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If you are worried about your retirement, wondering about paying for your senior years, or just want to take advantage of every damn benefit that this great country has to offer for the rest of your life, then this book is for you. This is the most complete collection of little-know benefit programs that are offered to seniors of all incomes, from federal, state and local government sources and non-profit organizations.
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Our country has so much to offer for seniors and the benefits keep growing every year. Out of the total federal budget of approximately $2.6 trillion a year, about $890 billion of this money goes to seniors. That means 35% of everything the federal government spends goes to seniors.(Source: US Budget 2006 http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy06/sheets/hist03z2.xls)
The problem is that most seniors don't know about all the benefits that are due to them. Sure, most seniors may know about the major programs, like Medicare and Social Security, but there are thousands of programs worth billions and the offices giving out the money rarely spend a penny to advertise their availability.
I really believe that I should not be the one telling seniors about what they have already paid for with their tax dollars. The government should be doing this. But I've been doing this for over 25 years and from what I can see it's unlikely I'll have to find something else to do anytime soon. Every year the government keeps getting bigger and the benefits keep increasing, no matter which party is in charge. And people know less and less about what is available.
Government studies show that over 30 million seniors are unaware that they are eligible for even some of the most basic benefit programs, like receiving up to $1,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services or getting their doctor to do free test screenings for cancer, glaucoma, and osteoporosis. A national polling survey conducted by the University of Connecticut and sponsored by Information, USA shows that 81% of Americans believe the government is NOT doing a good job of telling about available benefit programs and 65% of Americans believe they are eligible for benefits that they don't know about.(Sources: GAO Report, Medicare Savings Programs, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04363.pdf, GAO Report Medicare: Most Beneficiaries Receive Some but Not All Recommended Services, GAP-03-958, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03958.pdf, Information USA/ U of Conn survey, http://www.lesko.com/survey.php)
It would be great if you could call just one government agency and ask about all government programs for seniors. But that is not going to happen. Our country is too big and complex for any one person to know everything. I've been cataloging government programs for over 25 years and what I keep learning every year is that even I can't know all the programs available.
Many government offices don't even know about their own programs. A recent study of the answers given on the government's Medicare hotline showed that they gave the wrong answer 39% of the time. And when a doctor called for an answer they were given the wrong answer 96% of the time. (Source: U.S. GAO Report, Accuracy of Responses form the 1-800-MEDICARE Help Line Should Be Improved, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05130.pdf)
Our world is getting to the point where you can no longer call a government office and ask them what they have. You can't even call an expert and expect them know what is available. It has come to the point in our society where you now have to be able to call a government office and tell them what they have. This book arms you to get what is sitting there waiting for you and what people don't know about.
This is what Peter G. Peterson, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in his book "Running on Empty." He also showed that the government gives out about $1.5 trillion benefits each year and only 12% of this money goes to the poor. And only 25% of the money has an income requirement. This means 75% of all benefit money programs have no income requirement at all. Seniors have to realize that there are benefits for every income category imaginable.
