Skip to Content

Must-Know Updates & Financial Assistance Programs in All 50 States

Must-Know Updates & Financial Assistance Programs in All 50 States

Are you navigating through the challenges of low income and looking for opportunities to ease the burden? This week’s resource roundup brings a beacon of hope with new financial assistance programs, critical program updates and more!

Nationwide Low Income News

This section contains all the nationwide news we found this week. For local updates, check for your state in the Local News section below!

New Housing Programs

States are still holding on to billions of dollars in unused pandemic assistance funds. This week, the United States Treasury announced new rules that allow states to use that money for affordable housing projects for families who earn up to 120% of the Area Median Income. This is almost double the previous threshold, which was 65% of the Area Median Income.

The federal government has recently announced other measures that will help reduce housing costs, including:

Several states have introduced new measures to assist with housing as well. For more information about state-specific housing initiatives, please check the “Local News” section below for information about the new housing measures in your area.

Student Loan Changes

While some advocates are starting to call for an end to the federal student loan program as we know it, President Biden has proposed expanding free community college across the United States.

In the meantime, scholarships can help reduce the cost of college. The First Responders Children’s Foundation is currently offering a scholarship to family members of first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, 911 dispatchers, and EMTs. This scholarship can be used for college, trade schools or post-graduate programs. You can apply online. Applications are due May 31, 2024.

Basic Needs Allowance Expansion

Did you know that up to 275,000 military members are currently eligible for SNAP benefits, according to the Government Accountability Office? To fix this, the Pentagon has proposed expanding the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) so that low income troops with at least one dependent can receive an extra stipend.

Under this expansion, families who earn 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level would receive an extra payment that would help increase their income. This would help ensure that military members aren’t relying on programs like SNAP to get by.

Officials are supposed to screen all military members and notify them if they quality. However, you can apply even if you aren’t notified. When you apply, you’ll need to submit information about your household income and size.

Claim Your Settlement Checks

This week presents new opportunities for individuals impacted by the practices of major corporations to seek financial compensation. Be mindful of approaching deadlines.

If you’ve purchased certain products or used specific services, you may be eligible for financial redress. Explore the most recent class action settlements now, before time runs out!

Open Settlements
US Fertility Data Breach
If your information was compromised during the US Fertility data breach in November 2020, then you may be eligible for part of this settlement. Apply by March 19.
Norwood Clinic Data Breach
If you were affected by the Norwood Data Breach in March 2022, you may be entitled to up to $1,625 from the settlement, covering up to $500 for lost time and up to $1,125 for out-of-pocket expenses. Apply by March 20.
LensCrafters Accufit Settlement – $50
If you are a US resident who bought prescription glasses from LensCrafters, using the AccuFit system, between September 5, 2013, and September 20, 2023, you may qualify for up to $50 from a class action settlement due to alleged misleading statements about the AccuFit system. Apply by March 27.

Keep in mind, these chances are fleeting. For those seeking similar opportunities, our comprehensive guide to forthcoming class action settlements is packed with actionable claims.

Moreover, for a chance at larger settlements, consider promptly initiating a tort claim. These claims offer a method to recover losses due to any harm or damage experienced. Our affiliate, Injury Claims, stands ready to support you. Below is an overview of several cases they are presently handling:

Open Cases
Blendjet Blender Injuries
If you were injured while using certain types of blenders, you may be eligible for financial compensation! Find out more information.
Social Security Disability Claims
If a disability hinders your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits of up to $3,822 monthly. Seek assistance with your claim today!
Other Open Cases
Legal proceedings are in progress for individuals affected by products including RoundUp, Talcum Powder, Infant Formula (NEC), chemical hair relaxers, assorted herbicides, PFAS Chemicals, Blendjet, hernia mesh, Zantac, Tylenol, and more. Discover more information.

Unlock New Opportunities with Skip

Have you thought about launching your own venture or elevating your existing business to greater success? You might qualify for grants designed to empower your aspirations.

Our partner, Skip, provides a diverse selection of grants specifically aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in either starting up or expanding their businesses. Securing one of these grants could play a crucial role in overcoming financial obstacles, highlighting the importance of investigating the available options!

