Government Programs in Florida


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Florida Assistance Programs

In Florida, federally funded programs for low income families assist residents of the state who are struggling financially to afford a better way of life with access to medical care, job assistance and affordable housing. However, not all of the programs funded by the federal government in Florida serve just low income, elderly or disabled individuals. Residents receive many services from federally funded programs in Florida under the management of five main state departments that organize, develop, distribute and maintain benefits. For comprehensive information about Florida assistance programs, download our free digital guide here.

Florida Department of Children & Families

One of the largest federally funded programs in Florida is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which assists eligible residents so they can purchase food for their family. Commonly referred to as food stamps, the Florida Department of Children & Families is responsible for determining eligibility and making sure benefits go to needy Florida families. SNAP for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is the program that focuses on food assistance for women who are pregnant or who have very young children at home. Likewise, this department is also responsible for the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which is available in all public schools in Florida. Parents can find out about the free Summer Food Service Program in our downloadable Florida guide here.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF Florida), often referred to as TCA, offers temporary cash assistance to families struggling financially. TANF benefits are not exclusively supplemental funds, as the program focuses on making household self-sufficient. Like other from federally funded programs in Florida, TANF cash benefits are dependent on the applicant’s eligibility. Read More

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

One of the many programs funded by the federal government that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) oversees is financial assistance for students attending college in the state. Financial aid opportunities in Florida include the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), which can provide applicants with financial grants and loans to cover educational costs. One of this department’s chief duties is to process the thousands of applications for federal student aid each year. Download our Florida guide here with information on applying for Pell Grants and Carl Perkins Loans.

This department also processes and awards unemployment insurance in Florida to those who have lost their jobs and need unemployment compensation funding while looking for another job. Through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, Florida DEO encourages employment of certain applicants by providing financial incentives to Florida businesses. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is also on the front lines when a natural disaster occurs, providing temporary assistance to those who lose their jobs when hurricanes and flooding devastate coastal regions. Read More

Florida Department of Housing & Urban Development

Benefits offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) include housing counseling, handling housing discrimination and assistance for first-time home buyers and low-income households looking for affordable housing. Through Section 8 housing in Florida, residents are able to have a portion of their rent covered by vouchers. HUD homes are also good options for first time home buyers who do not qualify for standard mortgages or do not have a sizable down payment. Learn more about affordable housing for low income families in Florida within our comprehensive guide, available here. FHA loans also all fall under this department’s purview. Read More

Florida Health Services

Florida health care programs are vital for many residents of the state. Programs funded by the federal government include Medicaid and Medicare, which help low-income households and senior citizens, respectfully. Additional Florida health care services for low-income families with children include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Florida has one of the largest refugee populations in the U.S. and refugee health services in Florida offer medical services for up to eight months for those seeking asylum in the U.S. Read More

Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles

The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLDHSMV) serves all residents of the state by providing the necessary regulation and rules to keep the roadways maintained and safe. This is the department that is responsible for learners permits and drivers licenses as well as motorcycle and commercial drivers licenses in Florida. Drivers who need to know about Florida’s point system and necessary driver retraining programs can find out more in our guide by clicking here. In addition to handling licensing of drivers, the FLDHSMV ensures that owners register their vehicles and pay for moving violations. Read More