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Are You Eligible for Hardship Grants? (32 Legit Grants!)

Are You Eligible for Hardship Grants? (32 Legit Grants!)

Hardship grants exist to help people who are having a hard time. We’ve found a number of providers offering assistance to people in financial crisis. Each program sets their own terms and conditions, so it’s important to review the details for any program that you’d like to use.

Please remember that Low Income Relief is not involved in any approval decisions, as we are an information service only. We do not give out grants or make donations. This is an informational resource only.

Nationwide Hardship Grants

There are a number of nationwide providers that offer hardship grants. To see if you are eligible, you will need to review the information and contact the grant provider for details.

Actor’s Fund

The Actor’s Fund helps everyone working in performing arts and entertainment, whether they are on screen, on stage, or behind the scenes. The Actor’s Fund actually manages many different distinct grant programs, so you can review the details here.

American Legion TFA Grants

American Legion TFA Grants offer up to $1,500 to current American Legion members and children of eligible active-duty servicemembers. The funds can be used for shelter, food, utilities, health expenses and more. For details, visit

Army Emergency Relief

Soldiers and their families may be able to receive rent relief from Army Emergency Relief (AER). This program provides zero-interest loans and grants to those who need assistance. They can help with specific hardship needs including rent, security deposits, food, vehicle costs, utilities, funeral expenses, home repair and so much more.

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund

The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund provides assistance to organic farmers who have suffered losses due to extreme hardship. You must have a certified organic operation in good standing and documentation of your hardship, among other things.

CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees

CORE supports restaurant employees who are supporting children. Restaurant employees include people who work in hotel food service, concessions, cafeterias and dining halls, catering, fine dining, casual dining, fast casual dining, quick service and food trucks. This organization provides financial grants for rent, mortgage payments, utilities, medical supplies, therapy, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, travel costs, funeral expenses, groceries, clothing and other essentials that you may need when you have a qualifying special circumstance.

Glenn Garcelon Foundation Grant

This organization assists patients who are living with a primary brain tumor that are receiving treatment anywhere in the United States and its territories. You may be able to receive a grant of up to $1,000 if you are eligible.

Justice Federal Credit Union Foundation

The Justice Federal Credit Union Foundation serves those who work in justice and law enforcement. They work with people who are affiliated with FBINAA, FBI-LEEDA, SFSAFBI, NEIA, COPS, NSA, AFNA, ACA, The Blue Knights, NNALEA and more.

If you are eligible to use their Credit Union, then you may be eligible to receive assistance from their Hardship Relief Program. This program provides temporary assistance to help with emergencies, disasters, medical crises, or other personal hardships. Grants range from $3,000 to $4,250, depending on the individual circumstances.

Application information is available on their website.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

You must be diagnosed with blood cancer in order to receive assistance from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This organization can assist with co-pays, treatment-related travel, non-medical expenses and urgent needs. Through their Urgent Need program, eligible patients can receive a $500 grant toward specific needs.

Live Like Bella

Live Like Bella may be able to provide up to $400 toward rent for families of children who are receiving treatment for pediatric cancer. Details here.

Pinetop Assistance League for Elder Musicians

Musicians who are at least 50 years old and meet specific eligibility criteria may be able to receive hardship grant assistance from Pinetop for specific needs.

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

Financial assistance from St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund can be used for rent, utilities, vehicle payments, insurance and prescriptions when you are out of work or recovering from illness. You must have a Class A CDL and meet other requirements. Apply online here.

The Samfund

The Samfund offers grants for young adult cancer survivors. The average grant is between $1,500 and $2,000. You can find more details on their website.

UnionPlus Grants

Union Privilege is a nonprofit organization founded by the AFL-CIO. They offer Union Plus benefits to current and retired AFL-CIO members and their families. For many of their services, you will need to use their credit union. They offer grants to help you through financial hardships caused by strikes, layoffs, furloughs, lockouts and disabilities. You can get more details on their website.

VFW Unmet Needs Grant

Veterans for Foreign Wars (VFW) offers an Unmet Needs program. This program offers a grant up to $1,500 for basic life needs for veterans, service members and their families. Basic life needs include mortgage, rent, repairs, insurance, vehicle expenses, utilities, food, clothing, diapers, formula, school or childcare expenses, medical bills, prescriptions and more. Details here.

Women’s Cancer Fund

The Womens Cancer Fund can award up to $250 per family per year to assist with specific housing costs.

Still Looking?

You can search the official government grant page at There are more than 1,000 grant opportunities listed there but most of them are not available for individuals.

Other Nationwide Resources

If you are looking for government hardship grants, then you need to know that there are other resources available that may be able to help you. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to look into these programs as well, even if you don’t normally think of them as grants.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

If you need help with your rent, you may be eligible for assistance from your local Emergency Rental Assistance Program. We have a list of these programs, as well as other local charities that offer grants for rent assistance, at

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are distributed to students who have not completed a college education and have financial need. In order to receive a Pell Grant, you must be pursuing a college education at an accredited institution.

Funeral Assistance Grants

If you have lost a loved one to COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive a grant to cover some or all of the funeral costs. You can learn more about the funeral assistance program here.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program can assist you with your housing costs. If you are eligible, your landlord will receive a monthly grant on your behalf that pays a portion of your rent. In order to apply, you will need to contact your local Public Housing Administration.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can provide a grant toward your utility bills! Depending on where you live and how many people are in your household, the amount of the grant may vary. Our family once received over $1,000 from this program!


Medicaid is a low income health care program that can provide free and discounted health care to low income people. The funds are paid directly to your health care providers. Here’s how to apply.

Social Security Programs

Depending on your age, disability status, and income level, you may be eligible for monthly payments from the Social Security Administration. They offer Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income and more.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Also known as food stamps, this program can provide a monthly grant that can help you purchase food for your family. Benefits are sent on an EBT card, which can also be used to get free admission, discounted Amazon Prime memberships and more!

