You’re probably familiar with the various forms of government assistance that are available in the United States: Medicaid, student loans, the GI Bill, food stamps. But there are many benefits available to the average person that you might not be aware of.
Here are some things you may not have known you could get for free from the government.
1. Car Seat Installation
Did you install your child’s new car seat, but you’re worried you might not have done it correctly? You can get it checked out at your local police or fire department. If you literally have no idea where to start in installing your car seat, they’ll also do that for you, usually free of charge. You can use this tool to search for a location near you.
Adoption Assistance, also known as adoption subsidies, “provides financial help and services for children with physical, mental and developmental disabilities and their adoptive parents.” The definition of “special needs” varies by state agency.
3. Free Meeting Spaces, Computers and Wi-Fi
Libraries offer so much more than just books. Some have meeting and conference rooms available for reservation, some offer free tax forms and assistance, and most these days offer free access to computers and even Wi-Fi. Call or visit your local library’s website for more details.
4. Free Tax Filing
You can file your income taxes for free through the Internal Revenue Service’s FreeFile program.
5. Free Credit Reports
The major credit reporting agencies didn’t just all decide one day to offer credit reports for free. That came through a government mandate. You can order your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also get a free credit report summary every month on Credit.com.
6. Presidential Greeting
The President will send birthday greetings to individuals 80 or over and anniversary greetings to couples married 50 years or longer, among a few others special messages. You must notify the President of the event, in writing, at least 2 weeks (preferably 1 month or more) before the celebrated occasion.
7. Help for Quitting Smoking
Want to quit smoking? The government wants to help you do it, and in some cases, will even provide free nicotine replacement therapies, including patches, lozenges and gum from state and local governments. A call to 1-800-QUIT-NOW will direct you to your state agency, or you can visit I’m Ready to Quit on the Center for Disease Control website.
8. Free Museum Admissions
Washington, D.C., is filled with free art and cultural events thanks to government funding. Head to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art or the Phillips Collection and admission will be free. The monuments? Free. National Portrait Gallery? National Air and Space Museum? National Museum of Women in the Arts? Free, free, free.
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