These 40 Tips Will Get You Free Government Money

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In tough times, the government is usually there for us.

Whether you lost your job or are just having trouble making ends meet on a limited income, you’ll often find help in government programs ready to lend a hand.

This post lists several ways that you can get free money from the government.

And it’s money you’ll never need to pay back.

First: A Note About Free Money Scams

There are, unfortunately, many scams that surface and target people like you who are looking for legitimate help.

I want to talk about this a bit, so you’ll know what to look for and avoid.

The last thing you want is to be scammed while you’re at a low point and trying to do what’s best for yourself or your family.

Searching for government help online can sometimes turn up scams that don’t really look like scams.

You might come across websites that look legit with contact information that also looks legit.

The people you contact will sound sweet and helpful, as though they’re trying to point you in the right direction.

Instead, you end up paying for something that you think will help but never see results.

One of the biggest signs of a free government money scam is the requirement to pay money up front for something, like a book or online course that teaches you how to get money.

The government isn’t secretive about its helpful programs.

In fact, you can step inside your local welfare office to learn about most of them or visit government websites to search for them.

You’ll never need to buy something to learn about these programs.

When you’re searching online, be sure to check out sites ending in .gov, meaning that they’re a government-backed site.

If you’re ever unsure if something is legit, you can contact the local welfare office to ask about it.

Finally, remember that getting free money from the government isn’t always easy.

There’s paperwork and processes you’ll need to go through to determine if you qualify for the programs.

If something says you have to fill out a quick registration form to have money delivered to you tomorrow, that’s not going to happen.

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Try not to get caught up in the excitement of it all, and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding scams.

How to Get Free Government Money

Improve and Protect Your Credit for Free

I’m putting this here first because your credit score and report paint your whole financial picture in one handy place.

When you keep it protected, you’re keeping your finances and identity protected as well.

Your credit can also help you build a future, which is why to always work toward improving your score and report.

The government helps you do all these things for free.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a government branch that helps US citizens protect their identities and credit.

They’re basically in charge of busting scams and scam artists who try to swindle people out of everything they work for.

Through its website, you can sign yourself up for the Do Not Call registry, so scammers are less likely to get your phone number.

You can also file complaints against possible scammers.

You can even get scam alerts, file a complaint against a business, report identity theft, and find places where you can get a free credit score.

If you ever think you’ve been scammed by a company and it could potentially harm your credit (or already has), be sure to check out the many resources on the FTC’s website.

And Get a Free Credit Report

As I mentioned, the FTC provides resources for getting a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus.

An even faster way to do this is to visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.

This site is where you can sign up to receive a free credit report from any or all of the three bureaus every year.

It’s crucial that you check over all this information each year to be aware of any issues that might be harming your credit, like cases of identity fraud.

A good idea is to sign up for the service around an occasion you’ll remember every year, like your birthday or tax time, so you remember to do it again the following year.

Get Assistance with Your Down Payment

Paying for a house can be really tough, especially when most lenders want a down payment of at least 10%, and some closer to 20%.

For a $150,000 home, that’s $15,000 minimum!

Fortunately, the government can help with that, too, if your income qualifies.

Down Payment Assistance programs vary by state, and you can find out more about your available programs here.

You can also check out the many resources on the HUD website for help buying a home.

The organization also has grants available for first-time homebuyers.

Get Help Paying Rent

Not buying a home just yet?

HUD can help with rent payments, too.

Check the website to learn more about getting assistance in the form of vouchers for renting your home or apartment.

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Get Credit for Buying a Home

All homebuyers can take advantage of various tax credits related to their homes and home-related expenses.

For example, some homebuyers might qualify for a deduction based on their mortgage interest.

Others might be able to take a deduction based on their property taxes.

The best way to get these credits is to get your taxes done by a professional.

Bring your home and mortgage paperwork with you to ensure you get everything you’re eligible for.

Find Your Way Out of a Foreclosure

If you’re facing a foreclosure of your home due to an inability to pay your mortgage, don’t panic.

There’s help available here, too, and HUD is, again, one of the places that provides help.

You can also check with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, an organization that helps homeowners stay in their homes.

