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Low Income Resource Roundup | February 10, 2024

Low Income Resource Roundup | February 10, 2024

Unlock vital financial relief and seize unprecedented opportunities with this week’s roundup of low-income support initiatives, from crucial program closures and groundbreaking legislative proposals to urgent class action settlements waiting for your claim. Stay informed and empowered with essential updates tailored for enhancing your financial wellbeing and access to essential services.

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Nationwide Low Income News

This week’s low income news recap contains a mix of good and bad news. As the ACP program ends, other exciting new programs are getting ready to launch!

ACP Program Closes to Applications

The Affordable Connectivity Program has closed to new applications as of Thursday. This program is expected to run out of funding in April unless Congress takes action to extend it.

If you are currently receiving ACP benefits, it is time to start planning for the end of that subsidy. Your bill will likely increase by up to $30, so be sure to check out other low income internet assistance programs you may qualify for.

Credit for Caring Act

A new bill has been introduced to the Senate that would create a $5,000 federal tax credit for working family caregivers. This bill would benefit people who take care of their loved wones while also balancing jobs outside of the home. You would need to have a job and spend more than $2,000 on family caregiving expenses.

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If the Credit for Caring Act passes, it will provide a $5,000 tax credit to help offset the estimated $7,200 that family caregivers spend on out-of-pocket costs each year. The tax credit would be non-refundable, meaning that it could offset your tax expenses but it wouldn’t be refunded to you.

Claim Your Settlement Checks

This week, there are new ways to get money if you’ve been wronged by big companies. Don’t miss out on these upcoming deadlines.

If you bought certain things or used certain services, you might get some cash. Check out these new class action settlements before it’s too late!

Open Settlements
FloSports User Privacy Settlement
If you were a Facebook user who watched videos on any FloSports website between September 13, 2020, and August 23, 2023, you could be covered by this settlement. Apply by February 12.
AAA Collections Data Breach – $50 est.
If you received a data breach notification from AAA Collections stating that your information may have been compromised in a September 2022 data breach, you might be covered by this settlement. Apply by February 13.
Chick-Fil-A Delivery Fees – $29.95
If you made a Chick-fil-A delivery order through the Chick-fil-A app or website from a location in California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, or New York between November 1, 2019, and April 30, 2021, you might be eligible for a gift card under this settlement. Apply by February 15.
ETCH Data Breach
If your personal information was compromised in the March 2022 data breach affecting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, you could potentially be included in this settlement. Apply by February 17.

Remember, these opportunities will expire soon. If you’re looking for more opportunities like this, don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming class action settlements. It’s full of opportunities to get money that might belong to you.

And if you’re looking for a bigger payout, don’t miss your chance to submit a tort claim before time runs out! These claims can help you get money back if you’ve been treated unfairly or hurt. Our partner, Injury Claims, is here to assist you. Here’s a quick look at some of their open cases:

Open Cases
Ozempic Side Effects
If you have been diagnosed with an serious illness or side effect after taking a diabetes drug like Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro or Rybelsus, you may be eligible for compensation. Apply now!
Personal Injury & Auto Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Accidents can include car accidents, work related injuries, falling down, medical malpractice and more. Apply now!
Other Open Cases
Currently, there are active lawsuits for individuals affected by RoundUp, Talcum Powder, chemical hair straighteners, herbicides, PFAS Chemicals, hernia mesh, and more! Get the details.

Unlock New Opportunities with Skip

Have you ever envisioned launching your own venture or scaling an existing business? You might have access to grants designed to support your ambitions.

Our partner, Skip, curates an extensive collection of grants aimed at empowering entrepreneurs to start or grow their own businesses. Getting a grant like this can help you overcome financial barriers, so I encourage you to check these out!

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Open Cases
2024 Veteran Business Battle – up to $15,000
Veteran entrepreneurs can apply for up to $15,000 to help their businesses grow! You can apply by February 13.
The BOSS Network – $500
Black women entrepreneurs can receive grants and mentorship from The BOSS Network! They plan to award a total of $250,000 in grants to over 500 eligible entrepreneurs. Apply by February 23.
February Skip Grant – $1,000
Any US-based entrepreneur over the age of 18 can apply for this grant. You just need to register for a Skip account and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Apply by February 26.
Black History Makers Grant – $5,000
Black business owners who are at least 18 years old can apply for this grant. You must submit your application by February 28.
AI Innovation Grant – $10,000
US-based entrepreneurs and small business owners can apply for a $10,000 AI Innovation Grant. You can apply whether you already use AI or haven’t started yet. Apply by March 15.

