Browsing Category

Florida

Child Care, Florida,

Florida KidCare

no comment

What You Need To Know

Florida KidCare is a benefit program that provides seamless support to children living in Florida from birth to 18 years of age. It is an umbrella program that covers four major components of the government-sponsored health insurance programs – Medicaid, MediKids, Florida Healthy Kids and the Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan. Four partner agencies of the Florida KidCare administer the different Components of the program.

  • Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (FHKC) manages Florida Healthy Kids
  • Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) administers Medicaid
  • Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) administers the Behavioral Health Network
  • Florida Department of Health, Children’s Medical Services (DOH) administers Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan

Florida KidCare benefit program has been designed to support the physical and intellectual growth of the children from birth to 18 years of age. No matter what health and medical service they need, its physician checkup, dentist, hospitals or pharmacies, the Florida KidCare program covers it all. Florida KidCare benefits include:

  • Doctor Visits
  • Surgeries
  • Check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Vision & Hearing
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental Care
  • Emergencies
  • Hospital Stays
  • Mental Health
  • And more

Is Your Family Eligible?

Florida KidCare eligibility depends on the family’s annual income an there are other factors as well. Children in families with income between 133 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply. If your family income does not fall in this range then you can qualify through the full-pay program.

Family Size Medicaid for

Children

MediKids / Florida Healthy Kids
  No Monthly Premium $15 monthly

premium

$20 monthly

premium

Full‐pay program
1 Up to $16,612 $19,735 $24,980 $24,980.01 & over
2 Up to $22,491 $26,718 $33,820 $33,820.01 & over
3 Up to $28,369  $33,702 $42,660 $42,660.01 & over
4 Up to $34,248  $40,685 $51,500 $51,500.01 & over
5 Up to $40,127  $47,669 $60,340 $60,340.01 & over
6 Up to $46,005 $54,653 $69,180 $69,180.01 & over
7 Up to $51,884 $61,636 $78,020 $78,020.01 & over
8 Up to $57,762 $68,620 $86,860 $86,860.01 & over
9 Up to $63,641 $75,603 $95,700 $95,700.01 & over
10 Up to $69,520 $82,587 $104,540 $104,540.01 & over

 

How to Apply?

Due to immense demand and comprehensive components of the program, even if your family qualifies for the program space is limited. Therefore, most of the time the applications are processed on first come basis. As soon space is full the enrollment for this program closes, however, enrollment in Medicaid is always open.

Apply Online: You can submit the application online by visiting the online Florida KidCare application portal.

Document and information you must have before you start the application process.

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Employer and income information
  • Current health insurance details

Once applied the application will be valid for 120 days as soon the Florida KidCare office receives it. To keep the coverage active you must renew it every year and the KidCare office will also send you renewal notification.

For Further Information?

Visit http://www.floridakidcare.org or call 1-888-540-5437.

 

Child Care, Florida,

Florida Head Start Program

no comment

What You Need To Know

Florida Head Start Program is a federally funded program to support low-income families, helping them get complete childcare and development support. Primarily the program is offered to children aged three to five but also includes toddlers and pregnant women. The program provides support to low-income families through school readiness. The main focus of the program is to emphasize the role of parents in the early development of their child. It helps contribute to their social, emotional and cognitive development. Florida Head Start program is administered in collaboration with the Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The services involved in this comprehensive program include the following benefits:

  • Early education
  • Health care
  • Food and nutrition
  • Social services
  • Support for disables

Children from birth to age five from families with low income are eligible to enroll for the benefits. Homeless children and families which are receiving government assistance such as TANF are eligible to enroll. Families whose income level is below 130 percent of the poverty line and pregnant women can also apply for the Florida Head Start benefits.

Applicant families must have an annual household income less than or equal to the following amounts:

Household Size Maximum Income Level ($)
1 12490
2 16910
3 21330
4 25750
5 30170
6 34590
7 39010
8 43430

 

In case there are more than eight residents present in a household, an additional $4,420 is added per person.

