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Show your mom you're the best kid ever by showering her with free gifts, services and even money that those friendly government bureaucrats make available to mothers all over the country. Matthew Lesko, the Free Government Money Guy in the question mark suits, www.lesko.com/formom wants to be a hero this Mother's Day and has put together a collection of little-know government benefit programs that are available to Moms at any age.
Did you know:
1) Your Mom Can Get A Copy Of The Census Form That Her Mother Filled OutOriginal census forms are available to the public from 1930 back to 18502) Millionaire Moms Can Get Free Legal Help Collecting Child SupportDad may not be happy, but you can hook up you Mom to a government office that will track down any deadbeat dad.3) Free Child Safety Seats Are Available All Over The CountryThe SAFEKIDS campaign and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides this program 4) Moms Over 55 Can Take Free College Courses And Earn Free DegreesThere are 350 colleges around the country that offer such programs5) Free Computers Are Available For Moms Who Home-School Their KidsThese are used computers but in good working order.6) Free Money And Help For Divorced Moms To Get A Great Job
There are also government programs that give free money and help to start a home-based business, free books for their kids, and great day care for only $9 a week. See below for details on these and other government benefits you can use to surprise your mom for Mother's Day.
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Your grandma's Census records can provide a wealth of information. Census data starts in 1790 and can get you started on your family tree. From 1850 to 1930, details are provided for all individuals in each household, such as:
names of family members their ages at a certain point in time their state or country of birth their parent's birthplaces year of immigration street address marriage status and years of marriage occupation(s) value of their home and personal belongings the crops that they grew
The data is available on microfilm. For information on how to access this information, contact National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Rd., College Park, MD 20740; 866-272-6272; http://www.archives.gov. The following website at the Census Bureau also provides some basic search facts: www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf (Income Eligibility: None).
No matter what your income, you can get the most powerful organization in the world, your government, to fight for you to:
Establish paternity; Set up a court order for child support; Track down a missing parent and collect your child support; Get the courts to adjust child support orders when circumstances change.Actually I lied. There are a few states that may charge you up to $25.00. So the maximum you will pay is $25.00. So, why hire an attorney, who may or may not know the law, and will charge you up to $200 an hour, when you can call someone who wrote the law, whose duty is to enforce it for you, and who is free?
Contact your state Child Support Enforcement Office, or contact Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington, DC 20447; 202-401-9383; http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/. (Income Eligibility: None).
The child tax credit is a credit on your taxes up to $1,000 for each of your children. To be able to take this credit you must meet certain requirements. The credit is limited to people with an income below a certain modified adjusted gross income level.
The instructions and worksheet needed to figure this credit are included in the 1040 or 1040A tax return packets. If you are claiming an adoption credit, mortgage interest credit, or District of Columbia first time homebuyers credit, you must use Publication 972 from the IRS to figure your child tax credit. You can download that publication and Form 8812, referred to above, from the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/. To receive them by Fax-On-Demand, call 703-368-9694 or call 800-TAX-FORM (829-3676) to have them sent by mail or go to http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106182,00.html. (Income Eligibility: Ranges from $55,000 to $110,000, depending on if you're married or not and if you're filing jointly or separately.)
Not only does the government offer free lunches for school children, but your younger children can also receive free meals at day care centers, family day care homes, and more. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides nutritious meals to 2.6 million children and 74,000 adults who receive day care outside of their home. CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in homeless shelters, and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible after school care programs. CACFP reimburses participating centers and day care homes for their meal costs. It is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The State education or health department administers CACFP, in most States. Programs include: Child Care Centers Adult Day Care Centers Family Day Care Homes Homeless Shelters After School Care Programs
Contact FNS Public Information, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 926, Alexandria, VA 22302; 703-305-2281; http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/care/cacfp/cacfphome.htm. (Income Eligibility: Family of 4: $25,155. This varies from county to county so you must check with your local office to determine eligibility.)
