Federal Benefit Programs

The Child Tax Credit helps families with qualifying children get a tax break. You may be able to claim the credit even if you don't normally file a tax return. For more information, visit the IRS website.  

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Students may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a Federal program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income individuals and families so they can purchase healthy food. 

Generally, students attending college half-time or more are not eligible for SNAP unless they meet certain requirements, such as working 20 hours per week or caring for a child. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily added two new provisions allowing eligibility for students who have an SAI (Student Aid Index, formerly EFC) of zero (0) or who are eligible to participate in State or Federally funded work study. These temporary provisions are in effect until 30 days after the end of the Federal COVID-19 public health emergency, which is slated to end May 11, 2023.

Students can find their local office or State SNAP webpage using the SNAP State Directory of Resources. For more information about student eligibility and other student exemptions, visit the SNAP Students webpage.

Affordable Connectivity Program

The aim of this $14.2 billion program is to provide eligible low-income households, especially households with students, with access to broadband service at an affordable rate. Students who received a Pell Grant are one category of people who are eligible for the subsidy. Eligible households can receive a benefit off their monthly internet bill. Students can apply on the Affordable Connectivity Program website.

To receive this benefit, a student will need to provide documentation that the student received a Federal Pell Grant for the current award year. The student may provide along with their application a screenshot from the student’s StudentAid.gov profile that displays their receipt of the Federal Pell Grant or provide the financial aid eligibility letter provided on Workday in the Financial Aid worklet.

Health Insurance Enrollment

In addition to health insurance options through Brandeis, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to high quality, affordable health insurance through the ACA health insurance marketplaces, such as HealthCare.gov and Medicaid.  

If students have become unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law, they may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

  • Unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.
  • Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.
  • Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts, and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established.

Students can contact their State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.

The American Rescue Plan expanded numerous COVID-19 housing supports for homeowners, renters and landlords who may be struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. Links to available resources and applications are available through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.