For a low-income family, the government has several programs that are meant to help with living expenses including TANF (temporary aid), food stamps, medical assistance and help with paying energy expenses. All of these programs are readily available, and benefits are given to those who qualify.
Each program that is offered by the government is based on the family's income and how many people are in the family. TANF is a form of temporary aid that is given to families for a maximum of five years, but within two years, most families are expected to receive less aid due to finding a job. Food stamps are given to families that show their income is small enough to meet the standards. Food stamps are usually given in a set amount and can be used toward the purchase of food for the family. The amount of food stamps given depends on the number of dependents within the family and its income.
Medical assistance requires that a family goes to a specific set of doctors. Under this program, the family's bills can be greatly decreased or forgiven. This type of service is particularly helpful for low-income families with children.
Grants that help to pay for energy costs are usually awarded to those who rent or own their own home. Those who live in subsidized homes are usually not eligible. Those who receive this grant have their energy expenses paid, or at least lowered, based on how much energy they consume and the type of fuel their provider uses.