The state of Arizona combines state tax revenue to the funding it receives through federal grants to provide a number of benefits programs to low-income state residents. This translates to a safety net of assistance with basic needs such as food support, health care, unemployment compensation, energy funding and various family services. In all cases, those seeking help should apply locally to the agency handling each program inside Arizona.
Support for Low-Income Families
The state’s TANF program called Cash Assistance is available to low-income parents of minor children and provides payments via an electronic debit card called QUEST. Families may also apply for Nutrition Assistance which is what the state calls its SNAP program for additional help with purchasing food. Application is handled for both programs online through the Health-e-Arizona web portal. Pregnant women and mothers with children age 5 or under are also eligible to receive a supplemental food supply and other services through the Women, Infants and Children program.
Child Nutrition and Early Childhood Education
An early childhood education experience is available to preschool children of low-income families through the national Head Start initiative. To find local programs available inside Arizona, use this Head Start locator to find out where to enroll. The Arizona Department of Education provides a number of school nutrition programs to school aged children including those that serve breakfast, lunch, milk and healthy snacks during the school year. It also oversees the Summer Food Service which serves these same children during the summer months. To inquire about or apply for any of these child nutrition services, speak to the office staff at your child’s school.
Help with Health Care
Arizona provides two health care options for low-income residents to receive help with medical coverage. Medicaid offers coverage for minor children, seniors and the disabled. For those that are not eligible for Medicaid but who still cannot afford appropriate coverage for their children, these families can apply for the low-cost KidsCare insurance. Plans are provided at a cost of no more than $50 per month for families with one child and $70 per month for families with multiple children. Apply for either program online by visiting the Health-e-Arizona website.
Energy Assistance and Weatherization Grants
The state offers two programs that provide help with paying for home energy costs in low-income households. LIHEAP provides funding to afford utility deposits and payments for families struggling to pay energy bills. Weatherization Assistance offers these same households an opportunity to improve overall energy efficiency which typically results in a 25-30% reduction in yearly utility costs.
Filing for Unemployment
As in all other states, Arizonans who find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own can apply for and receive unemployment compensation while seeking new work. File your initial claim online through the state’s internet filing system. Be aware that you must look for employment and be available to start a new job while receiving unemployment benefits. If you have any questions about your claim, call 602-364-2722 Monday through Friday.
Category: Grants By States