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Don’t Miss Out: Urgent Deadlines for Low Income Programs This Week

Don’t Miss Out: Urgent Deadlines for Low Income Programs This Week

Major relief programs are ending soon, so you can’t afford to wait! We’re going to talk about a lot of opportunities you can’t afford to miss, as well as new cash programs, new freebies and giveaways and so much more.

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Every week, the Low Income Relief team digs through countless headlines from around the country to find all the new low income programs and updates that you need to know. Here’s what we found this week!

Nationwide Low Income News

From millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits to an exciting new student loan forgiveness program, this week’s resource roundup is full of ways that you can save money and get free stuff!

Millions in Unused P-EBT Benefits Will Expire

Millions of dollars in P-EBT benefits will expire in March if they don’t get used. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program was designed to offset the loss of school meals during closures. The program was complicated, and a lot of families have not spent the money they were entitled to. 

As we discuss in the state-specific section below, Ohio alone has 131,000 P-EBT accounts that have not been touched. These cards still have the full $120 balance available. That adds up to almost $16 million in unused P-EBT in Ohio alone!

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Under federal guidelines, these benefits have a shelf life of 274 days from the date they’re issued. This means benefits allocated last summer are now in jeopardy of vanishing without ever being used.

This situation is not unique to Ohio. Across the country, families need to check their P-EBT balances. That “use it or lose it” policy applies everywhere, so make sure you aren’t leaving a balance on that card. 

SAVE Student Loan Forgiveness Begins

Nearly 153,000 student loan borrowers who enrolled in the new SAVE repayment plan will receive student loan forgiveness. In order to be eligible for this relief, students must have borrowed $12,000 or less and made payments for at least 10 years.

If you are eligible, you should have received an email about it on Wednesday. The Department of Education indicated hat it could take a few days to process the forgiveness so you may not see it reflected in your online accounts immediately.

Under this new program, borrowers who become eligible will receive the forgiveness automatically with no additional action required. If you borrowed less than $12,000, your balance should be automatically forgiven after 10 years of payments.

LIHWAP Program Ends This Month

LIHWAP, that’s the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, can help pay your water and wastewater bills. This program was supposed to expire last September but some states were given a six-month extension. That extension period runs out at the end of February, so if you don’t apply soon you may lose your chance.

West Virginia is still accepting applications until 5pm on February 29th, and other states may still be accepting applications as well but time is running out.

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Affordable Housing Crisis Hits 7.3 Million

America is now short 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. That’s just the number of housing units required to accommodate the lowest income earners, who bring in 30% or less of the Area Median Income.

The biggest shortages are in Nevada, Oregon, Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. In Las Vegas, there are only 14 homes affordable and available homes for every 100 extremely low income renter households.

Claim Your Settlement Checks

This week offers fresh chances to obtain financial redress if you’ve suffered due to the actions of large companies. Make sure to keep an eye on the looming deadlines.

If you’ve bought particular products or used specific services, you may qualify for financial compensation. Take a moment to investigate these latest class action settlements before it’s too late!

Open Settlements
PracticeMax Data Breach
If you received a notice from PracticeMax about a data security incident in early 2021, you are encompassed by this class action settlement. Apply by February 24.
HomeAdvisor – up to $59.99
If your business was charged for mHelpDesk, an optional service from HomeAdvisor, and received a refund notification from the FTC, you may be included in this settlement. Apply by February 26.
Grande Cosmetics – up to $150
If you bought GrandeLASH-MD, GrandeBROW, or GrandeHAIR enhancement serums between January 1, 2018, and December 14, 2023, you might qualify for this settlement. Apply by February 27.
Home Care Providers of Texas Data Breach – up to $125
If your data was exposed in the Home Care Providers of Texas breach, you may be eligible for this settlement. Apply by February 27.
City of St. Anne Missouri Jail Settlement
If you were detained in the St. Ann jail from August 9, 2011, to November 14, 2022, you may be covered by this settlement and may be eligible for a cash payment proportional to your detention duration. Apply by February 28.
RR Donnelley & Sons Data Breach – up to $750
If you were impacted by the November 2021 R.R. Donnelley & Sons data breach, you may be eligible for this class action settlement. Apply by February 28.
Southern Orthopedic Associates Data Breach
If your data was compromised in the Southern Orthopedic Associates breach between June and July 2021, you may qualify for this settlement. Apply by February 28.
Fortnight Unwanted Purchases
If you’re a U.S. Fortnite player who faced unwanted charges, you may be eligible for an FTC refund if you’re over 18 and either experienced unauthorized in-game currency billing from January 2017 to September 2022, had a child make unauthorized charges to your credit card from January 2017 to November 2018, or had your account suspended for disputing wrongful charges between January 2017 and September 2022. Apply by February 29.
Apple Family Sharing – up to $30
If you were part of an Apple Family Sharing group with at least one additional member and purchased an app subscription from the App Store between June 21, 2015, and January 30, 2019, you may be eligible for this settlement. Apply by March 1.

