Senior Services
March 8, 2021
Other Resources & Services
March 8, 2021

Financial Aid Resources & Other Help

Bucks County Community College, Industrial Maintenance Pre-Apprentice Training. Do you know someone that wants to start a career, not just find a job? 12 weeks can get them started on that journey. Bucks County Community College is recruiting for the Pre-Apprentice Industrial Maintenance Training Program – electro-mechanical maintenance and repair – that starts on May 24, 2021. This training is free for Bucks County residents affected by Covid along with consideration of their family income, and who meet eligibility requirements. No prior college is needed to succeed in this training. Instructors are industry experts and help participants succeed in the training. Average starting salaries are $17+/hour with benefits, with a 90% job placement rate. Interested applicants should visit www.bucks.edu/wfd or call 267-685-4884 to find out more or register for an information session.

The Bucks County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (BERA) provides rental and utility assistance to eligible Bucks County tenants impacted by COVID-19. Both tenants and their landlords are encouraged to apply – either party can start the application. Get the flyer and application information!

Bucks County Opportunity Council is the Weatherization Assistance Provider for Bucks County, PA. For households with limited income but pay high energy bills, a weatherization program may be able to help individuals cut costs and make homes more comfortable in all temperatures. To learn more including eligibility criteria for crisis heating, weatherization and utility assistance, click here or call 215-345-8175.

Credit Counseling Center coordinates a grant program that will pay delinquent mortgages for qualifying individuals and families in Bucks County who have experienced reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While funds last, the grant will pay the delinquent mortgage amount for individuals who meet the unemployment, income, mortgage, property and eligibility requirements. Learn more here. Also, check out Comcast Newsmakers, Why is it so hard to talk about money? Joan Reading, MSW, President of Credit Counseling Center, discusses why it’s the last taboo and what to do about it. View the video here!

  • Getting a stimulus check or tax refund? Now what? Contact the Credit Counseling Center to discuss if you should save it, pay down debt, or splurge. Click here for the flyer.

Fannie Mae Mortgage Loan Lookup tool is a path to mortgage help for homeowners with a Fannie Mae-owned loan, including those impacted by COVID-19, a disaster, or housing affordability challenges. Loan owners may qualify for programs providing payment relief including a forbearance plan or loan modification with live, personalized assistance from HUD-approved housing counselors through the Mortgage Help Network or Disaster Response Network. Also available: Freddie Mac Loan Look Up Tool

FCC Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (Thank you to the PA Link for sharing!). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been established. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible. Please continue to check the program webpage for updates. A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Hardy Williams Veteran Center. Attentional all Veterans! There are 4 available units at Hardy Williams Veteran Center. The center is located in Philadelphia County. Hardy Williams Veteran Center offers a laundry room, elevator, community room and gym.  All of the available units are one bedroom. Please contact Ockeen Aitcheson with any questions at 215-863-8017 or oaitcheson@helpusa.org. Thank you. Hardy Williams Veteran Center, 7100 Grovers Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19153

Hope and Help Network is helping individuals to prepare for what is to come financially. How will folks survive now and dig out of what may be thousands owed? Contact The Hope and Help Network for assistance to plan ahead. Marian Stroup, marian@thehopeandhelpnetwork.org

Legal Aid of Southeastern PA. Kesha James, kjames@lasp.org. For people you serve who are unlawfully locked out of their homes by landlords attempting to circumvent the legal eviction process, this is an urgent matter. Help or encourage them to explore every possible avenue to get back in their homes ASAP. PA Attorney General’s Office has a team that handles unlawful lockouts, and such instances should be reported there. Clients should call the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at 1.800.441.2555 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. Here’s a link to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection site: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/public-protection-division/bureau-consumer-protection/.

LASP Helpline. 877-429-5994, Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm (new hours as of March 15, 2021)
Foreclosures during COVID-19 if you have a government-backed mortgage. Learn more here!

2020-2021 LIHEAP. Households with a heating emergency or who are struggling to pay a utility bill can apply for assistance through the PA Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through April 30, 2021 (the deadline has been extended).

  • Households must earn less than 150% of the federal poverty rate to be eligible.
  • Crisis grants are available for heating emergencies such as a broken furnace, utility termination or fuel shortage.
  • Apply online using COMPASS

Montco Recovery Tuition Assistance Program offers Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) tuition waivers for eligible Montco residents who have become unemployed due to COVID-19. Assistance is available to any Montgomery County resident who suffered full- or part-time employment loss on or after March 6, 2020. Supporting documentation is required. To qualify, applicants must: Be enrolled in and plan to attend a degree, certificate or financial-aid-eligible non-credit program in the spring 2021 semester at MCCC; Must be unemployed when applying for the program; Applicants will be required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and any grants or scholarships awarded will be applied before the tuition assistance; Additionally, any workforce training funds will also be applied prior to assistance. Information on the program and application can be found here. Thank you to Rep. Tracy Pennycuick for sharing!

Office of Unemployment Compensation

PA Benefits Center833.373.5869, M-F, 9am-5pm. Get assistance applying for valuable benefits over the phone. One-on-one support can help individuals enroll in public benefits to help with groceries, health insurance, prescription drugs, property taxes, utilities, and more. Note: The website is being updated. The PA Benefits Center does process calls and benefits for individuals age 18+, not just 60+ as listed.

Pennie: Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace Pennie to remain open until Aug. 15. People who want to buy health insurance through Pennie, Pennsylvania’s ACA marketplace, now have until Aug. 15 to select a plan. Read the Philadelphia Inquirer article here.

Rahab’s HopeAble to help a few individuals and families with rental assistance. Important to read the eligibility criteria before completing the application for assistance.

United Way of Bucks County, in partnership with Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, is offering free assistance to mobile home owners in Bucks County to file for property tax reassessment appeals. They will do all the work and pay the fees of the eligible homeowners in the program. See the flyer for more information, or click here. Thank you to Senator Mensch’s office for sharing!

Veterans Temporary Assistance. This program provides temporary financial assistance to Veterans and their beneficiaries who reside in PA for the necessities of life (food, shelter, fuel and clothing). If eligible, a Veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for an amount not to exceed $1,600 in a twelve month period. Contact the County Veterans’ Affairs Director where you reside to apply.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

  • Bucks County Opportunity Council tax services are provided at no charge by IRS-certified volunteers. BCOC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance opened February 2021.
  • CADCOM is providing VITA services beginning Jan 25, 2021. To schedule an appointment, call 610.277.6363, ext 115 (limited hours).

VNA Community Services, Inc. For help accessing benefits, contact VNA-CS Personal Navigator Program’s Benefits Access Program connecting Montgomery County residents to health care, SNAP, utility assistance, and other programs to improve economic stability at 1.800.591.8234.

Your Way Home Emergency Rent and Utility Coalition. Persons living in Montgomery County who have experienced a COVID hardship and are in need of rent and/or utility assistance should call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211. For a household to be eligible for the ERUC program, it must meet the requirements: The household must reside in Montgomery County at the time of application; AND one or more individuals in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic; AND the household can demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability; AND the household must be at or below 80% of Area Median Income at the time of application. Learn more!

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