Thirty entrepreneurs with disabilities or military connects will receive a $10,000 grant from the FedEx Entrepreneur Fund but applications are due soon! Get the details on this and other low income news in this week’s roundup of news that all low income Americans need to know.
Nationwide Low Income News
There’s some big news happening at the nationwide level! From proposed Social Security changes to grants, here’s what we found this week.
Proposed Social Security Changes
Senator Bob Casey has introduced a new proposal called the Surviving Widow(er) Income Fair Treatment Act (SWIFT Act). This act would make it easier for surviving spouses and surviving divorced spouses to access Social Security benefits.
This new Act would change several provisions to how survivor benefits work. Perhaps most impactfully, the Act would allow surviving spouses to receive 100% of the survivor benefits they are entitled to, regardless of age. This would apply to surviving spouses who are divorced and disabled as well. Under the current rules, those benefits can’t be claimed until the survivor is at least 50 years old.
There are other benefits, as well. Surviving spouses could increase the value of their survivor benefits beyond the current cap, those who are still raising children could get those benefits until the kids are 18-19 if they’re still in school, and the federal government would be required to proactively provide information about this program to those who are eligible.
New IRS Guidelines Shift Focus from the Poor
For years, news outlets have observed that the IRS tends to audit the poor more than the rich. A new announcement from the IRS this week acknowledges that problem and says that the agency will be shifting its focus to wealthy tax cheats instead of low income taxpayers.
According to the release, the agency will use artificial intelligence to help optimize this work. They’ve pledged that audit rates will not increase for those who make less than $400,000 per year and they will also add new safeguards for those who get the Earned Income Tax Credit. That’s the credit that seems to trigger the most audits.
New Financial Rules Exclude Low Income Americans
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently working on developing the Personal Financial Data Rights. This is an important part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that was never actually finished. It was mostly forgotten until the Biden Administration decided to pick it up.
This proposal is supposed to help Americans get more control over their finances. Among other things, it’s supposed to help people get detailed access to their transactions, link accounts without going through a third party, and get better data protection. It’s also supposed to make credit scores more transparent.
However, Wharton marketing professor Wendy De La Rosa has observed that this new regulation leaves out low income Americans. For example, SNAP transactions aren’t covered under these regulations. She’s calling on the government to make sure that low income Americans have access to the same transparency and helpful systems that everyone else is promised under this new proposal.
Help for College Students
As the new school year kicks off, many college students are facing the financial insecurity. There’s a reason for the starving college student stereotype and it’s because it’s so hard to make ends meet on a student budget.
If you’re attending college this year as either a graduate or undergraduate student, you need to know about your school’s financial resource programs. I’m not talking about financial aid like scholarships or grants, but crisis financial funds that can be used to help you if you experience a financial emergency during the school year.
Many schools have emergency funds available to help students who are struggling to pay their utilities, buy food, or meet their basic needs. You can usually find information about these funds from your Student Affairs office.
For example, UC Santa Barbara has an emergency funds program that can provide grants or low-cost loans for emergency needs. They can also help you meet with financial advisors and counselors who can help you with your budget.
Work Requirements Take Effect
The new work requirements for the SNAP program are officially in effect. These rules say that low income Americans who are between 50-52 must prove that they are working at least 80 hours a month or are enrolled in an education program in order to continue receiving food benefits. On October 1, 2024, the age limit will increase to 54.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that about 750,000 adults could lose their benefits as a result of this change. Many of those are likely people with disabilities who are waiting for disability applications to be complete.
If you are between the ages of 50-52 and unable to work, you will need to speak to your caseworker to get an exemption. A limited number of exemptions are available for seniors who cannot meet these guidelines.