The organization offers help to those struggling to afford their payments every month.

Get a Refund for Your FHA Mortgage

People who have had an FHA loan for their home might be due a refund from HUD.

You can check here.

Start a Business with the Government’s Help

The government loves when its citizens continue to create and grow businesses that can boost the economy.

That’s why it offers help to those starting businesses through loans, grants, and other assistance programs.

You can learn more about available assistance through the Small Business Administration.

Find Help When You’re Self-Employed

As wonderful as it is to be your own boss, it can also be incredibly stressful.

You’re responsible for yourself and your income.

If you lose a high-paying client or get sick and can’t work, you have limited protections available as a self-employed worker.

The United States Department of Labor helps keep self-employed workers on their feet during tough times through income assistance programs, which you can learn about here.

It’s similar to unemployment compensation, but it’s unfortunately only available in a few states.

Get Disability Help

Disabled individuals can receive help through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA will work with your medical team to determine whether you have a disability according to their standards.

If your income also falls within range, you could be entitled to monthly benefits to help you pay your bills.

There are also programs available for those with disabilities to help pay rent or mortgage costs, medical bills, and more.

You can learn more about these here.

Claim Your Tax Refunds

Believe it or not, some people forget they have a tax refund coming or didn’t know they had one to begin with!

The government isn’t the best at letting you know if you do have one waiting for you, so you might need to search this out yourself.

Head to Where’s My Refund to use the online tool for looking up your refund.

You’ll need an exact refund amount, so if you’re not sure what that might be, you’ll need to do it differently.

Instead, call the IRS and speak to a representative about your refund.

If you think you might be missing your state’s tax refund, head to this page to look up your state’s government website to find its contact information.

Have Your Taxes Done for Free

Volunteer tax specialists help low-income individuals fill out their tax returns every year, provided they have simple returns without all the complicated stuff.

Individuals must have an income less than $54k and must only need basic tax return prep.

You can use the website to locate a volunteer near you who might be able to help.

Seniors may also be eligible for a separate, but similar, program called Tax Counseling for the Elderly, which helps those who have pensions or are on retirement plans file their taxes.

Get Replacement Savings Bonds

Savings bonds can be a great way to save money for the future, but they can also be easily lost, stolen, or damaged.

If any of those have happened to your savings bonds, you might be able to get them replaced for free.

Fill out this form from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, explain your loss, and you could get approved for a replacement.

Claim Back Wages Owed to You

Did you quit a job and not receive your last paycheck?

Or, maybe you moved and didn’t update previous employers who were trying to send you your pay.

That paycheck might be waiting for you.

Check Workers Owed Wages and search your employer’s name to see if any money is waiting to be claimed.

Get Unclaimed Money

You can also find other money owed to you that you may not have known about or forgot about.

Even if you don’t think anything’s owed to you, it’s worth a quick check at Unclaimed.org.

Some people have even found inheritances through this site that they didn’t even know they had!

If you find something in your name, fill out the form and get paid.

You can search by your state and past states you’ve lived in or have worked in.

Get Unemployment

Unemployment benefits are extremely helpful to people who are laid off, have lost their jobs, or otherwise can’t work for a temporary period of time.

Each state has its own rules about unemployment benefits, which you can learn more about here.

In some states, you may qualify for up to 13 extra weeks of unemployment benefits to help you get back on your feet before you find work.

Find Affordable Health Care

Healthcare.gov is an excellent resource for finding health insurance you can afford.

During open enrollment each year, you can hop on the site and search for insurance plans.

Based on your income, you may qualify for a subsidy, or a monthly payment that can greatly reduce what you pay in premiums.

Many people who have income over the poverty level can still qualify for some assistance.

You might also be eligible to enroll in a new plan outside of open enrollment if you have a qualifying reason, like losing your medical insurance or being ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare.

Or, Get Free Health Insurance and Medical Care

Medicaid is the government’s version of free health insurance.

Those with low incomes can qualify, and children and pregnant women typically can qualify with more income.

You can visit Medicaid.gov or Healthcare.gov to apply.

You also might be eligible for free or reduced medical costs, depending on your income and where you visit your doctors.

