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  • 50 Resources for Coping on a Lower Income

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    More people in the United States than ever having been learning to cope with lower incomes, whether due to retirement or a turn of fortune. Fortunately, there are many resources available online, from grants to assistance to advice and more. We’ve compiled a set of such resources for coping on a lower income. For those without Internet access, check your public library or community center.

     

    Education

    • Federal Student AidThe Federal Student Aid site details the types of federal student aid grants and scholarships available.
    • QuestBridgeQuestBridge has information on resources for high-achieving low-income students, plus resources for educators.
    • The Education TrustThe Education Trust’s sole objective is to advocate for students with high academic achievement, especially those in low-income situations, and to that end offers a number of tools, including one to help in choosing a college based on performance.
    • Bloomberg PhilanthropiesBloomberg Philanthropies has an initiative to aid students who are high-achieving yet low- and moderate-income.
    • FinAidFinAid provides information on educational loans, scholarships and military aid, as well as several dozen financial calculators, plus tips on choosing a college, options for online degrees, jobs and internships and more.
    • JKCFThe JKCF (Jack Kent Cooke Foundation) site has scholarship, grant and other info intended for “exceptionally promising” students from low-income families.
    • First Generation StudentFirst Generation students are often from low-income families, and this site caters to them, offering tips and information about finding and paying for degrees at reduced cost.
    • Ask an Advisor — The Resources page of the Ask an Advisor site has a long list of links to resources for first generation and low-income students, including information and organizations (a few Illinois-specific), career, financial aid, scholarships and loans, and research/ suggested reading.
    • GoCollegeThe linked page on the GoCollege site has info on grants for low-income students, while the overall site has info on financial aid in general, college admission, a college survival guide and more.

    Food and Health

    • HealthCare.gov Subsidy InfoThis page of the HealthCare.gov site provides and income range table for determining if a household is eligible for lowered health insurance rates.
    • AARP HealthcareThe AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) Healthcare site provides info for low-income healthcare resources such as SHIP (State Health Insurance Program), ECA (Eye Care America), HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) and offers a Community Health Center Locator service.
    • U.S. FNSThe Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) branch of the USDA has a number of food assistance programs including WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan).
    • MedicaidMedicaid.gov provides all the information you could need regarding Medicaid, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Plan) and other health-related programs.
    • Food Research and Action CenterFRAC (Food Research and Action Center) publishes information about initiatives, federal food/ nutrition programs, state initiatives and data and publications relating to hunger and poverty.