A Sample List Of Programs From The Book That Anyone Can Use:
Free Honorary Diplomas For VeteransProduce Your Own TV For Cable TV$30,000 To Teach OverseasTrain To Be A Master GardnerGo On A Free Archeological DigAccess To Health Info That's Better Than Your DoctorFree Treatment By Expert Doctors Who Get Government Grants60% Discount On Dental CareLearn How To Legally Transfer Your Assets To Get Gov To Pay For Long Term CareLearn How To Get Medicare To Pay For A Motor Scooter$3,000 To Sell Your Products OverseasHow to Increase Your Retirement Income by 25%Free Financial Counseling Services$15,000 Bonus to Teach If You're A VetFree Computer Classes To Learn To Use The Web2 Weeks Free Travel On A Government Weather Ship$25,000 For Your Singing Group To Perform OverseasFree Rollercoaster Rides$25/Day To Be A Park Ranger In Idaho For The SummerGet Paid To Be A Teen Counselor In BelizeFree PassportsExempt from Taking SAT Tests For College AdmissionsSpend Your Vacation As A Moose Crossing GuardFree Hunting, Fishing And Dog LicensesGet Paid To Give A Speech In A Foreign Country$1,000,000 At Age 63 To Make High Tech Golf Clubs$8,000 To Train For A New Job$250,000 To Work On Your Invention350 Colleges Where You Can Go For FREE50% Discount On Property TaxesMoney And Help To Start Your Own Non-Profit$100,000 Low Interest Loan For A Mobile HomeSave 50% On Your Fuel BillGet a $100,000 Home For $1 plus Fix-Up Money$782,000 Low Interest Loan To Buy A Ranch Or Farm$5,000,000 To Buy Or Fix Up An Apartment Building20% Off Your Gas Bill25% Discount On Utility Bills Because Of Home Medical Equipment0% Interest Loans To Fix Up Your Home$700 Rebate On Home Insulation$150 Rebate On A Dishwasher90% Discount On EyeglassesFree Screenings For Breast Cancer, Vaginal Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Osteoporosis, Prostate Cancer, GlaucomaFree Legal Help To Fight The IRS$2,000 If You Get MuggedFree Copies Of Your Credit Report$195 A Month Parking Money50% Air Line Discount To See Sick RelativeFree Credit RepairFree Help Finding A Lost Loved OneFree Concert And Theater TicketsGet A GED, Degree Or PhD For FreeFree Legal Help To Fight Your Bank Or Credit Card CompanyFree Legal Help To Fight Age DiscriminationVolunteer For Homeland Security Or Police DutyFree Wonderer Locator ServiceFree Or Cheap Flu ShotsFree Legal Help To Fight Health Care IndustryFree Health Insurance CounselingFree Information Hotlines For Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Tobacco, Parkinson, Disability, Alzheimer, Mental Health, Osteoporosis
These programs are only available to seniors with incomes under the amount state. If your income is over the amount, be sure to investigate the program anyway because all sources of income may not be counted and some programs allow exceptions.
$3,500 For Emergency Home Repairs...income up to $25,650 per coupleFree Prescription Drugs...income up to $32,000 per person$500 For Caring For A Relative...income up to $50,000 for household$120 Off Your Phone Bill...income up to $24,135 per couplePersonal Emergency Response System ...income up to $18,432 per personFree Prescription Drugs...income up to $40,000 per person$3,000 To Be A Foster Grandparent...income up to $15,756 per personGrants For Alzheimer Caregivers...income up to $67,000 per householdFree Respite Care For Senior...income up to $30,195 per couple55+ Get Paid 20 Hours A Week To Learn A New Skill...income up to $20,112 per coupleSave 70% On Rent...income up to $30,450 per person$7,500 Grant To Fix Up Home...income up to $25,000 per household$350 For A New Air Conditioner...income up to $24,120 per couple$100 Off Your Phone Bill...income up to $20,600 per person$5,000 Grant To Get Rid Of Lead Paint In Your Home...income up to $24,135 per couple$850 Tax Refund For Seniors In Massachusetts...income up to $55,000$2,500 To Pay For New Insulation...income up to $24,135 per couple$600 To Pay For Heating Bills...income up to $21,864 per coupleFree Handyman Services...income up to $34,000 per coupleFree Night Lights And Door Locks...income up to $34,900 per couple$750 For Emergency Rent Money...income up to $31,150 per couple$500 To Stop Utility Cut Offs...income up to $22,453 per couplePay No More Than 6% Of Income On Utilities...income up to $24,464 per coupleGet Paid To Be A Grandparent...income determined case by caseFree Wheelchair Ramp For Your Home...income up to $26,750 per couple$4,300 Grant From IRS...income up to $35,000 per taxpayerFree Health Care When You Have No Insurance (Sliding Scale)$100 To Buy Fresh Fruit And Vegetable...income up to $23,737 per coupleGet An Extra $1,000...income up to $16,872 per coupleExtra $10,400 For Disability...income up to $9,400 per coupleFree Meals Delivered To Your Home...determined case by case$3 For Every $1 Dollar Your Save...income up to $25,660 per coupleDiscounts At Veterinary Teaching Hospitals...determined case by caseFree Taxies To The Doctors...determined case by caseMoney To Auto Repairs, Car Insurance, Or A Tank Of Gas...income up to $32,180 per coupleFree Fans...income determined case by case$20,000 Worth Of Free Alcohol And Drug Treatment...income up to $45,000 per personFree Mammograms And Breast And Cervical Cancer Treatment...income up to $46,000 per family$2,000 For Cancer Patient...determined case by case$10,000 To Buy A Talking Computer...determined case by case$20,000 Forgivable Loans To Fix Up Your Home...income up to $46,680 per coupleFinancial Assistance For Those Needing Heart Surgery...determined case by case basis$6,000 To Pay For Groceries...income up to $24,516 per couple$2,000 Grant To Pay Rent Or Mortgage...income up to $34,135 per couple