Get Your Settlement Checks
Grab some extra cash from these upcoming class action settlements! If you’re eligible, you can claim your check by following the corresponding link.
|Home Trust Mortgage Data Breach|
Home Trust Mortgage customers affected by July 2022 data breach
|Sept 11, 2023|
|Afni Data Breach|
Customers who were notified that their personal information was exposed during the June 2021 Afni data breach.
|Sept 12, 2023|
|Baptist Emergency Hospital Billing|
Patients billed for tests at Baptist Neighborhood Hospital
|Sept 18, 2023|
|Journeys Unwanted Texts (est. $161.47)|
Individuals who got unwanted texts from Journeys between Dec 21, 2017, and May 9, 2023
|Sept 21, 2023|
|NetSpend Prepaid Debit Cards|
Individuals with NetSpend cards (Jan 1, 2010 – Aug 31, 2016) with fees deducted
|Sept 21, 2023|
|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|
Grants for Veterans, Moms, & Business Owners!
Our sponsor, Skip, offers fantastic grant opportunities for those looking to escape the low income cycle through business ownership or entrepreneurship.
Here are some grants that are currently accepting applications:
|Small Business Big Dreams – $15,000|
BankUnited is looking for women-owned businesses in Florida or New York! You’ll need to submit a three-minute video telling them how your business would benefit from $15,000. Applications are due September 15.
|Atomic Grants – $1,500|
Atomic Grants is looking for four applicants who need help bringing their passion to life. This grant will be given to female entrepreneurs who are at least 21 years old and have a vision that will create positive change for others. Applications are due September 22.
|September Skip Grants – $1,000|
These grants are open to US-based small business owners. Applications are due September 27, 2023.
|$5,000 Skip Growth Grant – $5,000 |
This grant is available to US-based small business owners. Applications are due September 30, 2023.
|2023 High Five Grant for Moms – up to $10,000 |
This program will award grants to eight female caregivers who have earned business revenue in the last 12 months. One person will get $10,000, one will get $5,000, one will get $2,500, and five people will get $1,000. Applications are due September 30, 2023.
|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.
|The No Grant – $2,000|
This grant is open to US-based moms over age 18. Applications are due October 31, 2023.
You can learn more and get started with your application by signing up for a free Skip account today!
I’ve been using Skip for several months now, and this is the first week I’ve had a paid account. You can access most of these offers with a free account but you may have to upgrade to see a few of them.
Local Low Income News
We have low income news updates for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming!
On October 14, Pinal County is hosting a Veterans Resource Fair.
An organization called Housing California is behind a statewide push to make Housing Choice Vouchers easier to use. At the head of the campaign is San Diego resident Margo Velez, who explains that her family had to wait over a decade to get a voucher. One of her daughters turned 18 while the application as being processed, so they had to reapply and wait again. It ultimately took 13 years to get the voucher and even when they finally got it, they couldn’t find a landlord that would take it. She applied for housing every single day but, because of the time limits, the voucher expired and they lost it. Their family was eventually forced into homelessness.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the state have voted to fast-track low income housing that is built on surplus land owned by churches or nonprofit colleges. According to NBC, this will allow those housing units to bypass time-consuming procedures, including some permitting and environmental processes.
Canyon Lake Association of Men (CLAMS) is helping seniors in the Canyon Lake area who are facing food insecurity. They do their best to help seniors in neighboring areas as well. If you need help, please contact them to see what they can do to help.
Los Angeles recently celebrated the opening of a new low income housing complex for seniors. PATHS Villas Hollywood opened on Thursday and has 60 apartments for low income seniors who are at least 55 years old.
San Diego County has approved a new pilot program to help older adults who need affordable housing. They will match seniors with compatible roommates to share living spaces, making it easier for both of them. There may be additional supportive services provided as well. You’ll have to be at least 55 years old and need help affording housing in order to qualify.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
- Sept 14 – Metro Low Income Fair is Easy (LIFE) Program Enrollment Event in Los Angeles
- Sept 16 – Community Resource Fair in Mariposa
- Sept 17 – Community Resource Fair in Coulterville
- Sept 19 – Los Angeles plans to introduce a new emergency rental assistance program
- Sept 22 – Capistrano United School District Family Resource Fair at the District Education Center
- Sept 28 – MSJC Eagle Landing Resource Fair in San Jacinto
- Oct 1 – Sonoma County Housing Authority will open the Housing ChoiceiVoucher Waitlist. It closes October 31!