You can get started by claiming your Skip account today!

Ivy League Scholarships for Low Income Students

Harvard has decided to launch full-tuition scholarships for low income students this fall. Similar scholarships will be available at Yale and Stanford as well.

The school has said that many qualifying students will have an income of 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level. The Opportunity Fund will receive free tuition for three years.

Yale’s program provides free tuition for eligible students whose income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level as well. This program covers around 30 students per year.

DOJ Focuses on Racial Disparities in Crime Victims Compensation

Less than a year ago, an explosive Associated Press report discovered racial disparities in the Crime Victims Compensation programs run by many states. The report found that 19 out of the 23 states that provided data disproportionately refused compensation to Black victims. In some states, including Indiana, Georgia and South Dakota, Black applicants were twice as likely to be denied assistance when compared to white applicants.

As a result, the Department of Justice has decided to propose changes to the rules that govern these programs. The rule changes are intended to make sure that everyone has fair access to these funds.

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If these rules are adopted, it will result in several changes:

  • States would not be allowed to consider the victim’s criminal history when deciding on their claim.
  • States would have to clearly define “contributory misconduct.” The AP report found that Black victims were three times more likely to be denied due to “contributory misconduct,” which basically means that the state is accusing the victim of causing or contributing to the crime.
  • States would be discouraged from taking money back when victims received money from crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe.

The proposed rules are subject to a 60-day comment period. Those comments will be reviewed before a final decision is made and that process could take months.

Local Low Income News

From free job training to free music lessons, check your state subheading below for the latest low income programs in your area!

Alabama

A new pilot program in Birmingham helps people who live in public housing become licensed business owners. The new program is called Entrepreneurial Launchpad. It’s a four-week course that helps people develop a business plan, learn the process and some basics about marketing.

This program is the result of a partnership between the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and the Birmingham Business Resource Center.

Alaska

Lawmakers have introduced a bill to extend the Senior Benefits Program to 2032. This program provides monthly benefits to Alaska residents who are at least 65 years old and meet income limits. The monthly payments are valued at up to $250 per month. It appears the program is only authorized to run through 2024 unless it is extended.

Arkansas

Arkansas has extended the state’s Child Care Assistance Program to early childcare workers and adoptive parents. Under these new rules, people who work in a licensed or registered child care or early childhood facility that accepts Child Care Assistance Program benefits may qualify. Foster parents who become adoptive parents may also be eligible for up to one year. You can apply online.

California

California lawmakers are considering expanding the California Promise Program to provide a tuition-free Bachelor’s Degree for low income students. The new bill was introduced by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, the City Council has approved a new law that will protect renters from eviction while they are waiting for rental assistance funds from the city’s new program. This is a very limited program, which will only cover tenants who are facing rent-related evictions and have a pending application with one specific rent relief program. The mayor now has to decide if this will be enacted.

Meanwhile, CalOptima Health recently decided to cut ties with four hospitals who serve uninsured and homeless residents in Orange County. Many patients have participating in protests, because CalOptima insures many of Orange County’s poorest residents. Many patients have received care at these hospitals for decades and are uncomfortable moving their care to another facility.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Colorado

The city of Manitou Springs is offering low income residents vouchers to help with the cost of bike rentals. The new program will completely waive the cost of an e-bike rental for qualifying individuals.

In order to be eligible, you must have lived in Manitou Springs for at least one year and be over the age of 16. Low income families can receive up to $700 in ride credits while moderate income families will be capped at $500.

The vouchers are available through the City of Manitou Springs on a first-come, first-served basis. Please reach out to the city right away to claim yours.

Connecticut

Connecticut plans to use $20 million to forgive medical debt owned by low income Connecticut residents. This will be done through a partnership with RIP Medical Debt. It is expected that this partnership will forgive around $2 billion in medical debt owed by people in the state.

