Public Assistance Benefits Preparation – USA: KS, PA, OH, MS, AR, FL
Hi all. I'm fairly new to this community and I wanted to start off by saying hi. It's been great to stumble upon this gem of a community here on LJ. My husband and I have been struggling with the funds and how to successfully live with them (or without them) for about two years now. It hasn't been great, but I think we're finally starting to get our sh*t together. Having a group of you lovely people to read makes it even more interesting. I also wanted to make mention of a resource for those of you on the community in the USA in the states of Kansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Florida. It's an organization called "The Benefit Bank". I'd like to apologize if this isn't kosher, and I don't mean to sound all "advertisement-y", but I've had a really positive experience with this organization, and I think it might benefit others on this community as well. If the mods don't care for it, please feel free to delete this post and let me know what I've done wrong. I'll flog myself accordingly. :) If you are applying for public assistance, the Benefit Bank can help, and from my personal experience, does a damn good job of it. Unlike going to your local department of Job and Family Services, which often requires trips all around town for forgotten paperwork, the Benefit Bank can spare you all that hassle. They do it without you having to go back home for forgotten items. It's a "one stop shop" sort of thing. The counselors log in to an online system, enter your information to several public assistance venues at once. You don't have to fill out paperwork, the counselors do that for you. You don't have to deal with your local job and family services until the date of your appointment. The other great thing is that it optimizes the benefits for which you are eligible for. They take everything into account - how much on rent you're paying, utilities, stuff that wouldn't normally be considered or asked about like cell phone bills and telephone bills. They can also work through some trickier situations like cohabitation and shared utility bills. The software and services are 100% free and available to the public. They do not, nor should they ever, charge money for what they do. They also file taxes. And in January they'll be adding the FAFSA (student loans and financial aid) to their system. You can get in touch with a local counselor at The Benefit Bank website . I'd also like to let you guys up front about the specs of the corporation. They are not affiliated with the government in any way, shape or form. They are a FOR profit organization that earns their money elsewhere by selling products, but they create and distribute this software for free as a public service. I know some people like to have these specs to research what they're getting into. Their parent corp is Solutions for Progress. That site is also worth poking around even if you aren't researching the benefit bank. It's pretty nifty.