Low Income Assistance Programs in the State of Vermont
The state of Vermont has a population of 627 000 with a poverty rate of 12% which is respectable. The poverty rate among children however is higher, at 15%. There are still over 73 000 single parents, families and individuals in Vermont living in a state of poverty. Many single parents and families struggle with basic bills and expenses on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many assistance programs available in Vermont to help the low income residents the state. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available.
Financial Assistance in Vermont
Many families struggle to get by, and are in need of financial assistance to ensure their children live a healthy lifestyle. There is some financial assistance available in Vermont.
Vermont Reach Up Program
The Vermont Reach Up Program provides cash assistance and health insurance for low income families in Vermont. This program also provides job training and assistance to help parents find better employment.
To be eligible for this program, you must have a children under the age of 19 living in your household, and must be considered low income. To learn more about this program and to apply, visit the Vermont Reach Up webpage.
Vermont Unemployment Insurance (UI)
The Vermont UI program provides cash assistance payments to those who have lot their job through no fault of their own. The amount you receive in weekly payments, depends on the amounts earned with your most recent employer.
To learn more about this program and to apply, visit the Vermont UI webpage.
Food Assistance in Vermont
Many families struggle providing their children with the necessary, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you struggle with food costs, there are food programs available.
Vermont 3 SquaresVT Program/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Vermont 3 SquaresVT or SNAP program provides food assistance benefits by helping with food costs. The assistance is received in the form of a card with funds loaded onto it that works similar to a debit card called the Vermont EBT Card. Simply swipe the card when checking out with your food and you will be all set.
Vermont Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The Vermont WIC program provides provides food and nutrition assistance, nutrition education, and even health care referrals and assistance for pregnant, postpartum women and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible you must be considered a nutrition risk by a health care professional, or require a special diet.
To be eligible for WIC you must also be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To apply you must set up an appointment with a WIC office in your location of the state. You can use this Vermont WIC locator to find the location closest to you. To learn more about WIC, visit the Vermont WIC webpage.
Vermont School Breakfast and Lunch Program
The Vermont School Breakfast and Lunch Program provides free or low cost breakfasts’ and lunches to under privileged school children while they are attending school. Your household income and family size depict whether or not the meals are free or low cost. If you are currently enrolled in the Vermont Reach Up Program, your child will automatically be eligible for this program.
To be eligible you must meet the low income requirements. To apply, you must directly contact the school your child attends. You can use this list of Vermont Schools to find your child’s school. To learn more, visit the Vermont School Nutrition website.
Vermont Food Banks
If you and your family are still facing hunger issues, there are numerous food banks located around the state of Vermont. The Food banks provide nutritious, free food for those who are really in need. You can use this list of Vermont Food Banks to locate a food bank in your area of the state.
Medical Assistance in Vermont
Medical costs are very expensive, making it necessary for the low income to have a health insurance plan. If you are of low income, you can likely qualify for Medicaid.
Vermont Medicaid Program
The Vermont Medicaid Program provides health insurance benefits and coverage for those who do not qualify under any other plan. Vermont Medicaid covers a variety of health services which including:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Medicaid eligibility is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. You must be considered of low income or very low income. Not all the services will be covered completely as some might require co-payment depending on the service. To learn more and to apply, you can visit the Vermont Medicaid webpage.
Vermont Dr. Dynasaur (SCHIP Program)
The Vermont Dr. Dinosaur program offers health insurance coverage to children, teenagers up to age 18, and pregnant women. This program covers all the same health services as Medicaid. You will have to pay a premium that depends on your income however it is usually quite low.
Child Care Assistance in Vermont
Child care costs are soaring, making it hard for low income single parents and families to afford proper child care. Fortunately, there are some useful child care assistance programs available.
Vermont Child Care Financial Assistance Program
The Vermont Child Care Financial Assistance Program helps low income families with the costs of child care by paying a portion of the costs. The payments are made directly to the child care providers. The amount that is paid on your behalf depends on your income, and the number of children you have that need child care.
