Here to help: 4 ways to get relief from your day-to-day bills

Michael Bordonada
Published Jan 12, 2024

Are your day-to-bills getting to be a growing problem? I know mine are as inflation is around 40 year highs?

We are not alone: Up to 54% of adults in the U.S. are living paycheck-to paycheck, and 21% struggle to meet their monthly bills. The primary cause is that cost of living is increasing faster than income. Unfortunately the outlook is not great either as the Federal Reserve raises rates causing higher bills with anyone with adjustable rate debt such as credit cards.

The good news is that there are ways people can get help paying bills, from charities to national, state and even local government assistance. Have a look at some of the programs that help people out every day:

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP helps eligible households afford their energy bills. Eligibility varies from state to state, but typically requires that you prove that your income is below a certain level. Some states also have categorical eligibility. This means people might be eligible if they have a disabled person in the household, or automatically eligible if they are already receiving TANF, SNAP, and/or SSI. 

Be aware that because LIHEAP is a grant, sometimes they run out of money before they have reviewed all applications, so applications should be submitted as early as possible.

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides states with funds to operate programs to help low-income families with children. TANF money can be used to pay all kinds of bills including food, rent, energy, and child care. However, most people have to engage in a work activity to receive TANF, and they have to have children. LIke most proggrams, eligibliity varies by state.

Lifeline

The Lifeline program provides help with landline, cell phone and broadband internet service to people who have income at or below 135% of the federal poverty line, or who are receiving certain other government benefits given the importace of of these services.

Through Lifeline, people can get a discount on either a landline or wireless service, as well as broadband-voice bundles. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program was established to help renters survive lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Like most programs, each state has its own programs. The purpose of the program is to reduce evictions while supporting renters and ensuring that landlords can still pay the bills.

This U.S. Department of the Treasury website is designed to help people find rental assistance programs in their areas. 

Accepting help isn't always easy, but everyone needs a little help from time-to-time. They are meant to give you time to get back on your feet and support your family and/or yourself on your own. Please check the links above for for information and see if you can get the help so many others have received. 

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