Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, providing citizens with an online eligibility prescreening tool to help you find government benefits that you may be eligible to receive.
Benefits.gov does not allow you to apply for benefits and cannot guarantee your eligibility for any program. In addition, Benefits.gov is not designed to be a comprehensive listing of all programs for which you may be eligible. Its purpose is to provide you with a list of benefits you may be eligible to receive, as well as information on how to apply for those programs.
Benefits.gov is a partnership of many Federal agencies and organizations with a shared vision – to provide improved, personalized access to government assistance programs. For more information about the Federal agencies that make up the Benefits.gov partnership, review the "Management" section on the About Us page
Benefits.gov is free, so feel free to visit us as often as you like. We recommend that you visit Benefits.gov as time passes or after major life events. In addition to new benefit program eligibility criteria and/or your own life changes, your eligibility to receive certain assistance may have changed. Additionally, new benefit programs are created over time that you might also be eligible for.
The Search function finds benefit programs related to the words or phrases you enter into the Search box. Capitalization is not considered by the Search function. Keep in mind that the quality of your results depends heavily on the words that you use. Here are some tips to make every search more effective:
Many people arrive at Benefits.gov after seeing unofficial advertisements that might have them thinking that the government will give "free money" to essentially anyone for anything. The government will not give you money just because you ask for it.
Here are some facts about getting government assistance that some ads may not mention:
Now, what can Benefits.gov do for you? As the official benefits website of the U.S. government, we can help you start your benefits search by connecting you to assistance programs you may be eligible to receive.
Visit our homepage and try the following options:
Government grants are awards of financial assistance to an individual and/or organization. Grants are used to carry out a government authorized purpose, and are not provided as personal benefits or assistance. Benefits.gov does not provide information on grants.
Visit http://www.grants.gov to find and apply for grants.
Computer software compares the answers you submit in the online questionnaire with the eligibility criteria of more than 1,000 Federally-funded benefit programs. You must answer the first section of questions given to you in the Benefit Finder to obtain an initial list of results, which is a list of benefit programs that you may be eligible for based on the information you have provided so far in the questionnaire. Though the list of benefit programs that you may be eligible for will change as you answer more and more questions, the likelihood of your being eligible for the benefit programs on your results list will increase.
Though all other questions after the initial section of questions are optional, we recommend that you answer as many questions as possible to obtain the most accurate benefit results list. Benefits.gov will ask broad questions about your personal situation and as you answer each question, the next questions will become more specific as the system narrows the list of possible benefit programs you may be eligible to receive. Benefits.gov is completely confidential and will not ask any information that could be used to identify you (i.e., name, address, phone number, Social Security number, etc.).
Benefits.gov says that you "may" be eligible for the programs in your Results List because 100% eligibility for any benefit program depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
To increase the likelihood of your eligibility for the programs in your Results List, please answer as many questions in the Benefit Finder as possible. Since benefit eligibility requirements frequently change, you should also occasionally check back with us to get an updated Results List, particularly if your life circumstances have changed.
If you are answering the questionnaire on behalf of someone else (including a child), the term "you" applies to that person. Answer the questions as they apply to the person.
Depending on your personal situation, please allow 10 to 20 minutes to answer all of the questions. As the length of the questionnaire varies based on your answers, the more benefits you may be eligible to receive, the more questions you are likely to be asked. Having ready access to your personal information (e.g., financial, educational, familial) will enable you to more quickly complete the questionnaire.
No. If you exit or are otherwise disconnected from the Benefits.gov website, you will lose your benefits results list. To avoid losing your results, either print the results by using the print function in your internet browser, or email them to yourself by clicking the "email" icon at the top right corner of the results page.
Benefits.gov recommends that you answer all of the questions presented, or as many as possible if your are unable or otherwise prefer not to answer specific questions. Answering all the questions increases the likelihood that you will be eligible for the programs that appear in your Benefit Results List.
You cannot apply for benefit programs directly on the Benefits.gov website. For application information, refer to the "Next Steps" section in the program description for information on how to apply for any benefit program that you may be interested in.
Benefit programs come and go based on changing laws and funding constraints. As laws change, new legislation is passed, or the time limits for certain programs are reached, benefit programs may be affected. Eligibility requirements may change or the entire program may be eliminated. Therefore, a benefit program that may have once been suggested may no longer be available.
MyUSA is the individual’s single point of access to government services. MyUSA enables a user to create a profile with basic information that can be used to personalize their experience as well as pre-populate forms, like our Benefit Finder. Through MyUSA, a citizen can control how their personal information is used by government websites, review a history of forms they have submitted to government sites, view a list of tasks they have created, and notifications they’ve received. Learn more at MyUSA
No, a MyUSA account is not required to use the Benefits.gov site or the Benefit Finder. MyUSA is a free service that introduces new features on Benefits.gov.
As a registered and signed in user, some of the benefits of using MyUSA are:
No matter where you are on the site, you can go to ‘MyUSA’ at the top of the page, scroll over the icon and select ‘Sign In’ from the drop-down menu. Benefits.gov will then transfer you to the MyUSA site to register or Sign In with your username and password. Before moving forward, you will be asked to allow Benefits.gov to access your information.
Once you have successfully registered and signed in through MyUSA, you will be presented with a Welcome page on Benefits.gov. We encourage you to click the ‘Start Benefit Finder’ button that will lead you to our eligibility prescreening tool.
Click the ‘Import MyUSA Profile’ button on the Core Questions tab in the Benefit Finder to have certain questions pre-populated for you. You must complete your MyUSA profile in order to pre- populate the questionnaire.
Questions that have been populated with your profile information will be identified with a MyUSA logo . After answering questions based on your current situation, you will immediately begin to see programs in your Benefit Results List.
To add programs to your MyUSA Task List, simply click the ‘Save to MyUSA’ link under each program. Benefits sent to your Task List will be permanently stored until you remove them. To make changes or remove programs, you should access your Task List on MyUSA.
If you are no longer interested in a benefit that you have sent to your Task List, you must make the change on the MyUSA site. In addition, your Benefit Finder results will not be saved upon leaving the site, unless they are sent to your MyUSA Task List.