Remember, these opportunities won’t last forever. If you’re looking for similar opportunities, don’t miss out on our detailed list of upcoming class action settlements. You’ll discover plenty of opportunities to claim what may rightfully belong to you.

Additionally, if you’re seeking a more significant payout, make sure to submit a tort claim before time runs out. These claims provide a way to recoup losses if you’ve been wronged or harmed. Our partner, Injury Claims, is prepared to assist you. Here’s a quick look at some of the cases they’re presently managing:

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Open Cases
Ozempic Side Effects
If you have been diagnosed with a severe illness or have experienced adverse effects after using diabetes medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, or Rybelsus, you may be eligible for compensation. Apply now!
Personal Injury & Auto Accidents
If you or your loved one sustains injuries from an accident that was not your fault, such as car accidents, workplace incidents, slips and falls, or medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. Apply now!
Other Open Cases
Currently, legal proceedings are in progress for individuals affected by products including RoundUp, Talcum Powder, Infant Formula (NEC), chemical hair relaxers, several herbicides, PFAS Chemicals, and hernia mesh, among others. Get the details.

Unlock New Opportunities with Skip

Ever thought about founding your own business or growing your existing one? You might qualify for grants designed to power your aspirations.

Our partner, Skip, provides a diverse selection of grants aimed at helping entrepreneurs either start or expand their ventures. Securing one of these grants could be crucial in overcoming financial barriers, so it’s definitely worth checking out the options available!

Open Cases
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.
Innovate Together Grant$10,000
This grant aims to support small business owners and content creators by offering grants ranging from $2.5k to $10k. Applicants must be 18 or older, have an active TikTok account, complete their project within 3 months, attend a business development training from March 22-24 (with covered expenses). Apply by February 29.
UPS Store® Small Biz Challenge – $35,000
The UPS Store Small Biz Challenge offers small businesses a chance to win part of a $35,000 prize, a feature in Inc. magazine, and exposure at a Miami event. Owners must be U.S. residents, over 18, and operate a non-franchised business with 9 or fewer employees. Apply by March 8.
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.

Local Low Income News

We’ve found local news updates in 34 states this week! Scroll to find your state subheading below for more information.

Alabama

Healthy Homes provides home repair and rehabilitation services for older homes in West Alabama. This program is administered by CSPWAL, which covers Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa Counties. They are hoping to serve 100 low income families, especially those who have children under the age of six in the home or as frequent visitors. Contact CSPWAL for details.

Arizona

New changes are coming to Medicaid in Arizona! The governor has recently announced that the income limits for the state health care programs will be increased to 225% of the Federal Poverty Level. This means that approximately 10,000 more children will be eligible for state-funded health care.

Families who are eligible can apply for KidsCare as early as March 1. However, the benefits will not go into effect until April 1.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Arkansas

Fayetteville Animal Services will provide free microchipping services thanks to a new grant from Humane Society of the Ozarks. The service usually costs $20 but will now be provided at no-cost for residents of Northwest Arkansas. The organization asks that you call before coming into the office.

California

California may soon end the Market Match program that allows you to double your EBT benefits at certain participating markets. The Governor recently announced plans to cut the majority of this program’s budget from the next state budget. However, this is one of many different matching programs that operate in the state and the other programs should not be affected.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Colorado

Colorado residents may be able to get a free radon test kit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Studies have shown that more than half of all homes in the state have high radon levels.

In other news, Colorado has historically spent less on legal aid than other states but lawmakers are taking steps to change that. Under a new proposal called the Equal Justice Fund Authority Bill, the state would add a $20 fee to many civil court filings. The money from that fee would be given to legal aid organizations to help fund their services.

