How 211 Can Help with Your Finances

How 211 Can Help with Your Finances
How 211 Can Help with Your Finances

When there is an emergency, we dial 911 to access emergency services but what do you do when you have a financial crisis?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the year 2000 designated the number 211 as a three-digit number for social services and other forms of assistance.

You get connected to a variety of options for help, which includes federal, state, and local programs that offer financial assistance when you call this number.

Key Takeaways:

211 is a number federally designated for social service referrals and other forms of assistance.
The program covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

These services were created to help families with, persons with disabilities, older Americans, children, youth, and any other person needing to access both social and financial assistance.
You can connect with resources and service providers in your local area by dialing 211.

What Is 211?:

Agencies that come together to help make it easier for people in need of assistance and resources are what the 211 network represents.

People who dial 211 will be referred to local agencies that can help them out with whatever grievance they may have.

This service is available to approximately 94.6% of the U.S population with coverage of other 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

The service was designed to help a variety of individuals across America and beyond including people who are:

  • Disabled
  • Illiterate or cannot read properly
  • Elderly
  • Not fluent in English
  • Experiencing a personal crisis

For instance, 211 can provide assistance to people experiencing domestic violence, persons who have experienced natural disasters, veterans, persons struggling with mental illness, and ex-offenders who need help to fit into society after their incarceration.

Non-profit organizations such as Goodwill and United Way fully support the program.
It is estimated that over 20million people request help through the 211-service line.

Anyone in need can then dial the number and get every resource available with no prior qualifications.

211 Financial Assistance:

The 211 network operates by referring people for different types of assistance, both social and financial.

If you need assistance, buying food, paying bills, or you are struggling with another financial issue, the 211 networks will help refer you to the appropriate financial organization or program.

This includes referring people who need help with:

  • Purchasing food
  • Getting health insurance
  • Covering childcare expenses
  • Getting gas money or bus fare
  • Homelessness prevention
  • Job training or transportation assistance to get to the workplace
  • Paying for medical care or prescription drugs
  • Making rent or mortgage payments
  • Paying for utilities
  • Supplemental Security Income applications

If you need help paying your electricity bill because you have been laid off from work. 211 may refer you to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program which is a program that provides funding to some local agencies to help with home energy crises, weatherization, minor energy-related home repairs, and home energy bills.

If you find difficulty in buying food for your home, the 211 networks could help by connecting you to the social services department where you can apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits (SNAP) or they can provide you with a list of food pantries in your nearby area.

You can also get assistance with applying for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which offers supplemental food assistance.

If you are having trouble with credit loans or cards, 211 can help refer you to a non-profit debt counselor.

The non-profit credit counselor can review your financial situation, which includes your spending habits, debts, and your budget to help you a feasible solution to manage it.

You could also get debt counseling if you are struggling to make mortgage payments and are almost falling into foreclosure.

The network does not offer direct help to people but acts as a medium through which people can get access to the help they need.

Other Types of Help Offered by 211:

The network includes a wide range of organizations that connect for financial assistance. Aside from that, if you need the following, you can call 211:

  • Child, Youth, or Family Support
  • Suicide prevention services
  • Work assistance services
  • Mental health resources
  • Drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation programs
  • Elderly care support.

How to Get Help from 211:

When in need of financial assistance, dial 211. Your call is then directed to a regional calling center. A specialist from the 211 centers will then ask you what kind of assistance you need, then they connect you to the appropriate authorities.

You can also visit the 211 websites to see which resources are available near you. Always remember that getting a response and a referral from 211 does not guarantee that you can access benefits.

Social services have their own criteria for determining who and who deserves a benefit.
If you’re not eligible, you can call 211 again to find out what other options might be available.


What is 211?:

211 network is a service that connects you to a network of organizations that give financial assistance and social services for free. They cover all 50 states as well Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

What Kind of Financial Help Does 211 Offer?:

211 networks do not offer financial assistance directly, they refer you to agencies that can assist you. Some referrable situations include food assistance, transportation assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, homelessness prevention, and utility assistance.

How Do I Get Help from 211?:

You should simply dial 211 from a mobile phone or landline. Your call is directed to a regional calling center.

A referral attendant will ask you questions about the kind of help you need, then refer you to the appropriate agency.

Is My Personal Information Safe?

This is a confidential service. You don’t have to disclose personal information if you’re not comfortable. The call center can still help you out if you choose to make calls anonymously.

Read Also: Top 20 Ways to Make Money Online 2021

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Written by Gustavo Franko

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