As Florida Head Start is a popular program so sometimes even the child is eligible, could not get the space and families are put on the waitlist. So it is very important to connect with your local community and try to meet the requirements as early as possible to get timely enrollment for your child. The Florida Head Start State Collaboration Office (FLHSSCO) specifically collaborates between Head Start and educational, medical, and social organizations in Florida. FLHSSCO’s office is located inside Florida’s Office of Early Learning.

How To Apply

The Head Start present in your community can be found through the Head Start Locator tools available online. It will allow you to get in contact with the local program which can answer any queries you have. Approaching them will also prove helpful in terms of document collections as the appropriate ones will be highlighted.

Florida Head Start program is comprehensively available in every county statewide. Families just have to choose the right component of the program and then they can process the application online.

  • Early Head Start benefits are offered to children from birth to age 3 and it also covers pregnant women. This early support to children and the eligible families is focused on providing physical, emotional and intellectual support. The comprehensive early support to child development is rolled over on an annual basis. To get more information on Early Head Start benefits, eligibility, and enrollment, you can visit the online directory available on this link Early Head Start.
  • Preschool Head Start support is offered to children aged 3 to 5. The purpose of this pre-school support is to ensure school readiness of the children by providing self-sufficiency to their families and focusing on the cognitive development of the children. To locate the right information center in your county, you can visit the online directory of Preschool Head Start.
  • Migrant Head Start programs are offered to the immigrants or temporary farmworkers. The program focuses physical and intellectual development of the children, toddlers, infants and preschool kids when their parents are busy working on farms or other seasonal work. To locate migrant Head Start support near you, visit the link to this online directory Migrant Head Start.

For Further Information?

In instances where you wish to gain more information regarding the Florida Head Start which is located in the Office of Early Learning, you can contact the office by calling the toll-free number:

866-357-3239

Office of Early Learning

Florida Department of Education

250 Marriott Drive

Tallahassee, FL 32399

 

You can also simply visit the community Head Start through the help of online Head Start Locator.

 

Florida, Food Stamps,

Florida Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

no comment

What You Need To Know

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been set up for women, infants and children. It helps low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding postpartum. Along with these, it also provides for infants and children below the age of five, who are at nutritional risk.  This program has been administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). It consists of federal grants which provide supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education. It can be said that this program aims to improve the nutrition and food intake of these specific individuals.

The WIC aims to safeguard low-income women, infants, and children. It achieves this by providing the following services without any cost:

  • Healthy foods
  • Nutrition education and counseling
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Referrals for health care
  • Community services

The foods involved in this program are designed to supplement a person’s diet. This is achieved through specific nutrients. Amongst the authorized foods of WIC, there is

  • Infant cereal
  • Baby foods
  • Iron-fortified adult cereal
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Vitamin C- rich fruit or vegetable juice
  • Dairy products
  • Soy-based beverages
  • Canned beans and fish
  • Other whole-grain options

The qualified individuals of this program are able to access their benefits through an EBT card. It helps them to purchase approved foods at authorized retailers. It is vital that the balance of the EBT Card is checked before any shopping takes place. There is a toll-free number as well as a website set up for such purposes. Some stores even have a Point of Sale machine available for balance checking.

The WIC program can help to make pregnancies safer by reducing any chances of premature births and infant mortality rates. Improved nutrition for these children can also contribute to long term benefits. According to statistics, WIC candidates have had an increase in healthcare cost savings.

Are You Eligible?

There are certain basic requirements for this program. These include that the applicant must be

  • A resident of the state of Florida
  • Pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding women
  • Infant or child below the age of 5
  • Labeled to be at nutritional risk by a medical professional. Two major types of risks come under this eligibility, namely, medically-based risks and dietary risks.

