Money & Financial
SNAP and COVID-19
The federal government announced some changes to SNAP eligibility rules during the coronavirus crisis.
If you are an adult without a child in your household and you were told you didn't qualify for food stamps, you should reapply for SNAP now. Because of COVID-19 the government has temporarily suspended the work requirements for adults without children. If you were told that you could not get food stamps because you were over the three month time limit, you may be able to get them now. Click here for more information.
Pandemic Unemployment Insurance
Information about pandemic unemployment insurance can be found here.
For additional resources relating to COVID-19, visit georgialegalaid.org.
What is crime victim compensation?
One of the rights that some crime victims have is the right to ask for “crime victim compensation.”
Crime victim compensation is a government program to pay back victims of crimes and their families for some of their expenses that resulted from being a crime victim. Compensation is not the same as restitution.
Compensation is only paid after all other resources (e.g., insurance, workers’ compensation) are exhausted.
If you are a victim of crime, you may have many costs related to the crime and your recovery. Dealing with medical and mental health care costs, lost income, and repairing or replacing damaged or lost property can be overwhelming.
Crime victim compensation may be able to help you with these financial matters when you cannot get repaid any other way.
What kind of expenses can crime victim compensation help me with?
Some of the expenses that may be covered include:
- Medical and dental expenses
- Loss of income or support
- Mental health counseling
- Funeral expenses
- Crime scene sanitation
Do I have the right to crime victim compensation?
You may have the right to crime victim compensation if:
- Were physically injured or witnessed a violent crime
- Suffered serious mental or emotional trauma as a result of being threatened or being present during a violent crime
- Were hurt trying to help a victim
- Are the parent or guardian of someone who was killed or injured as a result of a violent crime
- Depended on someone for financial support who was killed as a result of a violent crime
- Are not the victim, but have been paying bills related to the crime
- Have a child who was the victim and you relied on the offender for financial support
- Were the victim of family violence who relied on the offender for financial support
How do I apply for crime victim compensation?
To apply for crime victim compensation online, visit the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program website.
Types of Public Benefits
Food Stamps/SNAP/Food Banks - Help for Survivors in Need of Food for themselves and their family. You can find out if you're eligible for Food Stamps/SNAP at Georgia Department of Family and Children Services website: https://dfcs.georgia.gov/food-stamps. Apply at www.gateway.ga.gov
Medicaid/Peachcare/Affordable Care Act - Survivors and their children need health benefits. To see if you or your children qualify for any of the many Georgia Medicaid programs or Peachcare, see: https://dfcs.georgia.gov/services/how-do-i-apply-medicaid. Apply for Medicaid or Peachcare at www.gateway.ga.gov. If your income is higher you may qualify for Affordable Care Act coverage at: www.healthcare.gov
TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - TANF is a cash-assistance program for low-income families with children. Apply at your Local Department of Family and Children Services (DCFS) For more information on TANF, see the Georgia Legal Aid Website!
Unemployment - Survivors need financial support to take care of themselves and their children. If you have lost your job and cannot find work, you may be able to get unemployment insurance benefits. See the Georgia Legal Aid website to learn more about unemployment insurance. Apply at the Georgia Department of Labor’s website!
Victims Compensation pays up to $25,000 in benefits for victims of crime. It pays for four types of expenses:
- medical costs,
- crime scene clean-up, and
- funeral expenses.
To see if you qualify and to apply, see: https://cjcc.georgia.gov/victims-compensation
Navigator Program - If you need help navigating through these programs, you can contact your VLAN Navigators at Georgia Legal Services Program, Atlanta Legal Aid, GAIN or AVLF.
- Navigators are available in each of the VLAN partners to “navigate” survivors to services: Atlanta Legal Aid, Georgia Legal Services (GLSP), Georgia Asylum and Immigrant Network (GAIN) and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers (AVLF).
- Navigators are here to help you by providing...
- Direction to legal Services for crisis intervention, and advocacy
- “Warm hand offs” to partner organizations who may help you
- Emergency financial assistance for housing, utilities, and deposits.
For more information on VLAN Navigators, see !
Survivors United can:
- Survivors United can pay up to $3,000 for help with emergency stability for Victims of Domestic VIolence, Sexual Assault and Trafficking
- 15 day hotel stay
For more information on Survivors United, see !
WHAT is identity theft?
- Someone uses your information without your permission
- Identity thieves may use your.....
- Social Security Number
- Credit card
- Bank accounts
- Pretend to be you
- Make purchases
- Get credit cards
- Rent an apartment
IF you think your information has been stolen....
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov.
- Change all account passwords and PINs
- For more information, see more on securing your passwords.
- Review your free credit report. Are there any changes you don’t recognize?
- Replace stolen information such as your...
- government-issued ID (driver’s license)
- social security card
- Call your local police
There are free sample letters to help with your identity theft issues.
For more information on identity theft, see...
WHAT is financial fraud?
- Someone takes your money in a dishonest or an illegal way
- Someone tricks you into paying for something you never received
EXAMPLES of financial scams:
- Imposter scam - someone contacts you asking for money or information
- Tech support scams
- IRS scams
- Benefit scams
- Online dating
- Grandkid/relative scam
- Health care scams - someone contacts you from a government agency and asks for your information
- Be careful! Hang up and call Medicare or the company directly
- Prize scams - someone calls saying you won a prize but need to pay a fee to receive the prize
- Home repair scams - someone asking you to pay in cash or by wire transfer before starting the work
- Money mule scams - someone asks to send you money for you to send to another person
- Work-from-home - someone offers you a job that requires you to pay money to make money
- Charity scams - someone comes to your door or stops you and asks for money
- Phishing scams - someone emails you asking for you to verify personal information
To read more about financial scams, visit the FBI website.