On September 14, there will be a free Senior Resource Fair at the Darke Center in Fort Collins. The event will include vendors, entertainment, a fashion show, door prizes and a free dessert bar.
On September 23, the Tustin Area Senior Center will host a Resource Fair with raffle prizes, free health screenings and other resources. The event will occur between 9am and 12pm.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming resource fairs that we’ve previously announced:
- September 19 – Business Resource Fair at Fort Lupton Public & School Library
- September 19 – Resource & Job Fair for Veterans at the Special Event Center in Fort Carson
On October 1, the Special Education Legal Fund and Stamford JCC will host a resource fair. This event is designed to help kids with special needs connect with resources. A sensory room will be available,
Florida residents who were affected by Hurricane Idalia may be eligible for up to $700 in Critical Needs Assistance from FEMA. These funds can be used to purchase lifesaving or life-sustaining supplies like water, food, first aid, medications, baby diapers or formula, medical supplies, fuel for transportation and more. You need to make sure you complete a FEMA application in order to apply.
Don’t forget that on September 20, the Angel Kids Foundation is hosting a Resource Fair in Jacksonville and on October 7, the Miami Gardens Police Department is hosting a Faith & Blue Community Field Day and Resource Fair for the community.
Don’t forget that on September 23, the Hispanic Community Resource Fair will be held at Greenbriar Mall.
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) still has vouchers available for low income seniors! You can claim up to $50 in free produce coupons. You must be at least 60 years old, a resident of Maui Island, and meet income limits in order to qualify.
However, those vouchers need to be redeemed at the market before October 31st.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events and deadlines:
- September 16 – Community Resource Fair in Matteson
- September 22 – deadline to apply for the Senior Assistance Program in Wheaton
- 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
On September 14, the Adair County Veterans Affairs Office will host a Resource Fair. The event will help veterans, active military members and their families connect with all the resources and programs that are available to them. Those who attend will get a free lunch and will have the chance to win Fareway gift cards!
More funds are available to help Louisville residents with their water bills! The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District donated $200,000 to the Louisville Water Foundation last week. If you need help with your water bill, please contact the Foundation for assistance.
Farmers who suffered crop losses may be able to get financial assistance from the Natural Disaster Recovery Program for Agriculture! This program is covering losses due to the deep freeze in early February, the frost in mid-May or the rainfall and flooding in July. Applications for this program close on September 29, so apply right away if you are eligible!
Bourne Public Schools are hosting a Resource Fair for all community members on September 27. It will be held between 6-7:30pm.
Ann Arbor’s guaranteed income application is opening on October 2! Applications will close again on October 13, so you need to make sure that you apply right away.
It’s open to low income people who are self-employed or who are working side gigs. The city has said that Uber drivers, food delivery workers, gig workers, side hustlers and informal small business owners who babysit or provide hair styling services are all eligible.
After all the applications are in, the city will randomly select 100 people to receive $528 per month for two years! You can apply on the Grow Ann Arbor website.
Don’t forget that on September 19, the Community Health Resource Fair will be held in St. Louis Park.
If you were affected by the Moss Point tornado, you have until September 15 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance with the Mississippi Department of Employment Services. You can file claims for Long Term Recovery from Catholic Charities until September 19. You can find a mobile Disaster Relief Center in the parking lot of the Riverfront Community Center where you can apply for FEMA and SBA assistance as well.
Don’t forget that homeowners must apply by October 1st to claim their $675 property tax rebate.
Mesquite is getting a new low income senior facility! This building will have 50 two-bedroom and 26 one-bedroom apartments. The facility will also have a dog park, grilling area, picnic area and more. Rent will start at around $470 per month.