Georgia

The Georgia Mortgage Assistance Program can provide up to $50,000 toward your past-due mortgage payments, mortgage principal, liens, HOA fees, property taxes, utilities or other housing-related expenses. You must meet income limits and other requirements in order to qualify. This fund will continue to be available until September 2026 or until the funds run out, whichever happens first. Apply on their website right away!

Hawaii

Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation that would make free menstrual products available in certain areas throughout the state. The law would require those products to be stocked in restrooms at public buildings and university campuses.

Illinois

A new law in Illinois will provide grants to grocery store startups who build businesses in areas with little access to fresh produce. The grants range from $25,000 to $2.4 million each, aimed to encourage the building of healthy grocery stores in areas with limited food access.

Iowa

The Governor has introduced a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage for 12 months after the end of a pregnancy. The current rules only provide 60 days of coverage.

Kansas

Lawmakers have introduced a new bill to introduce a child tax credit in Kansas. Low income families would be able to claim the credit, with the highest credits going to those with the lowest incomes. The new credit would provide up to $600 per child for the lowest income families.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Kentucky

Kentucky legislators are working on a new bill that would introduce financial assistance for kinship caregivers. These are people who are taking care of a relative’s children.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Maine

Maine residents who were impacted by the storms in December may be eligible for financial relief. If you had extra expenses as a result of the disaster, you may qualify for assistance. You can apply in person at a FEMA assistance center. You can also apply online or over the phone.

Maryland

The Maryland Department of Human Services has decided to fully refund stolen food assistance. This is a reversal on a prior policy, which limited how much and how often a victim could receive reimbursement for the thefts.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Massachusetts

Cambridge has launched a new pilot program. This program places Digital Navigators at the public schools and libraries. These Navigators help people connect with low income internet programs. They can also offer technical support with computers and devices, focusing on helping low income residents set up new equipment.

Michigan

Financial assistance is now available to people who live in the Metro Detroit area. President Biden has officially approved the governor’s request for a major disaster declaration for the storms in late July and August 2023. You may be able to get FEMA assistance if you live in Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland or Wayne Counties. You will need to start an application on DisasterAssistance.gov.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Minnesota

Minnesota is creating a new Department of Children, Youth and Families. This new department will be in charge of foster care, child care, child support, public benefits for families and homeless youth services. These are all services currently administered by the government but the departments in charge are scattered throughout other departments, like the Department of Education or Public Safety.

This restructuring will streamline the processes, make the programs more efficient, and ensure a new cabinet-level position that can advise the governor on issues related to child welfare.

Montana

New affordable housing has been built in Billings! The Tapestry Apartments have 27 units and are located at 115 S 30th St. In order to qualify, you must have an income that is between 40-60% of the Area Median Income.

Nebraska

State legislators have introduced a proposal that would force the state to participate in the Summer EBT program. Governor Pillen declined to participate in 2024, denying additional nutritional support to an estimated 150,000 Nebraska children. Many advocates spoke in favor of the proposal and nobody spoke in opposition, but the committee took no immediate action either.

Nevada

Don’t miss out on these events:

New Mexico

Two landlords have settled their allegations that they broke Section 8 rules. The landlords, who managed properties in Albuquerque and Roswell, were accused of charging Section 8 tenants more than legally allowed under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. The tenants who were overcharged will receive a portion of the funds recovered.

If you think your landlord is charging you too much, reach out to New Mexico Legal Aid for assistance.

New York

A new pilot program will provide $350 per month to 500 migrant families with children. The money is intended to help people purchase food and baby supplies. The cards will only be usable at local bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. The mayor claims that this measure will save the city around $600,000 per month in services.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Ohio

The state’s Drive to Succeed program provides scholarships to cover the cost of drivers education courses for teenagers. In order to be eligible, the teen’s family must meet income limits. The program was recently infused with a new $2.5 million investment, which will allow the program to cover more drivers.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Oklahoma

A group of students from Millwood High School have led the charge to introduce a new bill that would require schools to provide free menstrual products. Millwood Public Schools already offer this service in their district but the new bill would push the effort statewide. The bill was introduced last year but never progressed, so lawmakers have introduced it again this year.

