The most difficult part of my job is counseling individuals where bankruptcy will not help with their financial struggles. These are individuals who may have lost their jobs, have no income, and are looking for a way to feed, house or keep their utilities on at home. A creditor is not what they fear but instead it is the fear of not being able to provide for their children because they do not have the financial means to provide the essentials: food, shelter, clothing and heat or air conditioning.
Help With Utilities
Fortunately, there is hope for these individuals because the State of Alabama offers several programs to help low-income families with necessities. Some of those programs include:
- Are you a struggling to make your utility payments? If so, the Alabama Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to assist you. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To qualify, you must make below the maximum income level per year, those amounts and how to apply can be found by clicking here.
- There is another program called the Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program that is designed to help low-income families reduce their home heating and cooling bills. To find out if you qualify for these benefits, the criteria can be found here.
Help With Food
If you need help feeding your family and you are a resident of Alabama, the State of Alabama has several programs that may help you.
- The Food Assistance Program (SNAP) that may be able to offer you assistance, if you meet certain criteria found here.
- If everyone in your house is 60 or older, you can apply for food benefits through the Alabama Elderly Simplified Application Project (AESAP). To learn more about AESAP you can click here.
- The Alabama Summer Food Services is designed to help low-income Alabama families to feed their children during the summer months while they are out of school. To determine if your family meets certain criteria and to apply for this benefit, click here.
- Another very important program that may help is the Alabama Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). If you are resident of Alabama and a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding or a child up to 5 years of age who has been determine by a doctor to be at nutrition risk, this program may be for you. You can click here to see if you meet the criteria and find out how to apply for the benefits online or call 1-888-942-4673.
You do not have to silently suffer on your own if you are struggling to make ends meet. At Bond & Botes, we offer a free consultation to discuss your financial needs. If you are in a low-income family in Alabama, one of the above programs may be helpful to you.
Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.