Under the Fair Hardship Assistance (FHAA) program, you can pay for a specific amount of family or individual needs for up to six months of your benefits. Hardship funds can be received directly from your insurance company or are awarded through FEMA.
The FHAA program can apply to up to 30 people at the same time. The goal of the program is to make sure that families do not experience drastic financial hardship due to the loss of health insurance. The money can be used for medical or dental expenses, or it can be used to cover a family member’s out of pocket expenses for basic living expenses.
You should have an idea of how much money you will require for a particular amount of time to receive a hardship fund so that you have a sense of how much you can afford to invest in the fund. You should also be able to determine if you can use certain emergency funds like the Permanent Disability Trust (in New York State).
To learn more about each of the programs available to low income families in your state, as well as the types of funds offered and the rules regarding them, download the state-by-state brochure of the Federal Emergency Welfare Fund’s (FEW Fund) Resources.
How do I apply for relief?
If you are eligible and need financial assistance, there are different options available to you.
If you qualify through the Medicaid program, you can apply for Federal Reliequity Fund, which applies to those with a household income of less than 138% of the federal poverty level (approximately $14,800 for one person that year). The program provides payment up to a limit as a lump-sum, with your payment applied directly to your medical bills or dental expenses.
If you qualify through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (for low income children), you can apply directly to the TANF Emergency Compensation Fund. The fund is designed to pay for urgent medical care for children and other situations that make paying medical bills difficult and prevent medical bills from exceeding your financial limitations.
If you qualify through the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program (FSP), which is designed to help low income families afford the fruits and vegetables they need to eat, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
If you qualify through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you may also be eligible for an Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFA).
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