Oregon

Oregon nonprofits and organizations received $60 million to help fund community progress. The new grants will be used to provide assistance with rent and other social services. Some of the organizations that received grants include Home Forward, Central City Concern, and Washington County Department of Housing Services.

Pennsylvania

The United Way of Chester County is offering VITA assistance for low income taxpayers. If you would like assistance, you will need to visit their website or call (610) 380-9099 for more information.

Meanwhile, low income homeowners in the Johnston area may be able to get help with free home repairs. To get more information about this program, you will need to call the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority at (814) 535-6564.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Rhode Island

Don’t miss out on these events:

South Carolina

Habitat for Humanity is experimenting with turning 40-foot shipping containers into tiny homes for low income seniors. Each home has about 280 square feet, which can accommodate a small one-bedroom home. They estimate that each home would cost just $300 per month for the land, taxes and insurance.

Although it’s unconventional, Habitat for Humanity says that this has many upsides. The containers are maritime-grade, stronger than most manufactured homes and can even withstand most hurricanes. They are also designed to be leakproof.

Since many people could not afford the previous $389/month cottage homes that the organization as building previously, Habitat hopes that these smaller homes will make more homes available to more people.

South Dakota

South Dakota is taking preemptive measures to ban guaranteed income programs within the state. The bill that is being considered would ban all counties, townships and municipalities from implementing any local guaranteed income programs in the future.

This proposal passed out of committee and will move to the state Senate for consideration.

Tennessee

The Governor’s office declared that Tennessee only plans to participate in Summer EBT for the 2024 season. The state does not intend to continue offering the program next year.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • Feb 12: Deadline to apply for FEMA Assistance

Texas

El Paso heard four proposals for affordable housing this week. The proposals would create four new affordable communities, two on the West Side and two on the East Side. Only two of the proposals are expected to receive final approval.

Utah

Utah Valley University offers free mental health services from their Community Clinic. The services include individual, couple, pre-marital and family counseling. The counseling is provided by advanced graduate students who are supervised by licensed clinical supervisors.

Virginia

New proposals are moving through the state legislature that could have a big impact on low income residents. House Bill 721 would provide additional protections against aggressive rent increases, while House Bill 1 would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by January 1, 2026.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Washington 

Homeowners in Whitman County may be able to receive help protecting their home from future wildfires. The Palouse Conservation District is offering a new program to promote wildfire resiliency. This program can provide technical and financial assistance. They will send a specialist to your home to conduct a risk assessment and help you identify ways to reduce your risk. If you are interested, you will need to fill out the Request for Assistance form on their website or call (509) 553-1858. The deadline to apply is February 29th.

Meanwhile, the Spokane Public Library recently received a grant that will allow them to expand their free music lessons. This program allows library cardholders to schedule one-on-one lessons with music instructors. The instructors can teach guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and drums at no cost.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Wyoming

Climb Wyoming offers free job training for single moms.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Relief Recap

In this week’s Relief Recap, we highlight critical updates and opportunities for low-income families across the nation. Our updates include big nationwide headlines like the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program and small local headlines like free music lessons in Spokane. Review the nationwide updates and check your state subheading for additional financial assistance near you.

Queen Bri

Sunday 18th of February 2024

There's no help in Florida. I been trying to fight an unlawful eviction since 2022. I need hotel voucher or something. I lost my office and everything. Any help would be appreciated. Also, thanks for all the help you provide. I've been a follower since the start.

Catherine Marucci

Monday 19th of February 2024

Hi. Here are some ideas: https://lowincomerelief.com/hotel-vouchers-for-homeless-people/ I hope one helps!

Dawn

Sunday 11th of February 2024

Does ACP end now or April? Spectrum is already trying to bill me full charge and is trying to make me pay for the old installation fee that was supposed to be waived. I'm so frustrated.

Kimberly Candies

Saturday 10th of February 2024

We need some in Louisiana Anything

Catherine Marucci

Monday 12th of February 2024

Hi Kimberly. Have you checked out this part of the site yet? https://lowincomerelief.com/category/louisiana/ Hopefully, you can find something in it.