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How to Get Welfare Benefits

Welfare programs exist to help impoverished Americans. Here's how you can apply to get the funds you need.


  • Step 1: Report any changes in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility after your application is approved. Use the benefits to better your life so you won't need welfare.
  • FACT: In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act, which offered different government programs to help families in need.
  • Step 2: Wait for the welfare office to notify you about your application.
  • TIP: Bring identification, your Social Security card, proof of residence, the names and proofs of age for any co-applicants, and any other documents required by the welfare program.
  • Step 3: Calculate your resources. A resource is anything you own that has cash value. Each welfare program sets its own resource limits for eligibility.
  • Step 4: Submit an application to your state welfare office, and have an interview with a welfare office worker.
  • Step 5: Calculate your income. Each welfare program sets its own income limits for eligibility. Check with your state's welfare office for eligibility details.

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