This year, you won’t have to worry about losing your benefits if you get a big tax refund. Starting in 2011, any tax refunds you get will not affect most public benefits, or how much you get!
Under the law passed in December 2010:
General assistance (called GA after this) is a program run by every town to help people who don't have enough money to pay their necessary expenses. You may be eligible if your basic living costs are more than the money you have or can earn.
It is not easy to balance a household budget when you have a low income. But you can supplement your income by claiming all of the benefits and supports you have the right to claim. Here is a checklist. Make sure you are not leaving money on the table!
SSI benefits are the benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that come on the 1st of the month. If SSA finds that you have gotten too much money in your SSI benefit, they will send you a Notice of Overpayment.
If you did not have healthcare coverage then you could face a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act, known as the "Shared Responsibility Payment." But this is not true for everyone, especially low-income households.
Immigrants who are not official U.S. citizens may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, if they meet certain qualifications. SSI can help people who are elderly or disabled, and have little or no income.
LIHEAP funding continues to be lower than in previous years. This will mean that more households will be turning to local heating assistance programs after their LIHEAP money runs out. Here is a summary of the programs we know about - followed by information about how to access local programs.