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF can provide a monthly cash grant for low income families who meet income limits. The average TANF grant is $447 per month. There is a lifetime limit on how many months of assistance that your family can receive. Get the details here.


The WIC program provides healthy food and nutrition counseling for mothers and their young children. The grant is provided in the form of monthly vouchers that can be redeemed for specific nutritious foods.

Local Hardship Grants

There are some local programs that may be able to help you with hardship grants as well.

Colleges & Universities

Many colleges and universities offer hardship grants for their students. If you are currently enrolled at an institution of higher education, you should check with your student financial services center for details. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a hardship financial assistance program.

General Assistance

In some states, each county or township has a General Assistance or General Welfare fund that can be used to help low income people who are experiencing financial distress. These funds are usually earmarked for specific needs, such as rent, food or prescriptions.

Local Providers

If you need assistance with a specific bill, your local service provider may also have a hardship assistance gran.t For example, the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority has a Hardship Grant Program that can assist low income customers with up to $300 toward their utility bills every year. These programs are not always advertised online, so it’s important to contact your local company for details and assistance.

Tribal Assistance

If you are a member of a Tribal Nation, then you may be able to receive emergency hardship assistance. For example, the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller has information about a hardship assistance program.

Veteran’s Assistance

In some states and counties, veterans may be able to receive assistance as well. For example, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) has a veteran’s assistance fund that is managed at the county level. These funds are also set aside for specific needs, such as housing, utilities, and other hardship needs.

FAQs about Hardship Grants

If you’re looking for help, then you may have some of these questions as well! These are the most common questions we’ve been asked about this topic.

Can I get a financial hardship grant from the government?

Unfortunately, no. The federal government does not provide hardship grants to individuals. Grants from the federal government are sent to state and local governments, and they are disbursed through local government programs, Community Action Agencies and nonprofits. Instead of passing those funds on as no-strings-attached cash grants, those funds are usually provided for specific needs (like LIHEAP grants, which help with utilities).

Can I get a personal hardship grant?

Most personal hardship grants are scams, especially if they offer no-strings-attached cash for everyone who applies. I’ve spent quite some time researching this, and most of the “personal hardship grants” I’ve seen are from scammers who are posing as government or nonprofit organizations. They promise free money in exchange for your personal information, and you end up with identity theft, loss, and no grant to help you through it. It’s simply not worth it.

How can I stay safe from hardship grant scams?

The Federal Trade Commission has some great advice to help you stay safe from grant scams

1. Don’t reveal your bank information to strangers.

If you give away your account number or password, scammers can steal your money. This will hurt you far more than it could possibly help you.

2. Never pay upfront for a grant.

You should never have to pay money to get money. This is a common scammer trick. You’ll never have to pay a processing fee for a grant that you’ve already been awarded. That wouldn’t make any sense.

3. Verify the organization.

Always make sure that you’re dealing with a real, legitimate organization. Verify the name of the organization and the existence of the grant that you are being offered.

4. Don’t fall for technology tricks.

Scammers have access to technology that can trick your caller ID and other systems into thinking that their calls are coming from a different place than they actually are. That’s why so many scam calls originate in your local area code. Don’t believe something just based on a phone number or an email address. Always do your own homework.

5. Report suspected scammers.

If you suspect that you’ve encountered a scam, you can report it on the FTC website by filing a complaint. You can also call 1-877-382-4357.

Are there hardship grants for single mothers?

Yes! We have found some grant programs specifically for single mothers. You can find the full list here.

Nicole leads the Low Income Relief team with over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow, Livestrong, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more.


Wednesday 26th of October 2022

I am over 70 years old and am on Social Security and receive $1086.00 amonth.. I own a mobile home and am looking to find out if there are any grants I am eligible for for replacing my furnace/AC unit and my hot water heater. The home is over 25 years old and the units mentioned are the original units. If there are any grants I would be eligible for I would appreciate it very much.

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 26th of October 2022

Hi Maureen. Here is the information we have on home repair grants. Hopefully, something in it can help:


Friday 14th of October 2022

Looking for a grant to cover a mold/mildew problem in my bedroom. I am 73 and suffer with pulmonary fibrosis. I am on mediaid in southern California.

Catherine Marucci

Sunday 16th of October 2022

Hi Sylvia. Here is what we have found for home repair in California. Hopefully, some of it can help!

Juanita Brinkley

Sunday 2nd of October 2022

Sir need hardship grant in Florida been from one shelter to another been thru Irma now Ian been homeless since Irma I am 68 years old.applied for section 8 the shelter St Vincent de Paul neglected my acceptance letter to Choice housing voucher program.My housing counsellor was fired. Still I have no place to live. Don't know what DeSantis did with monies from Irma we received nothing but million dollar condo complexs How can I survive on 1200 a month?

Catherine Marucci

Sunday 2nd of October 2022

Hi Juanita. I'm so sorry you're going through so much. Here are some other options to try:

Charles Garcia

Saturday 20th of August 2022

Hello, I'm Disabled how can I Receive Hardship Grant I no I'm eligible where can I Get some help ? I'm so in need . Thank you . Charles Garcia

Catherine Marucci

Saturday 20th of August 2022

Hi Charles. Here are some resources that may be helpful


Sunday 7th of August 2022

I am an adult with Cerebral palsy working part time and enrolled in school. I live alone and having a hard time keeping up with my expenses. I don't qualify for the Internet ACT discount. My income last year was 33K, but living in NY-that is very low. Do you know of any grants for women over 50 with Cerebral Palsy, living alone, working part time and enrolled in school? Thanks

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Hi Nicole. Here are a few resources that may help: