Government Programs that Help People Who Work

Can I qualify for any assistance if I work?

Yes, you might. Many forms of assistance are available for working families and single working persons. In fact, there are programs specifically designed to help families move into the workforce.

I have a job, and I am not receiving any assistance right now. What kind of assistance is available?

  • Food Stamps
  • Hoosier Healthwise (Medicaid for low-income children)
  • TANF/AFDC*
  • Subsidized Childcare
  • Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
  • Public Housing
  • Section 8 Housing

*TANF/AFDC is available for people with children, but most working parents are not eligible unless they were receiving TANF before they started working.

I receive assistance now, but I am afraid I will lose my benefits when I get a job.

You do not automatically lose most kinds of assistance just because you get a job. Eligibility depends on your income and family size. Contact your local Office of Family and Children (OFC) for more information. Here is some information about several programs.

Food Stamps Your earned income will be disregarded for the first 6 months after you begin working.

Hoosier Healthwise Your children will be eligible for this program as long as your income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. (Many children remain eligible after their parents start working).

TANF/AFDC You will continue to receive TANF/AFDC until your income is more than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Subsidized Childcare You will continue to be eligible for subsidized childcare for one year after you return to work.

WIC Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under the age of 5 can get vouchers for milk, cereal, juice, cheese, and peanut butter as long as the family income is less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Contact your local WIC office for more information.

Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Earnings you get as part of subsidized employment or a training program, and earnings you use to pay for childcare should be subtracted from your family's gross income before determining your rent. Even if your earned income does increase, your Public Housing Authority (PHA) may choose to wait until your annual recertification to increase you rent. Check with your local PHA to see if they have chosen this option. Contact your local Community Action Program (CAP) or PHA for more information

Public Housing There are three situations in which your public housing benefits are protected when you get a job: You get a job while you are in a job training program such as a family self-sufficiency program, or You get a job and your family received TANF/AFDC in the past 6 months, or You get a job and you earned less than $2,575 last year.

In each of these situations, your family's increased earnings are disregarded for the first year you or a household member started working. In the second year, 50% of the earnings are disregarded. Contact your local PHA for more information.

Is there any other place I can go for assistance?

Yes. The following agencies may be able to help you:

Township Trustee Gives assistance with rent, food, utilities, clothing, medial needs, burial expenses, etc.

Workforce Development Gives help with training, education and job search.

Vocational Rehabilitation Gives help with training and education. Contact the nearest Vocational Rehabilitation office or your local OFC.

Community Action Program Has the Head Start program (childcare) and Housing Assistance (Section 8). CAP also provides case management, energy assistance, weatherization, emergency home repair and water/sewer assistance. CAP also has the REACH program, which gives training on money management, energy conservation, job hunting, life skills, and job search. Your local CAP can tell you about other local places that may be able to help you.

Last revised: 2-2002
LSC Code: 1710000