to cover a basic survival budget to to unprecedented inflation costs.
Meanwhile, Governor Lamont has announced that the state minimum wage will increase to $15.69 on January 1st.
Also, Eversource has announced a new Low Income Discount Rate for Connecticut customers. This new rate offers a 10-50% discount on the monthly electric bills for eligible low income customers. The changes will take effect December 2023.
The Delaware State Housing Authority has announced that three pandemic-era housing programs are nearly out of funding. If you qualify, you need to apply right away before these programs disappear forever.
The affected programs include Delaware Mortgage Relief Program (DEMRP) which provides up to $50,000 for housing-related delinquencies. It can be used toward mortgage, property tax, HOA or homeowner insurance payments. You can also receive up to $20,000 for critical home repairs. This program is expected to run out of funding early next year.
The other programs that will be closing include the Delaware Diamonds Home Loan and Home Sweet Home Programs.
Legal Services of North Florida was recently awarded a $481,386 grant from the Legal Services Corporation. This money is going to be used to boost their pro bono program throughout the 16-county service area.
On October 7, Miami Gardens Police Department is hosting a Field Day & Resource Fair.
On October 8, there will be a Community Resource Fair in Ocala. This event will offer raffle prices, vendors, food trucks and a ton of community resources that can help you meet your needs.
If Hurricane Idalia destroyed your home or made it uninhabitable, The American Red Cross may have emergency financial assistance for you.
In order to be eligible, you must meet these requirements:
- Your home must be located in a disaster-impacted area of the state.
- Your home must have sustained structural damage that requires extensive repair (or be so damaged that it cannot be repaired).
- You must provide proof of identity and residence.
If you think you’re eligible, visit the Red Cross website to schedule an appointment. You can also call (800) 733-2767.
- October 2 – LIHEAP applications open for seniors, people with disabilities and families with children
- November 2 – LIHEAP applications open for households in crisis
- December 1 – LIHEAP applications open for all other eligible households
The East Side Church of God in Anderson has received a grant to launch a new child care and early childhood learning program! They received grants to renovate six classrooms in the church facility. The classrooms will be able to accommodate 72 children by next spring.
On October 7, the Intersectional Resource Fair will be held in Davenport. If you attend, you could receive door prizes, raffle prizes and rewards. They also have games and more than 30 community resources that can help you with housing, education, employment, social justice, health care and more.
Kansas Legal Services recently received a $334,132 grant from Legal Services Corporation. This grant will be used to help Kansans with suspended licenses get their licenses reinstated. KLS has identified suspended licenses as a serious barrier to employment and education so they are looking forward to working on that.
On September 26, there will be a CFCC Veterans Resource Fair in Wichita. The event will take place between 10am and 2pm.
Waldo County Dental Care helps low income children and adults in Waldo County get dental services when they don’t have insurance. This organization specializes in helping people who haven’t been able to see a dentist in over a year. You must meet income limits to become a patient.
On Oct 8, the Autism Speaks Resource Fair will take place in Baltimore.
Don’t miss out on the Bourne Public Schools Resource Fair on Sept. 27!
Low income residents can apply for a home heating tax credit but you need to hurry! The deadline is September 30. You are required to have a lease or mortgage statement showing that you pay for housing in Michigan. You must also meet income limits. You must use the MI-1040CR-7 form to apply for this credit but you may be able to get free tax assistance if you need help.
Don’t forget about these upcoming deadlines!
- Oct 2 – Ann Arbor’s Guaranteed Income Program begins accepting applications
- Oct 13 – Ann Arbor stops accepting applications
Legal Assistance of Olmsted County will host a free event on October 5. This event is intended to help low income seniors create and update their wills. You need to be at least 55 years old and meet income limits in order to participate. Registration is required, so contact their organization right away to get registered.
Low income families can now apply for a $1,500 grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Close the Gap Grant program! This one-time grant can be awarded to K12 public and charter school students. Families who earn less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Level get priority. The money can be spent on the Odyssey Marketplace to get:
- Academic Apps & Subscriptions
- Art Enrichment
- Computer Equipment
- Course Fees
- Day & Summer Camp
- Educational Programs
- Instructional Resource Material
- Study Skills
Four Rivers Community Health Center is opening a new clinic in Rolla soon! The center is one of only 29 federally qualified health centers in Missouri. Their team helps low income families with family medicine, dental services, oral surgery, substance abuse and more. They have locations in St. Robert and Salem as well.
On October 5, an Autism Resource Fair will be held in Chillicothe. This event will take place at the Calvary Baptist Family Life Center between 4:30 and 6:30 pm. The event will include a free meal, giveaways, and tons of resources for families who have a child with autism.
Don’t forget about the Oct 1 deadline to claim your $675 property tax rebate! This is your last chance to get this check.
Feeding Pets of the Homeless recently received a grant from Albertsons Company Foundation. FPH provides free pet food, supplies, and veterinary care to animals that belong to homeless humans. This organization is located in Carson City. If you need help, you can call (775) 841-7463.
Lac Cruces is developing a publicly-funded guaranteed income program! This pilot project is expected to provide payments for up to 18 months. It is still in early stages, so very few details are available at this time.
On September 26, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office is hosting a Reentry Employment Resource Fair. Employers will be on site to help with interviews, resume prep and job readiness skills for those who have been previously incarcerated.
On September 28, a resource fair will be held at the Kennedy Memorial Park in Hempstead. It will take place between 10am and 2pm. The main purpose of the event is to highlight job opportunities for people who are involved with the justice system.
On October 3, CPC Manhattan Community Services will host an HRA Pop-Up Event to help local residents get help replacing stolen EBT benefits. This event will be held at the Chinese-American Planning Council Inc between 10 am and 4pm.
Buncombe County residents may be able to get help from the Septic Repair Assistance Program. This program can help you with the costs required to repair your system. Before you apply, you are expected to obtain a repair permit and get bids from at least three contractors.
On Sept 26, a Veterans Resource Fair will be held at Cape Fear Community College.
Alliance is getting a new grocery store in an area that was previously designated as a food desert. This is great news for local residents, who will be able to enjoy greater access to food.
Don’t miss these upcoming events:
- Sept 25 – Green County Veterans Services Resource Fair
- Sept 28 – Mayfield Village Senior Resource Fair
- Sept 30 – Summer HEAP applications close
- Oct 5 – Community Resource Fair will be held in Cleveland. This fair will help residents find jobs, figure out tax delinquencies, obtain business loans and more. It will occur between 4-6pm at Richmond Heights Community Center.
The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City needs help! They are experiencing higher than usual demand and desperately need donations. If you know someone that can help, please encourage them to do so.
Meanwhile, the city of Lawton intends to sell a home to a low or middle-income family. The home was purchased by the city for just $10,000 in 2019. They repaired the home and plan to sell it for $75,000 to someone who participates in the First Time Home Buyers program.
Don’t miss these upcoming events and deadlines:
- Sept 30 – NE Oklahoma County Community Resource Fair
- Nov 15 – deadline to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Grant
Many families have ended up on a waitlist for child care subsidies because the state doesn’t have enough money to cover everyone who qualifies. The state has enrolled about 23,000 children in this program but there are many more that will be placed on a waitlist that could last up to 18 months.
The Shapiro Administration has announced that they are distributing more than $1.6 million to 40 local food banks, shelters, pantries and soup kitchens to help increase the access to emergency food sources. The average award was around $40,000. You can find a list of recipients in the Pennsylvania Pressroom.
St. Vincent College has also announced a new financial assistance program called The Bearcat Advantage Program. This program will ensure that students that come from families who earn $60,000 per year or less will have their tuition completely covered through a combination of grants and other programs.
Don’t miss these upcoming events!
- Sept 27 – Veteran Resource Fair at Bloomsburg Fair
- Sept 28 – Veterans Resource Fair at the Southwest CDC building in Philadelphia.
- Oct 3 – Shenandoah Public Health & Safety Night Out in Shenandoah includes a resource fair.
Greenville seniors may be able to get help repairing their homes from Rebuilding Upstate. Bon Secours St. Francis Health System recently donated $50,000 to help with critical repairs and disability modifications. Among other things, this organization can help you install wheelchair ramps, replace floors and remove mold.
Unicoi has received over $200,000 in grant funding to help low income people repair or improve their homes. It is not clear how the program will be administered or who you need to contact to get help but I assume that those details will be announced soon.
On October 7, there will be an Disability Awareness & Resource Fair in Oak Ridge. This event will take place at the Oak Ridge Civic Center between 1pm and 4pm.
Don’t miss these upcoming events:
- Oct 1 – LIHEAP opens for new award year
- Oct 2 – Housing Resource Fair in Chatanooga
Texas’ Senate Bill 379 was enacted earlier this month, which means that certain products are now tax-free in Texas. These products include menstrual products, diapers, insulin, hospital beds, prosthetics and maternity clothes.
In other news, The Texas Veterans Commission Fund has released over $3.6 million to 11 different organizations in the FVA Panhandle Region. The recipients will use these funds for finanical assistance, counseling, home modification, and other supportive services for veterans in the area.
The agencies that received grant funding include:
- Central Texas Opportunities Inc.
- Concho Valley Center for Human Advancement
- Concho Valley Community Action Agency
- Family Support Services of Amarillo Inc.
- Hale County Meals on Wheels, Inc.
- Lubbock Regional MHMR Center
- Panhandle Community Services (appears twice)
- Refuge Services Inc.
- Rolling Plains Management Corporation
- Rusted and Weathered Inc.
- West Texas Counseling & Guidance
On October 14, a Fall Festival and Resource Fair will take place in Midland. This event will occur between 11am and 2pm at Dennis The Menace Park. There will be a pumpkin coloring contest, free food, candy, and games.
Vermont has launched a new program that will provide up to $41,000 to homeowners who own mobile homes that were affected by the recent floods. The state noticed that FEMA was marking a lot of these condemned homes as repairable, which reduced the payout that they were offering to affected homeowners. In response, the state launched their own program that will also help remove the condemned homes at no cost to the homeowner.
Legal Services Vermont received a $227,982 grant from Legal Service Corporation! This grant will be used to help boost their pro bono legal services. Specifically, the Vermont program is designed to encourage first-year attorneys to work with LSV to meet their 40-hour experiential learning requirements.
The S’Klallam Tribe Housing Authority has announced that they expect to have 30 affordable housing units available around the end of October. The Warriors Ridge Project is specifically designed to house low income tribal members. Soon, Phase 2 construction will begin and add another 30 affordable housing units.
Urban Atlantic Development is building a new affordable place for seniors in Ward 3. It’s the first of its kind in Friendship Heights. There will be 93 one-bedroom apartments just for seniors who earn 50% of the Area Median Income or less. Plus, each apartment will have handy things like a washer, dryer, microwave, and a walk-in closet.
Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a new Drivers Ed Grant program that would help up to 15,000 low income students. The cost barrier has made it very difficult for low income families to enroll their children in drivers ed programs. This new proposal would give low income students $400 toward the cost of their drivers ed program.
The new proposal would provide free drivers ed for students whose families qualify for free or reduced price school meals. This proposal has the support of Wisconsin Insurance Alliance President Andy Franken, who has noticed that more and more children are skipping drivers ed altogether. According to Franken, there have been an increase in accidents among 16-20 year old drivers as well.
The bill is expected to pass and the governor has already signed his intent to sign it into law, so this proposal could become a reality before the end of the year.
Don’t forget about the Caring Hearts of Wyoming Valley Senior Resource Fair on Sept 26!
In our latest update, we have important news for low-income individuals and seniors. We’ll cover financial relief programs, simplified healthcare access, and scams to be aware of. From upcoming class action settlements to major program deadlines, our low income news update will ensure that you don’t miss out on any financial assistance that is available to you. Come back next week to stay informed about new resources and assistance programs.