That's right, at 40 years of age the government considers you a senior. That's the beginning year for age discrimination. So, you are over 40 and have a job, and they lay you off, but they don't lay off the younger people around you that may be age discrimination. Or if you are looking for a job and you are over 40 and they hire younger people and not you, that too may be age discrimination. Laws are complicated. But you don't have to hire a high priced attorney to find out if the employer violated the law. You can call a government office and talk to someone who wrote the law. And if they determine you have a case they will sue the employer for you and get you the money. That's just one of the thousands of benefits you have access to by living in America and being over 40.
What is wonderful about the benefits described in this book is that not only can they help you cope with your daily expenses, health care needs, or the needs of the seniors you are caring for, they can also help you live the life you always dreamed of and help you ring out the last bit of life no matter how old you are. As I said in my dedication, "old isn't old anymore." There is so much to life in all of us if we only use it. We all have so much to contribute no matter what our age. The world needs all the skills and love we have while we are here. All we have to do is tap into the benefits that are available in this country to help us do it.
Here are some people who also believe that "old isn't old":
- at 72 Jack McKeon was called out of retirement to coach the Florida Marlins to a World Series victory- at 68 Harry Stonecipher became CEO of Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company- at 65 John Reed was named interim chairman and CEO of New York Stock Exchange- in her 70s Barbara Walters continues to expand her TV work- at 78 Alan Greenspan still runs the Federal Reserve System- at 75 Warren Buffet is the world's most respected investor- in their 60s and 70s Sophia Loren and Sean Connery are still considered sexy- at 81 Former President Carter is still very active as a writer and international emissary- at 77 Joe Paterno signed a 4-year contract extension to coach the Penn State football team- at near 80 Grandma Moses started painting- at 65 Groucho Marx launched a new career as a television-show host- at 94 George Bernard Shaw was at work on a new play- at 74 Galileo published his masterpiece, "Dialogue Concerning the Two New Sciences"- at 70 Noah Webster published "An American Dictionary of the English Language"- - at 91 Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York- - at 94 conductor Leopold Stokowski signed a 6-year recording contract- - at 72 Mahatma Gandhi completed successful negotiation with Britain for India's independence- - at 80 B.B. King does 100 concerts a year(Source: all but the B.B. King story was part of the testimony of Ken Dychtwald, September 20, 2004, "Breaking the Silver Ceiling: A New Generation of Older Americans Redefining the New Rules of the Workplace," U.S. Senate Committee on Aging http://aging.senate.gov/public/_files/hr131kd.pdf )
I hear so many people tell me that what stops them seeking government benefits is the thought of a complicated government application. These statements are usually made by people who have never even seen an application. And they certainly have never seen an application for a benefit that is relevant to them and they wish to apply for. There is an urban myth that all government benefit applications are 20-page complicated messes. And some of them are that way if you are a non-profit organization wishing to compete for large government grants. But the benefits for individuals are different. 90% of the applications for the benefits listed in this book are simply a few pages of filling in the blanks. And if you have trouble filling out an application, there are government offices that will help you fill out the applications for free.
This book is not intended to be a complete collection of free money programs. The rain forest could not handle it if that were true. This book is intended to give every American an understanding of the major programs available and a number of minor ones that we found to be the most interesting.
