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Take control of your situation and be prepared. Develop a Family Information Folder - commonly requested information needed when applying for assistance:

  • Complete name(s) for Head of Household, address, phone number and e-mail address
  • Information each household member:
    • Social Security number or copy of Social Security card(s)
    • Date(s) of Birth and record such as birth certificate, baptismal record, insurance policy or school record
    • If foreign born, record of naturalization or alien status
    • Employment history for all adults in home (18 years of age and over)
      • Place of current employment and Income
      • Last (4) pay stubs or strike verification
      • Dates of employment, hours worked, rate of pay per hour, date of discharge
  • Marriage Status-marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal separation, or child custody documentation.
  • List of assets: stocks, bonds, checking and savings accounts and current balance
  • List of liabilities:
    • Current debt information including amounts, name of creditors, last date paid.
    • Expense information for payments made in last 30 days
    • Life and medical insurance policy and premium payment book
    • If property owner - address, name of mortgage company, mortgage payment, approximate market value of home
    • If Renter-
      • copy of lease
      • If no lease, date you moved in, monthly rental amount, which utilities are included in the rent
  • Information including dates applied & amount received for other public assistance such
    • Utility, food stamps, section 8, HUD, public housing, TANF, unemployment
  • Military Service information for all adults in home including
    • Serial Number, enlistment date, branch of service
    • Copy of DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)


  • Unemployment - All claims for unemployment insurance benefits must be filed through Uplink, the online filing system. Search the taxonomy term "unemployment". Keep in mind there is a one week waiting period for which you cannot be paid.
  • Food Assistance- We often find that food is a need that is thought of last when dealing with changes in financial situations. Apply for food stamps as soon as your financial situation changes (keep in mind it takes time to process). Search the taxonomy terms "food, food co-ops, food pantries, and soup kitchens".
  • Financial Assistance - Total Gross Income for all adults living in the household for last 30 days. (Gross income is income before taxes). Search the taxonomy terms "financial, assistance, rent"
  • Medication Assistance - Many programs exist to help with medication costs, were you aware that your local pharmacy may offer such programs, also be sure to check the websites of the medication manufacturer for valuable coupons. Search the taxonomy terms "medication assistance, prescription assistance"
  • Things To Do - Contact your landlord or mortgage holder, Utility companies (phone, gas, water, electric), creditors (car, furniture, credit cards) as soon as possible to discuss the change in your financial situation and to work out payment plans. It is better to contact them sooner since this shows good faith toward repayments.
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The AIRS/211 LA County Taxonomy is reproduced with permission from 211 LA County.