Meanwhile, Pitkin County has approved a property tax rebate program for low income households. This program will provide rebates for people who earn 500% of the Federal Poverty Level or less. That’s around $72,900 for one person or $150,000 for a family of four. The new relief is intended to offset the recent 25% increase in property taxes. They expect to start accepting applications in June.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Connecticut

State lawmakers want to streamline child care services in the state. A new bill has been proposed that would combine Care 4 Kids, Head Start and the School Readiness Preschool Grant Program into a new program called Early Start CT. The goal is to make it easier for parents to understand the benefits they may qualify for and connect with those resources.

Florida

Don’t miss out on these events:

Georgia

Don’t miss out on these events:

Hawaii

Catholic Charities is building a new 178-unit low income housing complex in Kahului. It is hoped that this development will help those who suffered losses in the August wildfires. However, the complex will not be completed until the end of 2026.

The events are scheduled as follows:

Idaho

Idaho lawmakers are considering a proposal that would remove dismissed evictions from public records. Lawmakers claim that this will incentivize tenants to work with their landlords and pay their debts. As it currently stands, the eviction records are public record as soon as it is filed and lawmakers believe that discourages tenants from cooperating.

Illinois

Lawmakers are considering a new bill that would revive the Invest in Kids Act. This act provides tax credits to donors who give low income kids scholarships to attend the schools of their choice. This program ended in 2023. If the new bill passes, the program will restart and continue through 2035.

Indiana

Indiana University has a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for low income residents of Monroe County. If you make less than $60,000 per year, you may be able to get help filing your taxes for free. You need to sign up fast because this program ends March 26.

Don’t miss these deadlines:

Iowa

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers for up to 12 months postpartum. However, it would also reduce the income limits for this program. The new changes would push 1,700 women off of Medicaid who are currently eligible.

If you are eligible for LIHEAP, you may also be able to get furnace repair or replacement services from The Community Action of Siouxland. This organization serves low income individuals and families in the  Woodbury County area.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Kansas

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has continued her push to expand Medicaid. The Kansas Health Institute analyzed her proposal and found that it would provide insurance to 152,000 people in Kansas with no additional cost to the state government. That’s because the expense would be fully offset by incentives provided by the federal government and the new surcharge that the proposal would place on hospitals.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Kentucky

Kentucky has advanced a bill that would make drastic changes to the state’s SNAP program. This program would reinstate the asset limits and work requirements for this program.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • March 31: LIHEAP deadline

Maine

A cyberattack on Optum Change Healthcare could result in medication delays for people who rely on MaineCare. Some residents have been unable to pick up their medications unless they pay cash, which they are unable to do. The state does not currently have a timeline for resolving these issues. In the meantime, the state has urged pharmacies to provide MaineCare members a 3-day supply of their medications to help during this time.

Maryland

The Governor is promoting three affordable housing bills. These bills will provide new construction incentives, implement new restrictions on move-in costs and modify the rental voucher program to prioritize families with young children.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Massachusetts

A lawsuit has been filed against 20 Boston-area landlords, property companies and real estate brokers who have allegedly been discriminating against low income renters. This new lawsuit states that they refused to work with people who get Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. This is a violation of state law, which states landlords cannot discriminate against someone who is receiving housing assistance.

Michigan

A new affordable housing complex is coming to Ann Arbor! Construction is expected to begin this spring on a new development in the Kerrytown district. The property will include 63 residential homes. Approximately half will be devoted to people who are experiencing homeless and the others will be provided to low income people working in creative fields.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Montana

Montana has announced that the reimbursement rate for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program will increase on March 1. In certain high-growth areas like Yellowstone and Gallatin County, an additional 15% premium will be added for child care providers.

Nebraska

State lawmakers have advanced a bill to expand Medicaid services for pregnant women. If passed, this bill would compel Medicaid to cover services like mental health care, nutrition counseling and substance abuse treatment. The goal is to improve birth weights and outcomes for the children.

Nevada

Don’t miss out on these events:

New York

If you receive EBT in New York, there’s good news for you! The state launched a new lock/unlock tool that can help you protect your benefits. You can use the lock feature in the ConnectEBT app to make sure that your EBT card cannot be used. Unlock it when you’re ready to make a purchase and then lock it again to keep your benefits safe.