It's not impossible for any one publication, database or anything else really, to be able to collect everything in the universe on a given subject. I know I'm biased, but I certainly believe that we are the best people in the world for collecting information on government money programs. I also know that we cannot possibly get every single program that is available.
One problem is that programs come and go. Our world is changing every second. It is a big complex society we are living in, and people are making decisions throughout the day that make subtle or big changes which affect the contents of this book. Budgets keep changing. Priorities keep changing. People keep changing. Offices keep changing.
A bigger problem is that the world of free money is enormous. Preparing a book for a national audience makes us excellent at identifying national and state programs. But truthfully, it is sometimes beyond our capabilities to completely cover all local, county and non-profit programs. First of all, if we did collect all of these programs in the country, you would not be able to pick up the book. There are thousands and thousands of local communities in the United States and each of them can have 5 to 50 programs. Fifty times 5,000 would be 250,000 programs. We would never finish researching.
Our goal is to arm you with knowledge. We want to show you the money, but you are going to have to do a little work yourself.
Sorry to disappoint you, but I have to warn you of the truth. In our modern society, it is virtually impossible to expect to include every program possible and have every item completely accurate. The problem is that the world is too big and it is always changing. Every day programs come and go. Every day people change their address, phone number and websites. It is just a fact that these things happen in our modern society.
But remember, if a listing in this book leads you to a non-working number or website, it does not necessarily mean that the program is gone. In all likelihood it is still there, but has changed since we completed our search. Here are some tricks you can try to locate the program:
You are going to find programs that excite you at first and then when you read further it may seem that you will not qualify. Or you will gather more information on a program in this book and you will run into some phrase, or sentence in the description that makes you feel you do not have a chance. You may encounter things like:
A. "all the money is given out by June 30th" and it is already September 1stB. "the money is only for people who live in the country" and you live in the cityC. "the money goes to non-profit organizations" and you are not oneD. "you have to come up with 20% of the money for the project" and you don't have anyE. "the money is only for people who live in Minnesota" and you live in New JerseyF. "the money is for people making less than $60,000/yr" and you make $70,000
Don't look at phrases like these as impassable boulders that stand in your way of getting the money you need. In reality, they can simply be small pebbles in the road that you may not even feel at all. If you don't follow up, you will never know.
Here's what I've seen happen in each of these situations:
1. "all the money is given out by June 30th": The end of the accounting year for most government agencies is September 30th, but the agency can start giving out more money beginning October 1st, and you can be the first in line. I think you can wait another 30 days for your money.
2. "the money is for people who live in the country": That may be so. But it will still pay to get the details of the program to see if there is something in the description that was not obvious to others. A young man in Boston was trying to get money from a program that gave money for teenage entrepreneurs that lived in the country. He lived in Boston. When he got the materials it said that it was for people in the country, but the description also said that it was for people who wanted to start lawn mowing businesses. That is what he wanted to do and he convinced the office that he was qualified. Government officials do not know everything. Get the facts and find out for yourself.
3. "the money is for non-profits": for about $100 in fees you can become a non-profit. Just call up the IRS and your state capital and ask for the office that registers non-profit organizations. Fill out the paperwork. Don't worry. You'll do it wrong. Send it in anyway. And they will send it back telling you how you messed up and then you will correct your mistakes. Another way to solve the problem is to find a local non-profit, like a community college, church, or community group. Tell them you would like to use their name to apply for a bunch of money and that you will give them 15% if you get the money. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. "you have to come up with 20% of the cost of the project": There is always more than one way to come up with the extra money than having the cash in your pocket. Some programs allow you to provide services or equipment that you already have as part of your 20%. You may be able to use your sweat as your contribution. The fact that you will work for free in helping to get the house built or the refurbishing done is worth something. You can call yourself a general contractor or just a handy man who pounds in the nails. Or you may need equipment, like the use of a car, to get the project done. This can be your car. The one that you already have and it can count as a percentage of the project.5. "the money is only for people in Minnesota": Contact them anyway. It's likely that if this is a unique program then the program administrators will be aware of similar programs around the country that do the same thing. People doing similar work around the country have a tendency to organize and share information on how they are doing. We are one of the best organized countries in the world. If there are 10 people in the country doing the same thing they will start an association, a newsletter and have annual meetings.
