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Introduction


Do you need more help in order to go to school?

You’ve already made the important decision to enroll in college or training and are well on your way to increasing your skills and obtaining a satisfying career that offers financial stability. Congratulations! Making that decision and sticking with it can be hard, especially when you have many other responsibilities outside your program—but it doesn’t have to be. There are public benefits programs that, if you qualify, can help you manage your multiple responsibilities outside college or your training program—such as rent, buying food, child care, or health care—so that you can focus on getting an education, building a career, and fulfilling your dreams. This guide will help you determine if you qualify for any public benefits programs, what services you may receive, and how to apply.

What are public benefits programs?

Public benefits programs are federal or state governmental programs that provide income support or services to individuals who fall within a certain income or category to qualify. For example, families that do not make a lot of money per year may receive vouchers from the government to help pay rent for their home or receive assistance specifically for buying food. For some programs, you must also meet certain criteria such as being a parent, employed, or disabled to gain benefits. Also, some rules are different for students in school or training programs.

Public benefits programs can be a helpful way to increase your income temporarily so that you don’t have to worry about your basic needs while going to school or training. Oftentimes obtaining public benefits can be frustrating, but seeking out information and resources and being organized and prepared can help you get all of the services for which you are eligible. This guide can help you be informed and ready to get the extra help you need.

Public benefits programs change when laws and regulations are amended, sometimes frequently. Before you do anything, keep in mind that you may need to check if the policies detailed in this guide have changed since the guide’s publication. Also, administrative agencies don’t always have the right answers. Be a strong advocate for yourself by having the correct information and being determined to get the benefits you need and deserve.

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