Open Cases
March Skip Grants – $1,000
Skip is awarding $1,000 grants to U.S.-based small business owners and entrepreneurs aged 18 and over. To qualify, applicants must subscribe to Skip’s YouTube channel and have a Skip account with the grant added to their Funding Assistant. Apply by March 25.
Skip $10k Perseverance Grant – $10,000
The Skip $10k Perseverance Grant rewards the resilience of U.S. entrepreneurs and small business owners of any stage or size, aged 18 and above. Apply by March 31.
IFW – Angel City FC Grant – $10,000
Angel City FC, LLC, in partnership with IFundWomen, is offering entrepreneurs a chance to win a $10k grant and a year of business coaching, aiming to support the launch or growth of small businesses. This opportunity is open to all genders and requires applicants to be legal residents of the United States. Apply by April 8.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Grant$10,000
Verizon, collaborating with Next Street and LISC, is offering $10K grants and online resources to small businesses in Houston, Miami, Phoenix, and Los Angeles to help them succeed in the digital economy. Applicants must register on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal, and complete at least two activities (courses, live coaching, or community events). Apply by April 8.

Local Low Income News

We have local news for all 50 states and Washington DC today! Just check for your area in the subheadings below.


Governor Ivey officially signed The CHOOSE Act into law this week. This bill will allow eligible families to get up to $7,000 in state money to pay for private school tuition, tutoring, or transfer fees to a different public school. Families that homeschool can receive up to $2,000 for those expenses as well.

Low income families and students with disabilities will have priority access to the funding. The first 500 awards will be given to students with disabilities. During this initial rollout, only families who earn up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level will be eligible.


Alaska lawmakers are working to increase merit-based scholarships for low income students who want to attend a trade school or pursue a college education. Colleges like Outer Coast are also working to encourage higher education and make it more accessible. Read more about what they’re doing in the Anchorage Daily News.


Starting April 1, 2024, the income limits for KidsCare will increase! This is the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which offers affordable health care coverage for families who earn too much for Medicaid. The new income limits will be 225% of the Federal Poverty Level, which is a great improvement!

The state’s Long Term Care System will also be able to pay parents to be caregivers for their minor children with disabilities. This is a new permanent feature of the program.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Low income Arkansans have access to more affordable medications, at least for now. The state won a federal appeal against PHARMA, a trade group that represents major pharmaceutical companies. At the heart of the battle is Arkansas’ Act 1103.

There’s a federal program called 340B, which requires pharmaceutical companies who participate in Medicaid to sell their medications at a discount to medical providers that serve low income communities. Those pharmaceutical companies tried to limit how many pharmacies could claim those cheaper medications, so Arkansas stepped in with Act 1103 to ensure that critical providers like the Community Health Centers of Arkansas would be covered.

The result? A legal battle that is expected to escalate to the Supreme Court. This week’s federal appeal victory is the second win for the state, though.


Sacramento County has unanimously approved a new guaranteed income program! The program will be called Family First Sacramento and it will provide direct $725/month payments to 200 low income families. In order to be eligible, your family will need to meet the following criteria:

  • There must be at least one Black/African American or American Indian/Alaska Native child under age 6 in the household.
  • The child must live with at least one parent or legal guardian.
  • The family must live in one of these zip codes: 95815, 95821, 95823, 95825, 95828, and 95838. If your family is currently homeless, your prior residence must have been in one of those zip codes.
  • You must have a household income that is 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or less.
  • Your family cannot receive a guaranteed income from any other program.

The county will roll out an online application and select winners through a lottery system. The goal is to start the program in July 2024.

In other news, some community colleges in California have started paying students to attend class. For example, one student at Santa Rosa Junior College reported that she will receive around $2,000 a month through this program. She’ll be compensated roughly $16 an hour for each hour that she spends in class. This money is distributed through the school’s Second Chance program, which provides financial support for students who were formerly incarcerated.

Meanwhile, we also have some housing updates for California as well:

  • Castaic: People who live near the Chiquita Canyon Landfill can apply for relocation assistance to get help moving somewhere else.
  • Santa Paula: Applications are opening on March 18 for a new affordable housing project on Harvard Boulevard. There are 69 units available. You must have a household income that is between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income. You can apply online.
  • Ventura: The city has funds to help with rental assistance and utility assistance. They plan to give up to $4,000 to at least 100 eligible households that are struggling. You must meet these specific requirements in order to get help.

