Many U.S. residents are in need of assistance whether it is physical or financial.
Government grants provide one solution to qualifying residents. It is important for all interested Americans to be aware of how funding form the government is obtained and what is even available.
The majority of federal government grant funding is disbursed to state and local organizations rather than to individual residents. However, that does not mean that eligible applicants cannot obtain assistance.
Organizations that receive government grant money are better equipped to distribute funds to needy residents appropriately. Applicants who are eligible for the various programs managed by state and local organizations will be able to receive free government grants from these agencies.
This money is completely free and will not need to be returned to the government or managing organization in most cases. However, government grants for individuals must be used for their intended purpose. Read more below.
About Federal Government Grant Options
It is a common misconception that a federal government grant is awarded to residents directly from the federal government.
While some government departments such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) do distribute funds to eligible Americans, many other organizations are at state and local levels. Agencies at these levels are better able to serve the needs of the local population.
Different organizations obtain government grants to carry out specific goals such as providing food, housing or utility payment assistance. Residents can then apply for assistance and will either receive an allowance, or a set amount of grant money, or the organization will pay for the recipient’s needs on their behalf.
For example, Americans who qualify for housing or rental assistance through HUD are able to obtain low-cost shelter, as the organization pays for approximately 70 percent of the rental payment. Thus, while tenants do not directly receive free government grants, they still benefit as HUD uses its grant funding to supply housing.
While residents seeking government grants for individuals are unlikely to find the free money in the form they are looking for, they may still be able to attain financial assistance indirectly through a range of organizations and programs. The following are some of the organizations that can assist residents through their use of federal grants:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
About Government Grants for Small Business Owners
Government grants for small business establishments are available for business owners in certain sectors and specific purposes. Most financial assistance for businesses is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
This organization distributes free government grants to qualifying businesses.
One grant offered by the SBA is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. Through this program, small domestic businesses attain funding to perform research and development with the hopes that the final product will result in commercialization. This federal government grant program is focused on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Another opportunity offered by the SBA that provides free funding to small business owners is the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Similar to the SBIR grant, STTR provides grants to qualifying businesses to participate in research and development.
In contrast to SBIR, the Small Business Technology Transfer grant focuses on the combined efforts of nonprofit researching institutions and small businesses in order to foster innovation and technological improvement.
Evidently, government grants for small business ventures are offered only for certain purposes. This means that residents seeking to open a restaurant or boutique are not likely to receive government funding.
However, those who are interested in creating new technologies can have the opportunity to do so with federal funding. Moreover, many other U.S. agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, offers numerous small business grants for residents seeking to start a business in other sectors.
About Government Hardship Grants
A number of circumstances qualify residents to receive government hardship grants. These types of grants are available for Americans struggling financially or who are in emergency situations, such as after natural disasters. While it is possible to obtain financial or other types of assistance, beneficiaries do not receive funding directly from the federal government.
Rather, portions of government grants are allocated to numerous nonprofit organizations and state departments. These agencies, in turn, carefully distribute the funds the eligible residents for specific purposes.
Many situations are considered hardships. As a result, different organizations provide assistance for specific needs. Because many hardships are a result of low finances, most programs provide some type of financial aid or allowance through the use of a federal government grant. Qualifying recipients receive a certain amount of the available grant funding depending on the criteria they meet.
Most Americans face financial hardship at one time in their lives. In such circumstances, they can seek out aid from their local human services office. There, they can find a number of programs that can assist them during their time of need including:
- Free government grants for disability assistance.
- Nutrition assistance.
- An allowance during unemployment.
- Assistance with energy bills.
Learn About $7000 Government Grant and Other Scams
A number of false government grants are offered to unsuspecting residents. Organizations falsely representing the government often make calls or send emails to Americans informing them that they qualify for free government grants.
These false organizations present themselves as legitimate government agencies and caseworkers. Additionally, they claim to work for official government departments and that they have a free federal government grant for the resident they are contacting.
They inform the unsuspecting recipient that they have a sum, such as a $7,000 government grant, waiting for them as long as they provide certain information. Then, the false government representative informs that resident that all he or she needs to do is pay a processing fee or provide his or her bank account number. Such requests are indicative of a scam.
Legitimate government grants for individuals are not available over the phone. Residents interested in applying for financial assistance must apply through specific organizations.
Agents from these organizations do not pre-screen Americans to check if they qualify. Moreover, an organization or government assistance program will not charge a processing fee or request sensitive information over the phone.