Welfare and Other Aid

In every state, there are programs to help low-income people stay afloat — especially young or single mothers. Some of them are run by the government, and others are charitable

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)

TANF is money paid by the government to low-income people with the intent of helping them get back on their feet. Mis-using welfare checks or lying about needing welfare is considered a form of fraud that will be prosecuted if discovered.

For more information, go here.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps

This is the program the government runs to make sure low-income people are able to purchase food. “Food stamps” actually come in the form of electronic benefits cards that can be used like a debit card at any grocery store. The government will determine how much “money” to give you every month, and on the first of each month, your card will automatically be re-loaded with that amount.

For more information, go here.


Medicaid is government-sponsored health insurance for low-income people. It goes by different names in some states; for instance, in Massachusetts, it’s called Masshealth. It can be different from state to state because half of the financing is from the federal government and half is from each individual state government. Each state therefore can tweak the program, rename it, and make certain decisions about who is eligible for it.

For more information, Google “Medicaid [your state here]”.

WIC: Women, Infants, and Children

WIC provides pregnant women or mothers to young children with food, formula, and various other services.

For more information, go here.

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