Don’t miss out on these events:


In Eagle County, a new program called ReEnergize can provide up to $7,5000 in home repair and energy efficiency upgrades. It all starts with a free home evaluation to identify which modifications are most needed. You may qualify if your household income is 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or less. To apply, you can call 970-328-8777 (English) or 970-343-6530 (Spanish).

Don’t miss out on these events:


State lawmakers are working to make the WIC program more accessible to Medicaid families. State Representative Jaimie Foster found that less than half the eligible families are receiving WIC benefits, so she wants the agency that administers Medicaid to reach out and notify eligible families about this other program that can help.


The state has distributed more than $14 million to community programs across the state. Some of the programs that receiving funding included the Food Bank of Delaware, Rosa Health Center,, Family Promise of Northern New Castle County and more. The funds will be used to increase access to food, shelters, affordable housing, health services and other essential needs.


In Jacksonville, a new down payment assistance program will provide up to $25,000 to low income households that earn 120% or less of the area median income. You must work with a participating lender to get the funds.

In St. Petersburg, construction has begun on SkyWay Lofts II. When it is complete, this complex is expected to offer monthly rents as low as $358 per month.

Don’t miss out on these events:


State lawmakers are considering a new down payment assistance program to help first-time homebuyers in the state. State Senator Raphael Warnock introduced the Downpayment Towards Equity Act this week.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Seniors on Maui can claim $50 in free produce through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program! This program provides five $10 vouchers that can be redeemed at participating farms and farmers markets on the island. Applications are being accepted by the Maui Economic Opportunity. You can also apply online.


The Public Housing waiting lists are open for Boise and Ada County! These lists have not been open for several years. This program is open to low income families, seniors, and people with disabilities. The list will close on March 21, so you need to act fast. You can complete your pre-application online.

Meanwhile, Zions Bank is looking for low income seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities who need a fresh coat of paint on their homes. Their Paint-a-Thon service project serves eligible homeowners in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. You have to be referred by the Area Agency on Aging, a government housing agency, a Church or community organization.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Low income residents of Dupage County are invited to apply for a college or training scholarship. The scholarship award will vary between $500 and $2,500. You must reside in Dupage County and have a household income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Meanwhile, ComEd has introduced a new plan for a Low Income Discount program that will help low income customers pay their energy bills. A household that has an income of 300% or less of the Federal Poverty Level could start receiving discounts as early as 2025, if the Illinois Commerce Commission approves their proposal.

Unfortunately, the Wraparound Center in Peoria will stop offering free legal services on July 1st. Their grant has ended and they can’t afford to keep going unless new funding is found.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Trinity Free Clinic in Carmel is addressing the healthcare worker shortage by launching free vocational training programs. This initiative offers training for roles such as dental assistants, medical assistants, and patient service representatives. It’s a significant opportunity for those looking to enter the healthcare field without the burden of tuition costs. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Trinity Free Clinic directly for more details on how to apply and kickstart their careers in healthcare.

Don’t miss these deadlines:


The deadline for the LIHEAP program has changed! The original deadline was April 30, but the deadline has been moved up to March 29 instead. If you would like help with your heating costs, you need to contact your local Community Action provider right away.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • March 29: LIHEAP deadline


Kansas lawmakers have introduced a new proposal that would provide a tax credit for families with homeschooled or private schooled children. The credit would be equal to 75% of the state’s BASE rate.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The Welcome Home Program can provide up to $25,000 to low income homebuyers who want to buy a house! This down payment assistance program is offered by the Bank of Cincinnati. It’s available in Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • March 31: LIHEAP deadline


High school students in Louisiana are no longer required to complete the FAFSA in order to graduate. Although Louisiana was the first state to adopt this requirement, it has also become the first state to eliminate it.


Mayor Dion of Portland has asked the city to add more funding to the General Assistance fund offered by the city. This fund offers help with rent, food, medication and other emergency needs. He expects the city will need an additional $7 million before the end of the year.


Howard Community College has introduced a new Student Rental Subsidy Program that can help students find and rent an apartment. This funding is available for students who meet income limits, carry at least six credits per semester and remain in good academic standing.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Cape Cod homeowners who need help repairing or replacing a septic system may be able to get help from a new program. Cape Cod Aquifund provides low-interest loans that can help.