Some areas have free health clinics for low-income individuals that provide basic medical care for residents.

You can also check with your doctor’s office for programs they might have to help you reduce your medical bills.

Get Help Paying for College

If you or your child is heading to college, there’s no reason to go broke paying for it.

You might qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, which pays a portion of your tuition every year that you’re eligible.

You can, of course, also apply for federally funded student loans to cover your expenses, but these will have to be paid back eventually.

And Help Paying for Student Loans

Some student loans may be forgiven if you enter certain career fields.

Teachers, for example, might have their student loans forgiven up to $17,500.

Some public service workers can also drop their loans after making 120 qualifying payments.

Those suffering from total and permanent disabilities can have some loans forgiven too.

Check out StudentAid.gov for more information.

Get Assistance for Making Your Home More Efficient

Not only can making your home more energy efficient keep more money in your pocket, but it also could be more affordable for you with the help of the government.

Weatherization Assistance Programs help homeowners with the cost of upgrading their homes to save energy.

Learn more here.

Get Help Paying for Energy Costs

If you rent or own a home and have trouble affording its energy costs, you could qualify for money from the government.

Some states have a program known as HEAP, or something similar, that helps low-income individuals pay for electric or gas heating costs.

Search here to learn more about what’s available in your state.

Veterans: Get Free Assistance

Are you a veteran of the armed forces?

You might be eligible for life insurance, pension help, disability compensation, and more.

Click here to learn more about benefits for veterans.

Veterans might also have unclaimed life insurance benefits owed to them, and you can search for that here.

Have Your Phone and Internet Paid For

If you’re already on some form of public assistance, you might be eligible for a reduced phone plan from Lifeline.

This program offers phone service or internet service for $9.95 a month.

Get Help Paying for Your Children’s Food

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a program designed to provide low-income pregnant women, babies, and kids with nutritional food.

Every month, families can receive vouchers for formula, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other healthy foods to support a nutritious diet.

Get Free Food for Your Family

SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, can provide low-income individuals and families with the food they need every month, or at least at a reduced cost.

Learn more about the program here.

Get Help Paying for Child Care

ChildCareAware lists helpful information for families who need help paying for child care, one of the biggest expenses families seem to have nowadays.

From military assistance programs to funded preschool and childcare vouchers, you might qualify for help that can lower the bill.

Find Senior Citizen Help

Seniors often need more help than others because of their health issues and low income.

Fortunately, there are a lot of government programs available to help the elderly with medication costs, food, taxes, and more.

BenefitsCheckup.org has tons of information available for seniors.

Make Money with Damaged Money

Most people aren’t aware that, if their cash becomes damaged and unusable, they may be able to get new cash in its place.

Of course, you’ll have to send that money in to get replaced.

You can learn more about the process here.

Find Money from Failed Pension Plans

Pension plans sometimes fail, and when they do, the government picks them up.

If you think you may have one that you forgot about or have heard about a past company going under, you can check here to see if you have money waiting for you.

Claim Money from Closed Banks

Your bank can close or fail, too!

If you’ve used a bank that held any of your cash from a checking account, savings account, bonds, or anything else, you can regain your money.

Check with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to claim your FDIC-insured cash.

And from Credit Union Failures

Credit unions work a bit differently when they fail, but you can still get your insured cash back.

You’ll just need to do it through the National Credit Union Association instead of the FDIC.

Get Money in the Event of a Disaster

If you’re the victim of a disaster, like a hurricane, flood, or something that caused you to be displaced from your home, you could get help when you need it most.

DisasterAssistance.gov is in place to help you find shelter, food, housing assistance, and anything else you might need to get back on your feet.

You can search by your state that’s recently been affected by a disaster to see if you’re eligible for assistance.

How to Get Free Money from the Government


Getting free money from the government can help individuals and families get on their feet after hitting a rough patch and can help make ends meet for those struggling to pay bills.

The programs exist to help anyone in need.

Just remember that they’re not get-rich-quick programs.

You’ll need to fill out paperwork and prove your eligibility to make sure that the right people receive assistance.

If you know of other government assistance programs or ways to get free government money, please let us know in a comment.

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