    General

    • Need Help Paying BillsThis is a general site that provides a wide range of links to state and local assistance programs, debt counseling, charity assistance, health care and more.
    • Disability.gov – Financial HelpThis is Disability.gov’s Guide to Financial Help for Low-Income Individuals & Families
    • InterConnection – Low Income Online StoreThis page on the InterConnection site (a nonprofit) offers discounted computer equipment for sale for qualified low-income shoppers.
    • Benefits.govThis page of the Benefits.gov site has by-state links to information about various types of federal benefits, with additional options to search by category or agency.
    • USA.govThe U.S. government provides a long list of assistance programs on this Benefits page, with categories including health and nutrition (SNAP, medicaid, medicare), job and unemployment (EITC, SS, UI, Training), education (loans, school meals) and more.
    • Seniors Resource GuideThis page of the Seniors Resource Guide lists federal, state and local options for low- to moderate-income seniors.
    • CAELThis page of the CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning) site outlines initiatives for providing people of low-income or who are unemployed with job training and education.
    • MyCreditUnion.gov – Low Income Credit UnionsThis page of the MyCreditUnion.gov site provides information on a variety of Credit Unions (LICUs, CDCUs) suitable for members with low-income.
    • DMV.org – Low-Income Car InsuranceThis page of the DMV.org site (not associated with the U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles) provides information about states that have government-sponsored car insurance for low-income families.
    • Frugaling.org – My Low-Income LifestyleThis article on the frugal living blog Frugaling.org offers a detailed account of how one person copes with living on a low income.
    • WiseBread – Top 100 Frugality BlogsWiseBread, a top personal finance and frugal living blog, offers a useful list of the top 100 frugality blogs and sites based on multiple calculated factors — all of which offer valuable tips on stretching the dollar, saving money and building wealth.
    • Welcome to USAThis page of the Welcome to USA site has information and links to to multiple government benefits, including medicare, medicaid, CHIP, SSA, SSI, SNAP, WIC, TANF and more.
    • SuntopiaSuntopia claims large database (over 21,000 programs, nearly 26,000 cities) of social service programs in all 50 states for individuals and familes.
    • WPFPThe Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) publishes reports and articles about the increasing economic divide in the United States, as well as links to relevant organizations and resources.
    • AscendAscend at The Aspen Institute works towards helping parents and children “educational success and economic security” by highlight ideas and collaborations in that vein.
    • AidpageAidpage is a support network where people can anonymously share tips and advice to help each other through difficult times.
    • CLASP – College Student SNAP EligibilityThe CLASP site focuses on policy for low-income Americans, and this page outlines SNAP (food stamps) eligibility criteria for students.
    • IRS.gov Taxpayer AdvocateThis page of the Taxpayer Advocate Service site (of the IRS) offers LITC (Low Income Taxpayer Clinic) and eligibility information for low-income taxpayers seeking assistance in resolving a tax dispute with the IRS – complete with state map interface for easier search.
    • FCC.gov LifelineThe linked page on the FCC.gov site has info for affordable telephone service options for low-income subscribers under the Lifeline program.
    • AARPThe AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Low-Income Assistance page has links to articles on the site about tax help, income assistance and other ways to expenses.

    Housing-Related

    • NLIHC – Resource LibraryThe NLIHC (National Low Income Housing Coalition) Resource Library offers publications, tools, research and reports related to advocacy work on housing programs for low-income families.
    • HUD.govThis page of the U.S. HUD (Housing and Urban Development) site covers rental assistance and has links to information on rights and responsibilities for tenants, while other pages have information on affordable housing.
    • U.S. OCC LIHTCThis page of the U.S Dept of the Treasury’s OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) site has information on low-income housing tax credit program plus links to various housing organizations.
    • U.S. OCS LIHEAPThis page of the U.S. OCS (Office of Community Services) provides information about LIHEAP = Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, while the overall site covers others state and community programs to assist low-income families. Also see http://liheap.org/ to learn about the fight to keep LIHEAP funding from declining.
    • ShelterListings.orgThe Shelter Listings site has information by state for finding low-income, low-cost and supportive housing; homeless and day shelters and halfway housing.
    • Energy.gov WIPOThis page from Energy.gov has information about assistance for weatherization and energy bills for low-income families.
    • Low-Income Housing Resource — LIHR, part of SPAOA (Single Parents Association of America), offers low-income housing resources information and free membership.
    • LowIncomeHousing.usLowIncomeHousing.us offers a map-based interface to search for affordable housing options across the United States for low-income individuals and families.
    • Community Power NetworkThis page from Community Power Network has information about solar power for low-income communities, the politics surrounding the situation, and the benefits.

    Women, Children, Babies

    • Single Mother GuideSingle Mother Guide lists many resources for single mothers as well as statistics on single parenting.
    • Single Mother HelpSingle Mother Help has a variety of info on tax, grants, assistance, education and job programs and initiatives for single mothers.
    • NWLCThe NWLC (National Women’s Law Center) monitors laws and policies favoring women and families, and has a Poverty and Income Support section that contains articles and reports about available family support programs, family tax credits and more.
    • Women EmployedWomen Employed is not specifically about low-income resources but works to increase opportunities and respect in the workplace for working women.
    • Single MommieSingleMommie lists a variety of resources for single mothers, including grants, scholarships, info on financial help, housing, government programs and more.
    • IWPRIWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research) discusses policy and the status of women in the U.S., jobs, education, paid leave and equal pay.