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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.


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:


Sunday 22nd of May 2022

I was severely abused as a child, then had a NDE or near death experience. I was terribly ostracized for it because I talked about those energy and light beings around me. I found hundreds of books on this subject, but no one to talk to. I was not allowed friends as a child, so I am very anti social. I had section 8 housing for a while, but can not stand to be around gangs and other bullies. So my last section 8 apartment I left. Now I exist in a tent trailer with no running water. There is no room in here to paint my canvases or to create other works of art. I am 68 and have been on a homeless list for 11 months. I am told there are many, many people ahead of me. I have decided that it is best to leave this body because this world is so over whelming. I know there is no such thing as death. Physics proved this a long time ago. I could be a hospice worker, but I went to a group for potential hospice workers many years ago and they didn't like what I said.


Saturday 28th of May 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help!

Victor Bryant

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Good morning 61 yrs.old male worked from the time I was 12 carrying a paper route until I got my driver's license worked in the automotive industry for 42 yrs. Got let go 4/19/21 the next day Started my own business, a month after I tripped and fell hurting my shoulder.thought giving it a little time it would get better, not the case For 7 months worked until work slowed down. Resting up where I could didn't help any more March 11th. Last job done. Been unemployed since.only made 24,000 from 4/20/21,spent over 8,000 on equipment, everything is getting ready to be cut off,worked all my life to get this close to the finish line and I'm not sure what to do.I was hoping to work till I leave this world. I'm trying to see with my other health issues if I can get my shoulder fixed and 6-12 weeks rehab And get back to work. Any ideas or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. P.s. My wife is disabled No help with her. Wonder if there are any grants for that too, again thank you for All you do.


Sunday 31st of July 2022

@Victor Bryant, There are 3 LEGITIMATE websites that I know of who will pay you for online work. They don't pay very much, but if both you & your wife both work 8 hours every day on them, you should be able to keep your head above water. It's boring and repetitive, far from ideal, but you CAN make money. They are Clickworker, Appen, and Mechanical Turk. I believe all 3 can be done from a smartphone. Good luck & be well.


Friday 20th of May 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help!

Josh Barnett

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

I'm homeless I'm 33 years old I live in Jackson California both my grandfather and my father were veterans my entire family passed away last year my grandfather died from small cell lung cancer my mother died from multiple sclerosis and my grandmother died of a broken heart Grandpa was in June my mom was in July and my grandmother was in August and they were my help and support and I lived with him and helped to take care of them for free I didn't get paid for it my grandmother got paid to take care of my mother but I did it out of the kindness of my heart and I am now homeless due to the fact that they died and my aunt and uncle sold the house and all of my belongings and took my vehicle didn't give me any of the money for it is there anything that I can do or any grants that I should be exception buyer can fill out for please help me


Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@Josh Barnett,


Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help!

Diane Privette

Saturday 26th of March 2022

I should be eligible. I’m a senior on SSDI at 1074.00 a month. I struggle every month to pay my mortgage and utilities, let alone if something unexpected comes up. I’m behind on my property taxes and my county has threatened foreclosure on 1,100. 00. I’m paying but it’s not fast enough. Thanks for posting such informative information.