North Las Vegas has opened a new no-cost career center called EmployNV Youth Hub. It’s located at the Alexander Library and can provide hands-on work experience and internships for youth who want to enter the workforce.
Don’t forget that on September 14, there will be a Community Resource Fair in Leonardo. The event will be in Spanish only.
Don’t forget that on September 11, there will be a Business Resource Fair in Albuquerque.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
- September 12 – Senior Resource Fair in Oneonta
- September 13 – Senior Moments Resource Fair in Aurelius
- September 21 – Small Business Resource Fair in Sidney
The former Ford City Motor Company building in Salisbury is going to be renovated into low income housing for seniors! This development project is going to build 64 residential units and apartments. Tenants will pay just 30% of their income toward rent.
The city of Charlotte is opening six new opportunity centers for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to connect with resources. The hubs will open in 2024. They will be placed in low income areas.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming resource fairs that we’ve previously announced:
- September 14 – Community Health & resource Fair in Spruce Pine
- September 23 – Harvest Center Resource Fair in Charlotte
Save the Dream Ohio is winding down their program. They are currently only accepting applications for past-due mortgage payments. As soon as those funds are gone, this program will close. You can apply with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
Don’t forget that on September 14, the Columbus Metropolitan Library will host a Life Skills Job & Resource Fair. On September 28, there will be a Mayfield Village Senior Resource Fair in Mayfield.
Oklahoma Human Services is looking for input about LIHEAP! They have an online survey that they are asking people to fill out. If you’re received LIHEAP in Oklahoma, please take a moment to complete that survey.
Ponco City Soroptimist Club is offering cash grants to women who are looking for financial assistance for education or training. The grant program is called the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women program. Grants are capped at $16,000 per person. You need to apply before November 15th of each year.
On September 14, the Ada PACT Act Resource Fair will help veterans. This event provides toxic exposure screenings, health care enrollments, and help filing disability claims. The event will take place at the East Central University facility in Ada between 2-6pm.
On September 13, a Community Resilience Resource Fair will take place at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital between 1-5pm. The event will include more than 20 vendors with a focus on suicide prevention and addiction recovery. No registration is required.
The Child Care Assistance Program can help low income working parents or parents attending college with child care expenses. This program pays for child care for eligible children under the age of 13, up to certain limits. You typically have to pay part of the cost, depending on your income.
In order to be eligible, you must meet income guidelines, have a child under the age of 13, and either work or attend school for 20 hours a week.
You can apply with the Department of Human Services.
On October 2, the City of Chattanooga will host a Housing Resource Fair. There will be panel discussions, housing assistance resources and so much more.
Don’t forget to apply for LIHEAP by September 16! That’s when applications will close for the current award year. The next year’s application window will open on October 1.
Concho Valley Community Action Agency helps low income people who want to attend college find scholarships, loans and other forms of assistance to help them move forward with their goals. Their program helps 10-15 every year. You need to have a household income that is under 125% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify for this program.
On September 12, a Senior Resource Fair will take place in Rowlett. This event will feature financial guidance, estate planning, fitness programs, and samples from Chick-fil-a and Cheesesteak House.
Don’t forget about the upcoming dental clinic on September 15-16! This event is hosted by Texas Mission of Mercy and will take place at the Bert Ogden Arena.
Don’t forget about the Suicide Prevention Resource Fair in West Jordan on September 23!
Seatac Community Center will host a free Resource Fair between 3-6pm on September 15. This event can help you connect with resources for housing, transportation, financial and educational resources.
On September 11, Coalville will host a Community Safety & Resource Fair.
On September 26, Caring Hearts of Wyoming Valley will host a Senior Resource Fair. There will be 30 vendors present that can help you connect with different resources.
From proposed Social Security changes to local resource fairs, this week’s low income news recap focuses on all the major updates that low income Americans need to know. This article contains details about grants and settlements with upcoming deadlines, upcoming community events, new low income housing projects, new guaranteed income program pilots and more. Follow the links to see our original sources!