To be eligible for this program you must be considered low income. To learn more and to apply visit the Vermont Child Care Program website, where you can also see the income limits.
Vermont Head Start Program
The Vermont Head Start Program provides child care assistance and help young children from the ages of 0-5 to enhance the social and behavioural skills in preparation for school. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the low income requirements. To find a Head Start Program in your area of the state, visit the Vermont Head Start website.
Housing and Rental Assistance in Vermont
Housing and rent costs are very expensive making it difficult for the low income to manage their expenses. If you are struggling with rental payments, there are some useful programs available.
Vermont Low Income Public Housing Program
The Vermont Low Income Public Housing Program offers low income residents the opportunity to live in housing owned by Local Housing Agencies with reduced rent costs. The living arrangements are owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state. Usually you will be placed in an apartment, however it can also be single houses or condos. The housing authorities receive funding from the state, who then use the funds to provide the low income with very low rent payments in safe and sanitary living conditions.
To be eligible you must be considered low income, which is usually starts at 50% of the average income in your area of the state. To apply you must contact your nearest Housing Agency and set up an appointment to discuss your finances. You can use this list of Vermont Housing Agencies to find the Agency nearest you. To learn more visit the Vermont Low Income Housing website.
Vermont Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Vermont Housing Choice Voucher Program makes it easier for low income single parents and families to be able to afford their housing of choice on the housing market, by reducing their rent costs. This program is somewhat similar to the Public Housing program except with this program you get to choose your apartment/home. It can be difficult locating a well priced apartment that is large enough and high quality, so this program enables you to afford larger, quality apartments. Once you have chosen your home, the Housing Agency provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.
To be eligible for tis program you must be considered low income. This program also requires you to get into contact with your local Vermont Housing Agency to set up an appointment, where you income will be discussed as you apply.
Vermont Affordable Apartment Search
The Vermont Affordable Apartment search tool allows you to easily look for high quality, affordable apartments in your area of the state. Use this Vermont Affordable Apartment Search to get started.
Vermont Seasonal Fuel Assistance Program
The Vermont Seasonal Fuel Assistance Program will pay some of your low heating costs directly to your heating supplier. The amount that is paid to the supplier is based on your income in relation to household size.
Vermont Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Vermont WAP program performs services to households to make them more energy efficient, resulting in lower energy bills. This program will check for air leaks, add insulation, fix or repair furnaces and more.
Vermont First Time Home Buyers Programs
The Vermont Housing Finance Agency offers 3 solid programs geared towards those looking to purchase their first home. The Move Program offers low interest rates and down payment and closing cost assistance up to $5000. To learn more about all the programs, visit the Vermont Housing Finance Agency website.
Transportation Assistance in Vermont
Transportation costs can be an issue for those who do not own a vehicle, as taking a taxi frequently can be quite costly. There are more cost efficient transportation methods available, and you can even receive free medical transportation.
Vermont Non Emergency Medical Transportation Program (NEMT)
The Vermont NEMT Program provides free medical transportation to and free any doctors appointments, tests etc. for anyone enrolled under Medicaid or the Dr. Dynasaur (SCHIP) programs.
These programs are administered by the local public transit broker in your area of Vermont. To find the medical transportation service in your area, and to learn more, visit the Vermont NEMT webpage.
There are two driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. The prices are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out uber.com and lyft.com to learn more.
Legal Assistance in Vermont
Legal services are very expensive, making it almost impossible for the low income to get the legal help they need. Fortunately, you can receive free and discounted legal service in Vermont.
Vermont Law Help Organization
The Vermont Law Help Organization provides free/discounted legal assistance to low income individuals of Vermont. This service will offer legal assistance in many areas such as eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence, legal rights and a lot more. To learn more, visit the Vermont Law Help website.
The state of Vermont has many thorough legal assistance programs that will prove to be really useful to the low income people of Vermont. If you are struggling with your finances there is a program that can help you get through tough times.
Links and Resources
State Assistance Map
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