6. "the money is for people making less than $60,000": We all know that rules are made to be broken and many bureaucrats who hand out money have the power and authority to break the rules. It is especially easier for them to bend a few rules if they like you or they like your project. Or they may be having trouble giving away all their money this year and you are one of the best ideas they have seen. Remember, bureaucrats are human too. They have feelings. Like all of us, unless they are having a bad day, their instinct is to help. Always give them a chance to see if they can help.
There are some programs in this book that are limited to people in certain geographic areas.. This should not stop you. This does not mean there isn't a similar program in your area. We were just not good enough to find it yet. You can find it. It just may take a little time and work. Everything worthwhile in life does take effort. Start with your local public library. Ask for the reference librarian. They can give you a good start on where to start looking. You should also contact the local office of your congressman or senator. Your librarian will give you the right number.
So, don't let us stop you from getting what you need. You can find it yourself.
Step #1: Review The BookIt is important to go through the entire book. You don't have to read everything, but you have to at least review the title of every entry. Place a check mark on those entries that you feel MIGHT be of some interest to you. You can also place a post-it on the edge of the page or turn town the corner of the page so you can easily return to it.
Step #2: Assign A Grade To Likely ProgramsTwo grades can be enough. But it must be at least 2. Read each entry in detail and place either an "A" or "B" next to the entry. Using a "1" or "2" is also good. The higher grade should identify those entries that seem more likely and the lower grade should identify programs that are a little less likely but are "maybes."
Step #3: Follow Up ImmediatelyAs you probably guessed from reading the step above, you should now go back and contact all your "A" list programs first. Leave your "B" list programs for a later round. You want to tackle the most obvious first. You can start digging deeper later, but you may not have to. I know it sounds like an obvious choice, but some people get overwhelmed with so many places to go to. This prioritizes the process for you.Step #4: Contact the Agency DirectlyThis is a must. Do not assume that you know everything about the program just by reading the description in the book. You have to get the details before you make the decision if this is a program for you. You can contact the agency in any of the following ways:A. by telephone,B. by email,C. by website, orD. in person
You may even want to do a combination. You can go to the website and review their programs and then call and ask for specifics. But remember; even if you get details about a specific program on the web be sure you contact the agency by phone or email to insure you have the complete information. Like printed material in books, a lot of material on the web can also be out of date or even misleading.
Step #5: Be Careful What You Ask ForYour initial contact with an agency should be friendly. Many people are intimidated to contact any government agency. Remember you don't have to know what you are talking about, because most of the bureaucrats don't know what they are talking about either. This is the government, remember. Your best approach is to try to be as inclusive as possible in your initial contact. Try not to say things that can get you a "no" answer right off the bat. For example, don't let the first words out of your mouth be:
"Hi, I want a grant to start a bakery. Will you give me one?"
This can get the door closed on you right away when in fact there may be lots of money sitting there waiting for you. The bureaucrat answering the phone may not be aware of any grant programs because he just started working there a few weeks ago and is really not aware of all the programs. Or he may not be aware of any money that says "bakery" on the label. Or if you are looking for a townhouse he will look down his list for the word "townhouse" and tell you that there is no money available. Or the government may be offering other kinds of money that does not have the name "grant" attached to it but it means the same thing. They may be offering money in the form of "direct payments" or under a program called "loans," but in fact you never have to pay back the money if you live in the house for more than 3 years. That's just as good as a grant.
You can miss a lot by trying to be very specific. The problem is that most people in the government don't even now what is available. By being specific the official can find an easier way to tell you "no" and send you on your way. You'll be happy, because this is what you sort of expected anyway. And the official will be happy because they don't have to do any more work. So it is much better to start with something like:
"Hi. I'm trying to get a description of all the money programs that are available for housing or real estate."
You want the official to stretch her imagination and try to come up with a complete list for you. When you get a complete descriptive listing, review it in close detail and call the office back and tell them all the programs for which you would like to apply.