The household income is also considered once the above aspects are present. Therefore, the amount before tax deductions must either be less than or equal to the following figures:

Size Of Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 23,107
2 31,284
3 39,461
4 47,638
5 55,815
6 63,992
7 72,169
8 80,346

If there are more than eight residents present in a house, then an additional amount of $8,177 is added. It is advised that the person remains in touch with the managing agency in the local area. This would help in ensuring that the most recent and accurate guidelines are followed.

Eligibility for the WIC program can also be checked through the help of an online tool. The WIC Prescreening Tool will help you to find out whether or not you should go through the application process. This tool is not an application but simply a check.

How To Apply

In order to apply for the benefits of WIC, a local agency must be approached. With a properly scheduled appointment, you can approach the application process in a simple and quick manner. They will require household income as well as the medical status of each applicant. These agencies are responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants. Once qualified, they are also responsible for the benefits and services provided as well as the authorization of vendors.

It has been stated in the USDA Non-Discrimination Statement that no discrimination should take place. This includes any bias-ness that can occur regarding race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal. People with disabilities are also provided with appropriate means of communication. This helps in making sure that their needs are catered to.

For Further Information

In case of further queries or confusion, Florida’s WIC Program page is available. It can be visited through the help of the internet. As WIC is a federal program, the information concerning it can be found on USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children program page. Similarly, if you wish to converse on the telephone, a list of toll-free numbers is available. You can find it on the USDA FNS website.

In case of any problems with the EBT Card provided for purchases, customer service is available at:

1-866-629-1095

 

Florida, Healthcare,

Florida Medicaid

no comment

What You Need To Know

Medicaid helps to cater to the healthcare needs of people with low incomes. Its health coverage helps to provide for those people who are unable to take medical care of themselves. This helps to improve the health of the residents of the state. It is a program that has been administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The average amount of people that are eligible for Medicaid can be estimated at 3.8 million. Therefore, they are further broken into categories. Amongst these there is

  • Age by Assistance Category
  • Age by County
  • Age by Gender

Medicaid covers services according to the age of the beneficiary as well as the type of the program. The services may include:

  • Doctor
  • Hospital
  • Family planning i.e. birth control, pregnancy, and birth care.
  • Home health care
  • Nursing home
  • Hospice
  • Transportation
  • Dental and visual
  • Prescriptions
  • Community behavioral health
  • Any other similar services.

In case the individual who wishes to apply has both Medicare and Medicaid, the program covers:

  • Medicare deductible. This is the amount a person pays before Medicare starts to pay.
  • A portion of Medicare co-payment and co-insurance. This is the cost a person shares with Medicare.
  • Premiums paid for Medicare coverage
  • Some services that Medicare does not cover.

There are certain other programs that eligible applicants can consider too. These include Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB), Qualifying Individuals 1 (QI-1) and Special Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB).

Are You Eligible?

There are certain requirements involving this program. Amongst these, the applicant must make sure that he or she is:

  • A resident of the state of Florida
  • In need of health coverage
  • Has a financial situation which can be described as low income or very low income.
  • A U.S. national, citizen or has a satisfactory immigration status

These are basic requirements for the applicant who wishes to benefit from this program. Along with this, there are certain factors including the fact that the person must:

  • Be above the age of 64
  • Be pregnant or a parent of a child under 18
  • Be blind or disabled
  • Have a family member who is blind or disabled. This can be a child, parent or spouse in the household.
  • Recipients of Supplemental Security Income

Once these requirements are met, then the income and asset requirements of the person are considered. The household income of the applicant is also taken into account. Their earnings before tax deductions are considered. The amount is either be less than or equal to:

Size Of Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 16,612
2 22,491
3 28,369
4 34,248
5 40,127
6 46,005
7 51,884
8 57,762

Some houses may have more than eight residents. In these instances, an additional amount of $5,878 s added per person. To ensure that you are in line with the most recent and accurate guidelines, a managing agency must be approached.

