The following assistance programs are available on County and/or State levels to help residents with the expenses associated with housing repairs, utility costs, health care, tax relief, and much more.   Please note that many of these assistance programs do have specific eligibility requirements, which you should note before contacting the respective supporting agencies.

What is 2-1-1?

    • A place to turn when you need to find state or local health and human service resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns – Free; Confidential; Multi-lingual; TTY accessible; Available 24/7
    • An easy-to-remember telephone number that connects callers to resource specialists who are ready to guide callers to available resources that will do the most good
    • A website that provides easy access to our resource database and focused resource pages that provide essential facts, contact numbers and web links so individuals have the tools they need to find answers
    • A service that reliably tracks expressed needs and regularly provides government leaders with data that enables them to address emerging social trends in real time

What types of questions can be answered by 2-1-1 call specialists?

While resources that are offered through NJ 2-1-1 vary from community-to-community, call specialists will provide comprehensive information and referral services to callers about a variety of issues, including:

    • Basic Human Needs Resource: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rental assistance, utility assistance…
    • Support for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services…
    • Support for Children, Youth and Families: childcare, after school programs, Kids Care (health insurance programs), family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services…
    • Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children’s Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation…
    • Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs…

Where is 2-1-1 available in New Jersey?

Is there a charge for using NJ 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is offered to the public for free. There is no charge for calling 2-1-1 and speaking with a resource specialist. There is no charge for searching the resource database to find resources in your community. And, there is no charge for using our website to learn about the health and human service system in our state, how it works, what services are available to help you and who you should call to address the challenges you face.

Who funds 2-1-1 in New Jersey?

This confidential service is supported by local United Way Chapters throughout New Jersey in partnership with the State of New Jersey – Department of Human Services, Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Department of Children and Families and partner agencies with whom we are working on collaborative initiatives. Donations from individuals is important to our overall stability as well. Find out how you can make a donation.

FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Provision of nutritional meals to older persons, age 60 and over who are not able to prepare their own meals because of physical or mental disabilities.   Meals are delivered to individuals’ homes.   Service is targeted to individuals with the greatest economic or social need.

Sometimes people feel they shouldn’t need help putting food on the table, but sometimes making ends meet is a struggle.  If you are not sure how or if you can pay for your next meal or next week’s groceries, NJ SNAP can help.

NJ SNAP, formerly Food Stamps, is New Jersey’s supplemental nutritional assistance program that can help low-income families buy the groceries they need to eat healthy.

Eligibility depends on several factors like income, household size, resources, etc.

EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. Through the “Families First” EBT card, Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) and New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) recipients are able to purchase food. In addition, WFNJ recipient also are able to access cash benefits using the card. EBT offers recipients the experience of doing business like other consumers and is time- and cost-effective for merchants because it eliminates the use of food coupons.

ESSEX COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER

The Family Justice Center (FJC) Model is designed to reduce the barriers and fragmentation of existing services for domestic violence victims by co-locating multidisciplinary professionals in one facility.

Essex County Family Justice Center staff and partner agency staff work together to coordinate the services a client receives and help domestic violence victims navigate an often complicated maze of government, law enforcement, social service, health, and legal service providers.  Emphasis is placed on creating a safe and welcoming environment for clients as they undertake the work of rebuilding their lives and restoring hope, dignity, and haven for their family and themselves.

Victims of domestic violence can receive assistance with the following services:

  • Crisis intervention

  • Enhanced safety planning

  • Filing for an emergency Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

  • Assistance from law enforcement professionals

  • Assistance from Victim Witness Advocate

  • Support groups

  • Counseling

  • Linkages with emergency shelter and housing assistance

  • Civil legal and immigration assistance

  • Medical and behavioral health screenings and linkages to service providers

Essex County Family Justice Center accepts clients on a walk-in basis and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Please call 973-230-7229 for more information or if you have any questions.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Beginning January 2014, NJ FamilyCare – New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program – includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations. That means qualified NJ residents of any age may be eligible for free or low cost health insurance that covers doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health and substance use services and even hospitalization.

If you are a NJ resident and you need more information on this program, please click on the NJ Family Care image above to visit their website.

CHILD CARE

A wide variety of child support and assistance programs provided by the State of NJ can be found by clicking on the image above or by visiting the Child Care in NJ website.

PHARMACEUTICAL ASSISTANCE

If you are age 65 or older or under 65 and receiving Social Security disability, you can apply for a PAAD card with a reduction in your prescription costs.   The annual income limit for a single person is less than $25,312 and for a married couple is less than $31,035.   The Lifeline program which is part of the PAAD will also offer assistance with your gas and electric bill once per year amounting to $225.00.

TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE

Transportation of older and disabled adults to and from non-emergency medical and therapy appointments.   Appointments must be no less than 2 business days in advance.  Also provided:  mall shopping, group shopping, group trips, and occupational centers.   Arm assistance is provided – no stairs.   Vehicles are handicapped equipped.

HOME REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS

One time emergency oil delivery and boiler repair or replacement to low-income older adults age 60 and over.  Service is provided in urgent situations requiring immediate action to alleviate a heating problem or a health emergency and/or places the individual at risk for loss of shelter.   Open to 1 family, or unit where you pay your own heating.

If you meet the income guidelines for low and moderate income, you can receive a deferred loan for home repairs and renovations such as siding, electrical, heating, plumbing, doors, windows, painting.

Minor Senior Home Repair provided to eligible older persons whose health and safety are threatened because they cannot perform or arrange for these services and/or are at risk of institutional placement.  This program may include weatherization, grab bars, new doors, locks, minor plumbing, electrical and carpentry work.

TAX REBATE PROGRAMS AND PREPARATION SERVICES

You may be eligible for a reimbursement of the difference between the amount of Property Taxes you paid in the base year and the amount paid in the year for which you are applying.   If you are 65 or older or are receiving Federal Social Security Disability Benefits, have lived in NJ at least 10 years as a homeowner or renter, and have lived in and own your home you may be eligible for the Senior Property Tax Freeze Program.   Call the number above to get more information.

New Jersey Citizen Action offers free tax preparation services for households earning $49,078 or less annually.   If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) you can receive up to $5,751 in tax refunds.

UTILITIES PROGRAMS TO HELP WITH ELECTRICITY AND GAS BILLS

Helps income-eligible households with an average of $300 towards their winter heating bills.

Helps senior customers who are at least 65 years old, and disabled customers who are at least 18 years old and receiving Social Security Disability, with a $225 utility credit.

Helps moderate income customers who are not eligible for LIHEAP or USF with up to $1000 toward their PSE&G bill.

Helps low-income customers pay their PSE&G bills with a $5 to $150 monthly credit.

Having trouble paying your gas and electric bills?   You may qualify for TRUE.   The Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses Program was established by the NJ Board of Utilities to provide one-time relief for gas & electric bills to moderate income households experiencing a temporary financial crisis.