A Guide to Free Gas Vouchers for Low-Income Families
Do you have a mobility issue or disability? Are you an unemployed or low-income person in need of free gas vouchers? Even when gas prices are low, the cost of getting from place to place may seem impossible to fund.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2019, 34.0 million people are living in poverty. Add to that the impact of COVID-19, and you are not alone in your struggle. If being low income is new to you, you may not be aware of the assistance you can receive.
Many charitable organizations throughout the country provide free gas vouchers for low-income families that meet their qualifications. The requirements vary among organizations, but you are likely to find at least one program to assist you.
Salvation Army Gas Vouchers
The Salvation Army operates across the country and assists families in need, distributing resources including toys, food, and more. They provide services to all persons without consideration of religion or background.
The organization provides free gas cards or vouchers and general transportation help to individuals with low income. Funding for these services is limited, and only a few people who apply receive assistance.
Fund requests are often granted for assistance in getting to school, doctor’s appointments, going to a job interview, or attending job training. When applying, you may need to provide proof of your situation, including support documents such as proof of household expenses and pay stubs. Because of limited resources, you may not be able to receive a voucher every week or month.
Non-Emergency Transportation (N.E.T.)
If you are on Medicaid or other government assistance programs, you may qualify to receive free gas vouchers for non-emergency transportation (N.E.T.) to attend medical appointments. Many people cannot take their children or themselves to appointments important for their health, and the goal is to bridge that gap.
The non-emergency transportation (N.E.T.) program receives funding from your Medicaid insurance.
To qualify for this service, you must:
- Call the phone number on the back of your Medicaid Card
- Select the appropriate option to connect
- Tell the service representative that you want to apply for the N.E.T. program
Those who are on full Medicaid generally receive approval. To process your request, you will need to have your Medicaid card, your doctor’s name, the date of your next appointment, and the doctor’s telephone number. Do not confuse Medicaid with Medicare, as each program has different criteria.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a debit card in the mail. This is a reimbursement program, so you must attend the appointment before you receive payment. After attending the medical appointment, reimbursement of your transportation expense will be loaded onto the debit card.
The best way to handle this reimbursement is to plan on paying for your own transportation for up to three (3) months. After that, you will have money on your debit card. A good habit is to leave the money on the card so you can use it for transportation to your next medical appointment.
The Help for Gas organization will provide gas vouchers to those who meet their qualifications.
If you display their magnetic ad sign and travel a minimum of 1,000 miles per month, they will provide you with a voucher for gasoline. Depending on the type of ad you display, you can earn between $17 to $80 per month.
There is no income requirement to participate in this program.
Saint Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide organization that provides financial help for purchasing gasoline. If you are receiving any government assistance, you should meet the qualifications. Assistance is income-based. The cards they provide are for use in obtaining mandatory services, such as job interviews or getting to work.
This organization’s other services include job training, job placement, food pantries, housing programs, thrift stores, prison reentry, and medical services.
Catholic Charities assists both individuals and families in need. They provide disaster relief, emergency financial assistance, bill assistance, emergency shelter, food pantry, clothing, and Christmas toys for children.
The organization has 3,621 locations throughout the United States and internationally. If they cannot provide you with a gas card, ask if they have coupons/vouchers for any other organization in the area.
The 2-1-1 Program
To reach the United Way, dial 2-1-1 or visit their website. There you will find financial and other programs for assistance in your area and worldwide. The United Way also provides addiction services, re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated, and veteran support services.
The United Way may not provide the service directly, but will direct you to an organization that can. This includes finding a gasoline voucher, a place to live, food, or access to health care. These items can be found under their “Essential Needs” section.
Other services available through the United Way include Covid-19, Crisis and Emergency, and Disaster Assistance, as well as guidance to those new to the United States.
Review all your options. There may be more services available in your location than we list above. You may find organizations such as Got Trouble: Wyoming Financial Hardship Emergency Assistance by searching “gas vouchers near me.”
Because organizations are stretched thin on their resources, you will probably need to apply for free gas vouchers from several agencies. This will increase your chance of receiving assistance from at least one organization.
You can learn what additional assistance is available in your area by searching “your county” and “assistance programs.” You may also narrow the search parameters by adding in words such as “gas voucher,” “bus pass,” or “Lifeline Phone,” and “help to pay rent.”
Wheels to Work Program
The demand is higher than the number of cars available, so receiving a free vehicle from a charity is difficult. If your family is low-income, Cars for Change at 1-800-CARS may be able to help you get on the road with a free vehicle.
The other option is to use the Goodwill Car Program, a/k/a Wheels to Work, that puts you into a reliable automobile using a special financing program with a low-interest rate. The program operates throughout the country, making it easy wherever you live. There are no credit checks, and purchasing this plan helps you establish or improve your credit rating.
The goal of the program is to get working families reliable transportation. The catch to this program is you must have a job.
To qualify, you must prove you are currently working and have a history of consistent full-time employment. You must also show that a car is necessary for you to maintain your job. Other qualifications include:
- No drug offenses
- Proof of residence
- Full-time employment from 6-12 months on the same job
- No car is presently registered in your name.
- Have an up-to-date driver’s license from your residential state
- Ability to pass a criminal background check, MVR, and DMV
- Provide proof of income with recent payroll stubs or current W-2 form
- Remain working full time for 12 months after receiving the vehicle
This program is not available in every state. Search for the Goodwill Headquarters in your location to see if the program is available.
Find Assistance in Your Area
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