How To Apply

The application process for Medicaid can begin with the help of the Department of Children and Families. A toll-free number is also available:

(866)762-2237

Certain people move from other states to Florida. In these cases, if the person had Medicaid in their previous state, they must apply for it in Florida. If they receive SSI then they should contact the appropriate Social Security through their toll-free number

(8000772-1213

Medicaid is also available for children. Families who wish to apply for it must submit a Florida KidCare application. There is a toll-free number available for such purposes as well. It is:

(888)540-5437

The qualified candidates receive all health care services except long-term care from a managed care plan. This helps you to choose among the various plans of your area. It is dependent on the providers of the individual’s plan. There is a choice counselor present who helps to make sure that the best plan is selected. It suits the needs of the person completely.

For Further Information?

A Florida Medicaid website has been set up to cater to the queries of potential applicants. This helps people to easily access the information they require.

There also Medicaid offices set up to help out the residents of the state. A local office can be found through the website which can be visited whenever it is possible. In case further information is required by the applicant concerning eligibility, there is a page available too.

In case the application has been denied or terminated. The person can also request a hearing through telephone. This includes any information you require if your benefits have been reduced or terminated. The DCF is available to answer such questions.

 

Florida, Food Stamps,

Florida Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

no comment

What You Need To Know

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the food stamp program set up by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Florida, it is called Food Assistance program. It has been established to provide food benefits to the residents of a low-income household. This includes accessibility to health diet as well as education concerning food preparation and nutrition. The qualified individuals of this program make use of an electronic card to spend their benefits. It is similar to an ATM card which can be used to buy food from authorized retailers.

SNAP had been set up to help tackle any hunger problems that may take place. Therefore, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has administered it. It helps the member of the program to make more informed decisions about nutrition. In order to properly execute its operations, FNS takes the help of state agencies, nutrition educators and neighborhood-based organizations. They can also help them in ensuring that the benefits are properly accessed and made use of.

The acceptable purchases in this program are the food and plants and seeds required to grow food. It is not acceptable to purchase the following items:

  • Nonfood items
  • Pet food
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco
  • Vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Food that you will consume in the store
  • Hot foods

The applications for this program are available in English, Spanish, and Creole which helps to cater to a larger audience.

Are You Eligible?

It is vital for the applicant to be a resident of the state of Florida. Along with these, there are other certain requirements that need to be fulfilled. This includes:

  1. They must have a current bank balance under $2,001
  2. They must have a current bank balance under $3,001 and share the household with either
  • A person aged 60 and above, or
  • A person with a disability.

The annual household income is also considered. The amount before taxes must be less than or equal to:

Size Of Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 24,980
2 33,820
3 42,660
4 51,500
5 60,340
6 69,180
7 78,020
8 86,860

In case, the household size is greater than eight, an additional amount of $8,840 is considered. Therefore, it is a good step to consider getting in touch with the managing agency in your area. They will be able to provide you with the most recent and accurate guidelines.

There is also a pre-screening tool available to check the eligibility of SNAP. This tool requires you to look up the amounts of your:

  • Earnings
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utility bills
  • Child support
  • Daycare expenses
  • Medical bills, in case you are 60 or above, or disabled.
  • Any other payments.

Programs like these also offer services that have their own criteria. It is recommended that the person approaches the program in their community to gain more specific information. Low-income families who are able to fulfill such eligibility criteria can also consider other programs like

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Medicaid coverage

How To Apply

Application for this program is present on the online portal of the Florida Department of Children and Families. This makes the accessibility of the application process easier for people. They can simply apply from the comfort of their homes. They will simply be expected to enter all the necessary information into the application. Its accessibility makes it the fastest way to receive Food Stamps.