There are hospitals that give out free child safety seats as you leave with your new baby, with no questions asked and no income requirements. Local police and fire departments inspect child safety seats to see that they are in proper order and properly installed, and sometimes provide free seats to those whose current equipment is not considered safe. Local organizations, like the Easter Seals Society were part of a federal program that gives out millions of dollars worth of free seats because of a settlement the U.S. Department of Transportation made with General Motors. Other groups will lend you a seat for as little as $5. The state of Minnesota alone has over 225 such programs.
To find a program near you, contact your local police or fire department. Or contact your state information operator and ask them for your state office for Highway Safety or Traffic Safety. These national organizations may also be able to give you a local source:National SAFEKIDS Campaign, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004; 202-626-0600; Fax 202-393-2072; http://www.safekids.org/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20590; 888-327-4236 or Auto Safety Hotline: 800-424-9393; http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ (Income Eligibility: None)
Local non-profits around the country get grants from the United Way or other institutions and offer free and sliding scale day care services. The United Way spends about a third of its funds, about $1 billion a year, on programs for children and families.
For example, the Community Partnerships for Children Program in Brockton, MA provides child care for a family of 2 with weekly income of $210 for only $9.00 a week, and families of 4 with income of $1,000 a week can get care for $114 a week per child. There are about 500 local United Way Information and Referral Services around the country that can point you to local groups that can help you solve your child care problems. Look in the phone book for your local United Way agency, or contact United Way of America, 701 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2045; 703-836-7112; http://www.liveunited.org/ You can also find your nearest Community Action Partnership Program at http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/index.php?option=com_spreadsheets&view=search&spreadsheet=cap&Itemid=188 (Income Eligibility: Determined on a case-by-case basis.)
If you're interested in finding out more about women in the workforce, including trends and future projections, you might find the following free publications informative:
Characteristics of Self-Employed WomenDevelopments in Women's Labor Force ParticipationEmployed Women About as Likely as Men to be Looking for JobsMarriage, Children and Women's Employment: What Do We KnowMarried Women, Work and ValuesMuch Variation in Women's Employment Across Metropolitan AreasSecond-Chance Strategies for Women Who Drop Out of SchoolWomen Business OwnersWomen in High-Tech JobsWomen in Jobs (Recessions)Women in Jobs (Recoveries)Women at the MillenniumWomen's Share of Labor Force to Edge Higher by 2008Differences in Women's and Men's Earnings by AgeIncome and Spending Patterns for Working WomenWomen in Managerial, Professional Occupations Earn More Than OthersWomen's Earnings: An OverviewJob Absence Rate Higher for Women Than for MenWomen in the Construction Workplace: Providing Equitable Safety and HealthProtectionWork Injuries and Illnesses Occurring to WomenThese titles can also be accessed online at http://www.dol.gov/dol/audience/aud-women.htm. Contact the Women's Bureau, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room S-3002; Washington, DC 20210; 800-827-5355 or 202-693-6710. (Income Eligibility: None)
Many service organizations have organized community service days, where the town is beautified along with certain homes in need of repair. Christmas in April is a national organization with over 185 affiliates that gather together volunteers to help rehabilitate the homes of low-income homeowners. The work is done for free with the goal being to provide a safe and secure home for those in need. An example of a program in the Dallas area is the Volunteer Home Repair and Weatherization Program. This program provides home repairs that improve the health, safety, and energy efficiency of a home for low-income homeowners. Contact your city government, your county government and your local community development office to learn about local programs. You can also contact your local Community Action Agency to see if they can direct you to a resource at http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/index.php?option=com_spreadsheets&view=search&spreadsheet=cap&Itemid=188
In the Dallas area, contact Volunteer Home Repair and Weatherization Program, Center for Housing Resources, 3103 Greenwood, Dallas, TX 75204; 214-828-4390, Fax: 214-828-4412; (Income Eligibility: Determined on a case-by-case basis.)
Individual Development Accounts help low-income people save for a down payment, college, or a small business. Funds are matched with one dollar from the government and one dollar from private funds. A short course on money management is usually required. Contact Corporation for Enterprise Development, 777 N. Capitol St., NE, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002; 202-408-9788; http://cfed.org/programs/idas/; to locate IDA program near you go to http://cfed.org/programs/idas/directory_search/