Being a victim of financial fraud is difficult. You may have trouble trusting others, and you may be embarrassed. You are NOT alone - there are resources to help you!
Here are some resources that can help you.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Federal Trade Commission
For more information on where to report different types of financial scams in Georgia, see the USA.gov website!
Food Stamps / SNAP Benefits
WHAT is SNAP?
- The program helps low-income people buy food.
- SNAP used to be called food stamps
- SNAP stands for Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program.
WHO can get SNAP benefits?
- U.S. Citizens
- Income Requirements
- Resource Requirements
- Work Requirements
To see if you qualify for SNAP benefits, see the Georgia Legal Aid website!
HOW do I apply for SNAP?
- Apply online at Georgia Gateway OR
- Apply at your Local Department of Family and Children Services (DCFS)
IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE:
- REAPPLY if you have had trouble getting food stamps in the past
- online at Georgia Gateway
- by phone at (877) 423-4746
- During the coronavirus crisis, there is no longer a work requirement for adults without children!
- If you were over the three month time limit and could not get food stamps, you may be able to get them now!
- For more information on food stamp changes in Georgia during the coronavirus crisis, see this video
GEORGIA FOOD PROGRAMS:
- Food Commodity Programs provide food to low-income people through food banks such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
- Child Nutrition Programs provide food for low-income children:
- National School Breakfast and Lunch Program - low cost and free breakfast to kids at school
- Summer Food Service Program - free meals to kids during the summer
- The Child and Adult Care Food Program - free food for children and adults in daycare and afterschool programs
For more information on Georgia food programs, see the George Legal Aid website!
Medicaid / Healthcare in Georgia
WHAT is Medicaid?
- Medicaid provides free or low-cost healthcare coverage to Americans
WHO is eligible for Medicaid?
- U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents
- See the healthcare.gov website to see if you qualify.
HOW do I apply for Medicaid?
- Apply online at Georgia Gateway OR
- Apply at your Local Department of Family and Children Services (DCFS) OR
- Call 877-423-4746 to request an application
For information on applying for Medicaid during Covid-19, see this video.
For more information on Medicaid, see the benefits.gov website!
HEALTHCARE IN GEORGIA:
There are programs in Georgia for...
- Low-income people,
- People with mental health issues or disabilities,
- and more.
For more information, see the Georgia Legal Aid website!
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
WHAT is TANF?
- A cash-assistance program for low-income families
WHO can get TANF?
- Families with a child younger than age 18
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful resident alien
- The family income and assets are within TANF limits
- A child must be “deprived” for one of the following reasons:
- Continued absence from the home of at least one parent,
- Physical or mental incapacity of at least one parent,
- Death of a parent,
- One parent in a two-parent family has a recent connection to the workforce.
- All members of the family must have or apply for a Social Security number.
- All school-aged children must attend school.
- All preschool children must be immunized.
- The paternity of all children must be established when you apply for TANF.
- All adults must participate in work activities or training for at least 30 hours a week.
HOW do I apply for TANF?
- Apply at your Local Department of Family and Children Services (DCFS)
For more information on TANF, see the Georgia Legal Aid website!
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
WHAT is Unemployment Insurance?
- Georgia has an Unemployment Insurance program that:
- supports people who have lost their jobs and can’t find work
- pays a portion of the wages of the job you lost, from a minimum of $55 up to a maximum of $365 each week (as of July 1, 2019), and
- lasts from 6 weeks up to 14 - 20 weeks.
WHO can get Unemployment Insurance?
- You lost your job through no fault of your own or quit the job with good cause
- You are currently unemployed or partially unemployed
- You must be able to work, available for work, and be looking for full time work
- COVID NOTE: There is no work search requirement for claims filed on or after March 14, 2020 until further notice.
- You must have worked and earned enough in the past sixteen months - called the “base period.”
- You must be...
- a U.S. citizen,
- a lawful permanent resident (“green card”),
- authorized to work in the U.S, OR
- in one of several special immigration categories.
- For more information on who qualifies for Unemployment Insurance, click Georgia Legal Aid website!
HOW do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?
- Visit the Georgia Department of Labor website to apply!
- You will need your...
- Social Security number
- Government-issued picture ID
- Employment Authorization Document
- The names and addresses of all employers for whom you’ve worked within the past two years AND
- Employer Separation Notice.
- After you file for unemployment...
- You must complete an Applicant Status Affidavit to verify you are legally allowed to work in the U.S.
- You https://employgeorgia.com also register for employment services at employgeorgia.com
- IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE:
- File for unemployment online during the coronavirus crisis.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is covered under Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020:
- PUA provides emergency unemployment assistance to people who may not be eligible for other unemployment insurance benefits!
- The program will expire on December 31, 2020.
- See the Georgia Department of Labor’s website to apply!
- For more information on filing for unemployment during the coronavirus crisis, see this video.
For more information on Unemployment Insurance, see the Georgia Legal Aid website!