Florida agencies consider the receiving date of the completed application as the official data. The working days in this regard is considered rather than the weekend or holidays. The time duration for acceptance or rejection of the application can range from 7 to 30 days. It depends on the financial situation as well as other factors involved in the application. It is possible to also apply for the food stamp through the mail. It is easy to obtain a copy of the application through the local SNAP office. It can also be downloaded from the website. Either way, the applicant can then fax or return the form to the Florida Department of Children and Families center. In case such a customer service center is not available, other community partners can be considered.

For Further Information

In case of queries or any extra data required, General Information about Food Assistance is available on websites. Moreover, there are even other ways to contact the local SNAP office. The FNS has set up appropriate websites to help you get in contact. There is more than one way so that the person can adopt the method they feel most comfortable with.

 

Florida, Housing,

Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

no comment

What You Need To Know

The low-income households in Florida required financial help for heating and cooling. Therefore, to help them out, LIHEAP provides grants. These grants help to fund the costs that help with the utility payment assistance. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been set up to allow residents of Florida to avoid any safety issues. This includes health concerns that may take place due to harsh weather conditions. The program is aimed to pay their home energy expenses. This program is divided into three specific categories that include:

  • Home energy assistance
  • Crisis assistance
  • Weather-related or supply shortage energy crisis assistance.

In either case, the assistance requires certain criteria to be met before it can cater to the needs of applicants. LIHEAP is a program that has been administered through the help of the Administration for Children and Families. This is also known as ACF. The Department of Economic Opportunity plays a role in this program. Amongst these, they:

  • Apply for the funding from the federal government
  • Distribute funding through grants to non-profit agencies and local agency providers.
  • Monitor local agency providers to make sure that the funding is in compliant with the laws and rules. These are set by the state and the federal government.
  • Provide technical assistance to local agency providers to make sure that they are compliant with the necessary requirements.

It is important to remember that the Department of Economic Opportunity cannot:

  • Determine the eligibility of applicants
  • Help citizens get an appointment
  • Help citizens apply for assistance
  • Provide applications
  • Provide funds or direct assistance to citizens.

These services are actually the responsibilities of the local agency providers in Florida. The LIHEAP program in Florida can be summarized through the following aspects:

  • You can apply for the grant three times a year but not every month.
  • LIHEAP will pay for the natural gas and propane bill in the winter season if that is a primary source of heat. Otherwise, it will not be catered to.
  • The program is not aimed at paying your water, sewer and telephone service. It is focused on home energy.
  • The local agency provider makes a one-time payment directly to the vendor of the qualified family or individual.

 

Are You Eligible?

To enjoy the benefits of this program, there are certain factors to be met. These include that the person should be:

  • A resident of Florida State
  • In need of financial assistance, specifically in terms of home energy costs.
  • The household income before tax deduction is also considered. It needs to be either less than or equal to the following figures:
Size of Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 18,735
2 25,465
3 31,995
4 38,625
5 45,255
6 51,885
7 58,515
8 65,145

The household size can be greater than eight members. In this case, an additional amount of $6,630 has to be added per person. Guidelines may differ according to time and place, which is why it is important to approach the appropriate managing agency.

Automatic eligibility is also provided to certain applicants. These are those who are part of or their family is a part of other benefit programs including:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Certain needs-tested Veterans benefits

How To Apply

The process for this benefit program can be found through the local LIHEAP provider. They will give you the appropriate applications, documents and guidelines to be followed. This would help you to easily apply for the program as well as increase your chances of qualifying for it.

The local provider can be found through the county office. These have been set up in almost all the counties of the state. Therefore, with the agency name, address and telephone number you can get in contact and start the process. It is a sensible step to consider making an appointment with these agencies. This is due to the high number of requests that come in for help. Therefore, if you wish to properly complete your application, a staff person may be of great help.

For Further Information

A LIHEAP homepage is available in case of any queries that need to be answered. For more detailed information, you can also get in contact with them through the data outline. Therefore, all your confusion will be dealt with accordingly.

In cases where you wish to complain about the local agency provider, there is an appropriate authority that can be approached. This is not the DEO but the supervisor or the executive director of the agency.