The State of Massachusetts offers a number of benefit programs to low-income residents paid for by a mix of federal grants and state revenue. The type of help to expect includes temporary assistance for families, unemployment insurance, food support, energy assistance and health care coverage. In all cases, those seeking help must apply through the local agency responsible for carrying out services in Massachusetts and be eligible for each program.
Support for Low-Income Massachusetts Families
Health and Human Services provides several programs that support low-income families in Massachusetts. One of these is the SNAP Food Stamps Program which provides financial assistance to low-income households to purchase food. Eligible residents receive EBT or electronic benefit cards which can be used at local supermarkets. Families who have dependent children under the age of 19 can also apply for Transitional Assistance through HHS. Pregnant women and those with children from newborn to age 5 can also apply for the Women, Infants and Children Program which provides additional resources for supplemental foods as well as education and other types of support.
Child Nutrition and Early Childhood Education Programs
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides various Child Nutrition Programs which feed low-income Massachusetts school children. These include school breakfast, school lunch, special milk, after school meals and even a summer meals service while school is not in session. To apply for any of these programs, inquire at your child’s school. Early childhood education is provided for low-income preschool children through the national Head Start initiative inside Massachusetts. The program is available for children up to age 5 and to parents of young children and expectant mothers. To find a program that serves your area, use this Head Start locator to find out where to enroll your child.
Help with Health Care in Massachusetts
The state provides health care through two programs under one umbrella called MassHealth inside Massachusetts. This is where residents of the state can apply for benefits normally described in other states as being either a Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program. MassHealth provides access to health care for children under the age of 19, seniors and the disabled.
Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Grants and Fuel Assistance
Massachusetts residents can take advantage of two grants that help with home energy costs through the Massachusetts Energy and Utility Assistance Program. LIHEAP funding will support low-income families in paying heating costs during the winter months. Weatherization Assistance provides for upgrades to housing that lower yearly heating and cooling costs. Typical savings for weatherization averages $350 a year for families accepted into the program.
Applying for Unemployment in Massachusetts
As in all states, those finding themselves unemployed through no fault of their own can apply for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts. To be eligible for benefits, you must have worked in the state in the past 12 to 18 months. You must also be seeking work and be available to start work when offered while receiving unemployment compensation. To file your initial claim visit your local career center or call toll-free 1-877-626-6800.
Category: Grants By States