Companies offering debt relief are for-profit companies that charge you to bargain on behalf of your debtors (the creditors you owe money to) on behalf of you. The goal of these companies is to convince lenders to settle for less than the total amount you are owed in exchange for paying the credit.

Although many of the programs enacted by Congress to provide financial assistance for Americans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are now in effect, those in need of assistance in paying bills or facing other financial issues may have certain options.

Credit Cards and Loans Debt Assistance for widows

“Life can be a shock to the system and suddenly become cost-incentive,”

Kotlikoff, the writer of “Get the Money You’ve Always Wanted: the secrets of Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits.”.

“The survivor spouse must take care of electric, food, automobiles maintenance and all other expenses of daily living that aren’t changing, but they only have one income to spend on it.”

There are alternatives. However, it is possible to assist widows who are struggling financially.

Finding Financial Help for Widows

widows seeking financial assistance and money for free should begin with the fundamentals. Don’t be limited to helping targeted widows. Consider all your finances and look into any options to help, such as government benefits or nonprofit debt management. Be aware of the limitations of these programs, too. Certain programs, especially those for spouses of veterans, will end if you are married again.

The top sources of Financial Aid for widows

Social Security provides the most important benefit that widows can avail themselves of. The surviving spouse can claim the benefit that is higher than the benefit they receive or that of their spouse. Since men are more successful in a longer time frame, their benefit is usually greater.

If your spouse was employed, you should contact your company’s Human Resources department to find out if you had any 401(k) account, life insurance plan, health savings account, or other benefits. HR departments aren’t likely to inform you about the benefits offered, so it’s vital to verify.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has numerous benefits available to spouses of deceased veterans and their dependents. Certain benefits have income requirements or other limitations.

In 2022, which is more than two years since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the federal COVID-19 aid efforts have shifted to vaccinations, testing and International Aid. There are still alternatives for Americans facing financial difficulties in paying their bills; due to the epidemic, most government programs are being withdrawn.

Many people rely on credit cards and still depend on them, whether to pay for bills or to cover basic needs of the home, like food. A Forbes study revealed that 75 per cent of people who use credit cards reported that they had failed to pay or had to pay late for payments throughout the outbreak. Although credit card usage was a bit slower at the beginning of the outbreak, it started to rise in 2021. The lenders, who had resisted in the past when it came to granting credit cards and loans to those with low credit scores (people who have lower credit scores), began to relax the rules once people returned to work.

Financial Aid for widows from family

Families can prove to be an excellent source of support; however, be aware of the potential pitfalls.

If a family member gives money, make sure both the recipient and you know the rules. Most monetary gifts are tax-deductible, even if they’re intended to aid a widow in need. Family loans aren’t always safe, even in ideal situations.

If an adult gives money, widows may receive up to $15,000 tax-free from the child. When the parent is married, this maximum is $30,000. The gifts from family members can be considered income and therefore taxed.

If you take money from a family member, there is no tax implication. However, you must ensure that the terms of repayment, and the interest rate if they charge it, are written. Even the moment you are uncomfortable. If both parties are aware of the terms, future problems, such as various memories of what was said, will be prevented. It will also be helpful if your tax return is examined – you will be able to prove it was a loan, not a gift.

Family members may also be willing to assist in ways that aren’t financially based but could help reduce the stress. If someone asks, “What can I do to assist?” don’t be afraid to provide specific details. Prepared meals, grocery shopping or babysitting services or rides to appointments, assistance with filling out forms, calling government agencies, and adopting your pet – there are many ways that families can help. Many people are in a quandary about what they can do to assist. Inform them.

Social Security Widow Benefits

Social Security is an essential source of income, but you have to arrange an appointment at your local SSA office to access the benefits. It is not possible to apply online for benefits.

One-time payments of $255 are available to the spouse who survived if they lived with the deceased or were living separately and being paid some Social Security benefits on the death record of the deceased.

Each month, Social Security benefits may be for widows or widowers aged 60 or over (50 or more when disabled) or a survivor of a divorced spouse in certain situations, and widows and widowers of any age caring for the child of the deceased who is younger than 16 or disabled and is receiving benefits.

If the deceased earned sufficient under Social Security, the widow/widower would be able to claim full benefits until the age of retirement or reduced benefits as early as 60. The amount of the benefits is dependent on the income that the decedent earned. The more they contribute to Social Security, the greater the benefit.