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Federal Aid

Separate from Grants awarded by federal departments and agencies is the area in the U.S. known as Federal Aid. It is also variously called federal benefits, aid or federal funds. This category comprises any projects, programs, activities and services provided by the U.S. federal government to directly benefit the American public in broad areas such as public works, health and human welfare, public safety, education, health, and others. Such assistance is extensive and reaches well over $400 billion annually. It is provided and administered by federal government agencies including HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For further information see the Federal Assistance Programs in the United States section of the website Go Free Government Money.


Those receiving federal aid are defined as any non-federal entity that receives federal assistance and which is part of, and/or located within, the United States and its territories and possessions. There six primary categories of recipients defined by the GSA as quoted below:

  • State governments - This category includes any of the 50 States of the United States and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), or any agency or instrumentality of these governments, with the exception of institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) and hospitals.
  • Local governments - This category includes any county, parish, municipality, city, town, township, village, State-designated Indian tribal government, local public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, sponsor group representative organizations, and other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government, which are located within the U.S.
  • Territories and possessions - This category includes the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and American Samoa.
  • Indian Tribal governments - This category includes the governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including any Native village) within the U.S. and its territories. These must first be certified by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as eligible to receive assistance under special programs and services provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Non-profit organizations and institutions – This category includes semi-public, public and private institutions of higher education and hospitals, Native American Indian Organizations, and any other semi-public and private nonprofit organizations. However, Federally funded research and development centers are excluded from this category.
  • Private individuals – This category includes Native Americans, homeowners, students, farmers, artists, scientists, consumers, small businesses, refugees, aliens, veterans, senior citizens, low-income persons, health and education professionals, builders, contractors, developers, handicapped persons, and the physically afflicted. Examples of direct assistance to these individuals include Section 8 vouchers, Pell Grant scholarships, and disaster relief awards, among many others. Some good examples of grants and federal aid available to individuals are discussed in Grants For Kids.

Like Grants, assistance progrmas are designed with very specific eligibility requirements because a well defined recipient is intended to receive the assistance. Some have strict restrictions on who may receive the assistance because of the type of service or activity that is involved. Some examples would be major infrastructure programs and grants which typically go to States, local governments, and U.S. territories. This is logical since they are apt to be the only organizations which can manage public roads, bridges and such. THere are also health-based research grants which have stringent requirements relating to the qualifications of individuals (e.g. a specialized professional or scientific degree, a givne number of years of research experience, and United States citizenship.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Administration of Federal Assistance in the United States".

federal_aid.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/15 18:59 by admin     Back to top
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