Can Individuals Get Cash from Government Grant Websites?

May 7th 2016

Typically, services that offer you access to “free government money” or lists of government grants to pay your bills may be scams - and you need to arm yourself with the knowledge to tell the difference between the real sites and the false ones. To start, know that there is never a fee to apply for or receive government funding. More importantly, the government will never reach out to you directly to offer you a grant. If you have received any such offers or you are considering paying for grant information, visit the government grant fraud website.

Government Grant Websites for Assistance with Basic Needs

The most common reason why folks are in search of government grants is that they find themselves in a serious financial crisis. While there are no grants that involve a blank check to be used for any purpose, there are many grant programs to ease your way during tough times.

The best starting point for individuals is www.benefits.gov. Begin by completing the Benefit Finder Questionnaire, which takes 20 to 30 minutes. You will receive a comprehensive list of opportunities that best fit your situation, along with instructions detailing how to apply for the benefits. Alternatively, you can browse all of the categories and opportunities available to find those that best suit your needs.

While most programs don’t offer cash outright, the support available can free up your income for use in other ways. Examples of grants available for basic needs include the following:

  • Food: State-run Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) and Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Shelter: Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), HUD Public Housing Program, FEMA Housing Portal
  • Utilities: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization Assistance Program

Government Grant Websites for Education

Most college students are familiar with the most common government grants available to students with financial need. These are paid directly to the school, and the best way to start is by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. However, there are some less well-known programs for specific areas of study. Some of these include:

  • Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program – Work abroad with other students and teachers in the study of foreign languages. More information is available on the at Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad website.     
  • National Health Service Corps – These grants cover the cost of health services education for students willing to commit to serving populations where healthcare is not readily available. More information is available on the National Health Service Corps website.  

More opportunities for teachers and students to get grants for education are available on the US Department of Education website.  

Government Grant Websites for Artists

The least well-known government programs are grants and other opportunities available to encourage and support US visual artists, writers and dancers to take the next step in honing their craft or developing international relationships with other artists. Some examples of these types of grants include the following:

  • smARTpower – Artists and students have the opportunity to travel abroad to collaborate with other artists on community projects. More information on this and other exchange programs is available at the smARTpower website.
  • Literature Fellowships – Poets and creative writers can qualify for grants that give them what they want most: time to write. These are most often available to published writers, but it is worth exploring all of the opportunities on the National Endowment for the Arts grant website.  

The bottom line is that there are a wide variety of government-funded programs available for individuals to meet basic needs, to become more employable and to strengthen their artistic abilities. While few of these give you cash outright, scientists and researchers can receive funding to explore topics of concern to the country, such as disease and mental health, and small-business owners can get a boost to help grow the economy.

Start your search at the easy to use www.benefits.gov site, which will point you in the direction of government grant websites that best fit your needs.

Resources:  

www.benefits.gov 

http://arts.gov/grants-individuals/creative-writing-fellowships/application-instructions 

http://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/smartpower 

http://www.ed.gov/fund/grants-apply.html 

http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html

http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/individual-registration.html

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Benefits.shtml

http://answers.usa.gov/system/templates/selfservice/USAGov/#!portal/1012/article/3877/Government-Grants-and-Loans-for-Individuals

http://www.treasury.gov/services/Pages/Grants-Loans-and-Financial-Assistance.aspx

http://www.hhs.gov/grants/

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