Step #6: Be Nice To BureaucratsWhen you are calling the government, getting a lot of voice mails or being put on hold, it's hard to remember how important that person is who finally answers the telephone. That's the person who can give you the money. So how well you treat them can determine your success or failure in getting what you need. If you start yelling when the person answers the phone because you've been sitting on hold for the past 10 minutes, you don't sound like you are going to be the highlight of any bureaucrat's day. That bureaucrat gets paid the same amount of money whether they help you for free for 2 weeks or if they hang up on you right after you say hello. What you have to do is try to get that person to want to spend time with you. You want them to enjoy talking with you. The more comfortable they are in talking with you, the more likely they are to share inside information that will increase your chances and make it easier for you to get the money. It is basic common sense that can easily be forgotten, like: a) Don't be nasty when they answer the phone because the first words out of your mouth can set the stage for the entire conversation; b) Don't act like you hate them except for the fact that they are sitting on the money (even though it may be true) because this will come through in your conversation and they will not want to help you; and c) Send "thank you" notes when people are exceptionally nice because it is the best way to ensure that you are remembered the next time you call. I can go on and on, but simply put .... TREAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.
Step #7: Make It PersonalThink of it as being back in school when you would go and brown nose the teacher. The good brown nosers would meet with the teacher after class and not only talk about school, but also talk about their life. They would show the teacher pictures of their dog and talk about how much they like baseball; anything to get the teacher to relate to them not as a student but as a person. Once the teacher sees a student as a person, it's hard to flunk them no matter how bad they are. These bureaucrats have the power to pass or fail you on your money exam. So the more they get to know you as a person, the more likely they are to help you pass the test. So when you are talking to them, don't be afraid to talk about personal stuff along with the professional. They certainly have the power to help, because they are the ones who give out the money.
Step #8: Belly To Belly Is BestIf being good on the phone increases your odds of getting the cash, then face to face will do even more. This may not be practical or even possible all of the time, but it is certainly another way for a bureaucrat to put a face with an application and this will make it that much harder for her to just say "no."
Step #9: Don't WaitI really mean don't wait until the last minute to apply. Especially with those offices that only give out money at certain times of the year. As deadline time approaches, the bureaucrats can become too busy to provide you with any individualized help. So the best strategy is to call early and to call often.
Step #10: Don't Leave Empty HandedIf after reviewing all of their programs you decide that they have nothing for you, you have one more important thing to do before you move on. Call up one of the program officers and tell them about your search. See if they are aware of any programs that may suit your needs, or if they know of other agencies that have ANY kind of financial assistance for your project. These people are in the business and are likely to attend meetings and conventions with people from other agencies who also hand out money. They are on the front line of government programs and will likely know other people who do this work.Step #11: Apply, Apply, ApplyKeep going through this process and keep applying to as many programs as possible. Apply even if people tell you that you have a very small chance of getting the money. Apply even if they tell you that you "may" not be qualified. When you hear terms like "may" or "small chance" this still means that you do have a chance, and that is all you need. Don't worry about filling out so many applications. Once you've done the first one the rest are pretty much the same. The whole process is a numbers game. Just like the lottery, you have to play to win.
Step #12: No Application Is A ProblemNo matter how easy the application may appear you are likely to encounter some difficulty with at least one question. But this is not a real problem. There is plenty of help.
The best way to handle this is to call the office giving out the money and ask to speak to a "program officer" for the program to which you are applying. They are the people who are directly involved in handing out the money. Be blunt and tell them that you "have no idea what they are talking about in question #6 on the application." You are probably not the first person in the world who had trouble with that question. The office probably realizes it is confusing, but they didn't have money in the budget to reprint the forms.
If for some reason you are not getting help directly from the office giving out the money, you can always contact the office of your elected official. This is your Congressman or Senator at the federal level, your state elected official for state programs and your councilman or mayor at the local level. They all have people on their staff whose job it is to solve problems that taxpayers are having with the government.
Step #13: It's Important To Be A NagWe all hate to be nags. But it is important because an application can get lost so easily in a mountain of paperwork.
It may be uncomfortable at times. But the squeaky wheel does get the grease.