In Detroit, the Renew Detroit program is helping low income residents with home repairs. The program prioritizes helping seniors on fixed incomes. You’ll need to call the city of Detroit for details.

In Livingston, VINA Community Dental Center provides accessible low income dental services. They only charge $10 to $25 per appointment for preventative and restorative care. You must be uninsured and have an income that is 250% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.

Wayne County residents may be able to get some relief from their medical bills. The County partnered with RIP Medical Debt to forgive $700 million in medical debt for low income residents of the county.


Minnesota state lawmakers have advanced a bill that would create a guaranteed income statewide! This program would provide $500 a month for low income Minnesotans who earn 300% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Plan A Health is a mobile health care clinic that travels throughout the Mississippi Delta region. This mobile medical facility has two exam rooms, a pharmacy and more. They even offer telehealth services! All of their services are provided for free to the patients they serve. Check their calendar to find out where they’ll be next!


A new pilot program in Kansas City will provide free doulas to low income women who are pregnant. The pilot program will last for a year. In order to qualify, you must live in Kansas City and have an income that is under 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

There are also several exciting proposals underway in the Missouri state legislature, including plans to expand preschool access and child care access for low income families. They are also considering a proposal that will allow Medicaid to cover hearing aids for children, pregnant women and visually impaired adults.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The state health department said that they will nearly double their number of in-person service locations. These locations help residents apply for SNAP, TANF, employee training, job opportunities and more. Fifteen of the locations will be located in rural locations.

In Missoula, families regularly have to wait up to four years to get into the affordable housing programs offered by the Missoula Housing Authority. The agency said that the problem is the area’s lack of funding and affordable housing.


A free Easter meal will be served at daVinci’s Restaurant in Lincoln. The meal will consist of pizza, pasta, garlic cheese rolls and cupcakes. It begins at 11am and will continue until 2:30pm.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The federal government has authorized Nevada to use Medicaid money to cover housing and other supportive services. Under this new waiver, Medicaid can cover the cost of rent, temporary housing, utilities and even food for up to six months. The new pilot program also allows the state to offer specialized case management and other necessary services. You’ll need to contact your managed care provider in order to get details on the type of housing support they offer.

Don’t miss out on these events:

New Hampshire

The Lane Memorial Library is developing a library-by-mail program for those who can’t visit the library in person. This new program will let you borrow and return library materials through the mail at no cost. It’s expected to begin in Summer 2024!

Don’t miss out on these events:

New Jersey

The Winter Termination Program has ended for the season. This means that households can now have their utilities shutoff for nonpayment. In some cases, local news provider WHYY has said that customers could even face a lien sale of their home. Please call 211 right away for assistance.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • March 23: Burlington County Spring Resource Fair and Egg Hunt in Westampton NJ
  • April 19: Recovery Resource Fair in Trenton NJ

New Mexico

Governor Grisham recently signed Senate Bill 159, a new law that creates a trust fund and scholarship program for New Mexico residents. This fund is expected to support scholarships like the Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships so that students can attend college without paying tuition.

New York

A new initiative called FileYourStateTaxes helps eligible New York residents file their state taxes for free! It even integrates with the IRS’ new Direct File system so that you can file your federal returns at the same time. The new system launched March 12. You can try it at

Don’t miss out on these events:

North Carolina

The state’s new Summer EBT program will be called SUN Bucks. They have asked parents to confirm their address with their child’s school by March 28 to make sure that the new SUN Bucks card is sent to the correct address.

Low income students can also apply for a scholarship to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island Summer Camps. Applications are due March 25, so apply online right away.

Don’t miss out on these events:

North Dakota

North Dakota residents need to apply for the state’s $500 Primary Residence Credit by March 31st! This money will not be sent to you directly, but it can offset your property tax obligation.

Don’t miss out on these events:


In Auglaize and Mercer County, the Weatherization Assistance Program is open for applications now. You need to have a household income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level in order to be eligible. Call the West Ohio Community Action Partnership to get started.

In Ottawa County, the Veterans Service Office can provide financial assistance for veterans who experience emergency needs. They can help with housing payments, utilities, car repair, and more.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The Osage Nation is developing an Internet for All program that will provide high-speed internet for thousands of households that don’t currently have access.