Veterans who want to pursue a micro-credential at SUNY Broome may be able to get a grant. The grant is funded by Lockheed Martin and can be used to cover tuition, fees and books for your course. Yo can get more information and apply on the SUNY Broome website.

Don’t miss out on these events:

North Carolina

The Dreambuilders Program is getting ready to start a new round on March 11. This 19-week program provides help and support to 10 low income families. Participating parents attend classes and learn about personal finance, housing, nutrition, bullying, emotional support and more. They also receive supportive assistance, such as $1,500 in financial assistance.

Meanwhile, the Wilmington Rotary Club is helping low income families get free dental care for their children. This organization is hosting free dental clinics on March 9th and March 16th. In order to get help, your child must be referred from a school nurse or social worker. They are currently only accepting referrals from Mary C. Williams Elementary, Sunset Park Elementary or Williston Middle School.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Ohio

Around $16 million in P-EBT benefits for last summer still have not been used. The state estimates that 131,000 families are holding on to funds that were intended to help families purchase food. Advocates are urging families to locate and use those cards immediately because those benefits could start expiring in March.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania House Finance Agency has indicated that the state’s mortgage relief program will reopen in March. It has been closed for more than a year while the office worked through a backlog of applications.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Rhode Island

Cape Verdean American Community Development has created a new program that teaches low income students to refurbish old computers. This program helps build valuable work skills while also preventing unnecessary electronic waste.

Texas

The new guaranteed income program called Uplift Harris is moving forward. The program received 82,000 applications. Unfortunately, only 1,928 households will be selected to receive the monthly payments. Those winners will be chosen in a random lottery and are expected to be notified on February 26. Payments are expected to begin on April 3rd.

Meanwhile, more than 300 affordable low income homes will become available in McAllen and Mission through a new plan! The new developments will provide more than 200 affordable homes for low income seniors and around 100 for low income families.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Utah

Many Navajo people who receive Medicaid prefer traditional Native medicine. However, those treatments are not covered by the state’s health care plan. That’s why Senate Minority Leader Luz Escamilla has proposed a new bill that would provide traditional Native medicine coverage for those with Medicaid.

Similar bills are under consideration in Arizona and California as well. However, New Mexico is the only state so far that has authorized a change like this.

Virginia

Virginia Supportive Housing is planning to build a new four-story apartment complex with 83 units set aside for low income residents. The new building will be constructed in Richmond, across from the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Washington 

Many organizations are coordinating free spay and neuter services in Washington in recognition of World Spay Month. If you need help, contact Pasado’s Safe Haven in Seattle or one of their partner organizations listed in this Komo News report.

Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood is getting 60 new affordable low income housing units! The new complex is called New Life Housing and it’s being built by Shiloh Baptist Church. These units will provide transitional housing for low income veterans and people with disabilities, as well as those who were formerly homeless, formerly incarcerated, or recovering from substance abuse.

In Spokane, you may be able to get a free vehicle club if you drive a Kia or Hyundai vehicle. The Spokane Police Department is giving away these free clubs because of a recent rise in vehicle thefts. The club attaches tot he steering wheel and helps deter theft.

Don’t miss out on these events:

West Virginia

Time is running out to apply for the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)! This program can provide help with water and wastewater bills. This program will end at 5pm on February 29th. You need to contact your local Department of Human Services office in order to apply.

Don’t miss out on these deadlines!

Wisconsin

Seven Wisconsin Housing Regions received grants to help low income people with down payment assistance and home repair expenses. The grants were awarded to the Housing Region offices in Brown, Chippewa, Columbia, Douglas, Juneau, La Crosse, and Langlade Counties.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Wyoming

Wyoming is the only state in America that does not have a committee to advocate for people who are deaf or experiencing hearing loss. This could soon change, thanks to a new bill proposed by state Senator Dan Furphy. The bill would establish a committee and a budget to help low income people get hearing aids.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Relief Recap

This article provides a comprehensive update on various assistance programs and opportunities available for low-income individuals and families across the United States. This week’s highlights include information about P-EBT, LIHWAP, student loan forgiveness, various housing programs, Medicaid updates and more.