Sometimes all it takes is a job layoff, medical crisis, or divorce to cause a personal financial crisis. According to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts, in the past year alone, 60% of households faced a serious unexpected financial obstacle—and half of these households were unable to recover within six months.
Though it may be hard to believe that recovery is possible, please know that there are plenty of resources to help you get back on your feet. This article lists eight government, community, and online resources that can help you cover your living costs, feed your family, and get a new financial start.
Eight ways to find help with financial recovery after a crisis:
1. Unemployment insurance (UI)
When you’re employed, money is deducted from your paychecks to pay for unemployment insurance. If you lose your job, you can tap this insurance policy. Each state has its own qualifications and benefits, but if you lost your job through no fault of your own or are unable to work, you’re likely to be eligible. According to the New York Times, workers typically get 40-50% of their previous salary; here’s a how-to guide the newspaper put together. To apply for UI, visit the unemployment benefits website for your state.
2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States use TANF, commonly referred to as welfare, to help families overcome financial obstacles to their well-being. Vulnerable families can apply to TANF for cash assistance, and may qualify for help with housing, food, job training, and child care—TANF ensures that American children get their most basic needs met, regardless of the economic status of their parents. Apply for TANF in your state here.
3. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families, including those who have fallen on temporary hard times due to job loss, medical crisis, or other setbacks. In most states, benefits are accessed through a scannable debit card and are funded by federal taxes. The program works with states, nutrition educators, neighborhoods, and faith-based organizations to make sure families have enough to eat. Find out if you’re eligible for SNAP here.
4. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC is a short-term assistance program for families with young children. It supports low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or parents of young children with free nutritious food, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support or baby formula. WIC clinics can also help with referrals to other support services. Find out if you qualify for WIC here.
For those facing an acute financial crisis, it can be a challenge to ask for and receive help. Creating a fundraiser is a simple way for people to ask friends and family for help getting back on their feet. Starting a fundraiser can also help secure funds faster than government programs—on GoFundMe, for example, you get access to your funds throughout your fundraising, not just at its conclusion.
6. Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
Acting on its mission to end poverty, this nonprofit takes a person-to-person approach to help those in need of social services and financial assistance. They’re committed to helping people with housing, food, transportation, utilities, clothing, and medicine. Find out what services the Society offers in your area.
7. Net Wish
Since 2002, an anonymous businessman from Philadelphia has handed out aid to families finding themselves in a financial crisis. If you need short-term help with basic needs or bills, Net Wish can help. Instead of giving you cash directly, this nonprofit will send you a gift certificate or prepaid credit card up to $200.
8. Gradient Gives Back
The Gradient Gives Back Foundation was founded to prevent families who’ve fallen on hard times from losing their homes. It awards mortgage or lease payment assistance to families across the United States. With the stress of a monthly mortgage payment relieved, families can catch up on other expenses such as medical bills. You can apply for Gradient Gives Back here.
Get back on your feet after a personal financial crisis
You can get the support you need to overcome a financial crisis—and we want to help you. GoFundMe gives your friends and family members a simple way to rally around you when you need it most. And with a 0% platform fee, we offer free fundraising so you can keep more of the money you raise. Sign up to get started today.