Don’t miss out on these events:


We’ve found some incredible new EBT discounts in Oregon this week!

State lawmakers have also advanced a bill that will make it easier for disabled Oregonians to meet their annual deductibles. The Co-Pay Fairness Bill would require insurers to count the cost of coupons or financial assistance programs toward the enrollee’s annual deductible requirement. This bill is expected to help people with chronic health conditions save money on their medications.


The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund is opening again on March 18! This program can provide financial assistance with mortgages and other housing-related expenses. This program can provide mortgage assistance, tax assistance and utility help to households that qualify.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Rhode Island

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be expanding this year! The new guidelines will provide 10,000 seniors with a $50 benefit card that can be used to shop at farmer’s markets and farm stands. This is a huge improvement over the state’s prior system, which offered a box of preselected food.

South Carolina

South Carolina residents are having a hard time finding landlords who will accept Section 8 vouchers. In Greenville alone, there are over 300 residents who can’t find a landlord willing to accept their voucher.

The housing authority acknowledges that historically it was difficult to work with the vouchers, but they insist that there is new leadership, better processes, and expedited payment processing that makes it easier.

South Dakota

South Dakota lawmakers have rejected three bills that would have improved child care access in the state.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The University of Tennessee has started a firewood bank in Knoxville. This program provides free firewood to those who need it. In some cases, you may even be able to get the wood delivered to your home at no cost!

Don’t miss out on these events:


Many programs have been launched to help those who were affected by the fires in the Panhandle region. The USDA has many programs that can help farmers and ranchers in that area. TSCRA has help for cattle raisers in the area.

Many community colleges around the state are waiving tuition for incoming high school students. Austin Community College plans to waive tuition for high school seniors through 2027, if the Board of Trustees approves the measure in April.

Don’t miss out on these events:


The Utah Transit Authority has proposed changes to their services. One of the things they’re considering is ending the free Utah Valley Express routes in Provo and Orem. They’re accepting comments until March 29. Any changes will go into effect in August.


Vermont lawmakers want to include maple syrup in the list of foods that can be bought with Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers. The program is intended to help seniors buy locally grown produce. Since the program can be used to buy honey, lawmakers think maple syrup should be included since it’s a local staple as well.


Applications are opening for affordable homes in Alexandria! First-time homebuyers will have the chance to buy homes for between $175,000 and $225,000. There are seven condominiums available: five one-bedrooms and two two-bedrooms. The city will use a lottery process to select those who will have the chance to buy them. You’ll need to apply online.

Don’t miss out on these events:

  • March 18: Deadline for NHRA Housing Choice Voucher applications


Washington lawmakers have introduced two new bills designed to help low income families. The first one would remove the 60-month lifetime limit on TANF benefits so that people can get that assistance longer. The other bill would create a new program called Economic Security for All, which would provide grants to people with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Don’t miss out on these events:

Washington DC

The District Department of Transportation will distribute vouchers to help low income residents purchase ebikes. The vouchers will be worth up to $2,000 each. Preference will be given to people who receive SNAP, TANF or Medicaid. Winners will be selected randomly from the pool of applicants, so make sure you apply online starting April 1!

West Virginia

Elkins Fire Department has free smoke detectors for local residents who want them. You just need to call the fire station for an installation appointments. They said that alarms should be replaced every 10 years.


New vending machines around central Wisconsin are offering free Narcan, fentanyl test strips, first-aid and CPR mask kits, gun locks, and medication disposal bags. The goal is to reduce harm. Vending machines have been placed on the ground floor of the Taylor County Courthouse and in the lobby of the Taylor County Services Department.

Don’t miss out on these events:


Sweetwater County residents may be able to participate in a free professional development program from the YWCA of Sweetwater County. This course covers topics like digital skills, essential skills, entrepreneurship, and more. It includes four three-hour classes as well as one-on-one time with a career coach.

Relief Recap

There are many new programs that can help low income Americans save money and get free stuff! This week’s resource recap includes a variety of topics, including critical program updates, housing updates, and more.

This article is the product of a team effort! Multiple authors from the Low Income Relief team have contributed to this post. We have also used AI tools to organize data and refine the writing in accordance with our Responsible AI Use Policy. All articles on our website are reviewed by our founder and resident poverty expert, Nicole Thelin, prior to publication.