Hardship funds are designated as an alternative to public assistance programs. The funds are available for those residents in need of temporary financial assistance. Hardship funds may include cash, rent or utility help, as well as legal aid and other services provided by the government. These funds are not intended to replace any government assistance.
What are the requirements for receiving a hardship fund?
Hardship funds are available under a variety of circumstances. To qualify for a hardship fund, you must meet one or more of the following requirements:
Have a serious and permanent medical emergency or need an emergency room treatment for your problem
Have a history of mental illness or need assistance to avoid or deal with mental illness – such as in a mental health crisis.
Be unable to pay for essential living expenses such as heating, food, clothing or transportation. This is usually based on the financial income of your household or one or two unrelated family members whose incomes aren’t enough to maintain your standard of living.
Are in need of emergency assistance or care during a disaster.
Are currently receiving disability benefits from another state. For a hardship fund to work its way into the program, you must be disabled and be able to qualify for a hardship fund through your state insurance programs. If, for example, you’re a New Jersey native on disability benefits, you or your family member may qualify for disability assistance if you were receiving the benefits of a New Jersey resident at the time of your emergency.
How long do my financial needs to qualify for a hardship fund last?
Hardship funds will be available for the same length of time whether you apply to receive one or more, or all the funds in the program. It’s not necessary to apply for all the funds in the program. When you qualify for all the funds in a program, you also receive a free emergency room treatment.
How does the law protect me when I qualify for a hardship fund?
The law requires that your financial needs to qualify for a hardship fund, as well as any other conditions that might prevent you from receiving aid, are covered. The financial support provided by the government will be adjusted to take into account your requirements in any case. It is important to note, however, that people who qualify for a high-cost program may be eligible for a program that pays less. Also, many people may qualify for assistance by other means such as food stamps, but these programs are meant for an entire family.
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