Step #14: Success and Failure are Both GoodIf you get the money, call. Make sure you thank them and ask all the stupid questions you think are necessary to know when, where, and how you are going to get your money. If your application is rejected, be sure you call anyway. This is the only way you may learn the truth about why you did not get the money. Ask how soon you can apply again. They may be accepting applications every month and too many people applied last month. You always have to keep learning how and why organizations give out money and by being an applicant you are in a wonderful position to ask.
You can't stop if you don't find what you need in this book. As I mentioned earlier, space precludes us from listing the thousands more that are available and publishing deadlines prevent us from having the latest. So, here is where you can turn to continue your work in getting what you need:
1) Find More Federal Money ProgramsLook at a book called the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. It contains all the federal government programs that give out money. This book is available at your local public library or the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov. You can also search the contents of this book, by keyword or government department, for free on the web at www.cfda.gov.
2) Find More State Money ProgramsEvery state government has dozens of money programs that help people pay their expenses. The problem is that there is never one central place to look. You have to go agency by agency, or department by department and search for what is available. Some good departments to start with are health, agriculture, commerce, and social services. You can find them by dialing 411 and asking for your state capitol operator or by going to the web at www.govengine.com and clicking on your state.
3) Find More Local City and County ProgramsStart looking at every local city and county government for programs that might help. If you don't know where to go, you can call 411 and ask for the mayor's office or the office of the county executive. Just tell them you are looking for programs that might provide financial assistance to residents. You can also go to www.govengine.com and under each state there will be a listing of all cities and counties. Click on those of interest and start searching for programs.
4) Find More Money From Non-Profit OrganizationsThere are two major sources for finding money from these groups:
5) Find More Money From Local Non-Profit And Volunteer OrganizationsThere are a number of national volunteer organizations around the country that offer grants and other free services to solve problems for people in their community. The Lions Club awarded over $340 million in grants since they started, and the Kiwanis Clubs gives out over $100 million every year.
Catholic Charities USA1731 King St., #200Alexandria, VA 22314703-549-1390www.catholiccharitiesinfo.orgOver 14,000 local organizations offer a variety of services for many different community problems including child care, elderly services, emergency financial services, rental assistance, and more. To find an office near you go to their main web site and see "Need Assistance? Find A Local Agency?" and put in your state.
Salvation Army National Headquarters615 Slaters LaneP.O. Box 269Alexandria, VA 22313703-684-5500www.salvationarmyusa.org/Families in need can receive a wide range of services, including utility assistance, transitional housing emergency food, clothing, and more. For an office near you contact the headquarters above or http://www.redshield.org/.
6) Find A Local Non-Profit With Money And ServicesThe United Way is a national organization that raises money for thousands of local non-profit organizations who offer money and services to people in their community. Your local United Way can identify non-profits in your area that may offer the resources or services you are looking for. Contact:
United Way of America701 North Fairfax StreetAlexandria, VA 2314703-836-7112www.unitedway.orgTo find a local chapter go to the website and enter your zip code under "Find A Local United Way."
Your elected representatives are in the business of seeing how they can help you locate money, services or anything else you need. They can also be handy if you have applied for government money and you can't seem to get a specific government agency to respond to you. Most elected officials have people on their staff whose job it is to do just that for voters. This is why politicians are always getting re-elected. If they do a favor for you, you will vote for them forever, no matter what they do.
Contact them all. They are all getting a government salary to help you and they all have access to different resources. The worst that can happen is that more than one person solves your problem. If you need help finding them go to www.congress.org or your local library.
You might be able to make one contact with an office and get what you want you need, but this is not very likely. What is more likely to happen in today's world is that it may take a dozen contacts to get what you need. And that's not just when dealing with the telephone company, that's true when dealing with anyone: your bank, Microsoft Helpline or your children (at least mine). But even if it takes you a few hours or even days to weeks to get all your health care paid for or a chunk of money to start your own business in retirement, it's worth it. Most of us can't remember what we did in the last few weeks. And these are benefits that can change the rest of your life. So remember, when the going gets a little complicated, you are not here to change the system, you are here to take advantage of it. Changing the system will take a whole heck of a lot longer.