The Catch 22 of U.S. Government Assistance


I have written about my dad several times now. Since our last episode, I have learned that he will receive less government assistance if he has any money in a savings account.

Savings accounts are not allowed

The amount of government assistance a person can receive is based on lots of financial factors like income, investments and bank accounts. The more money you have in investments and bank accounts, the less government assistance you will receive (if at all).

However, the problem here is, without being able to build up a savings, how can someone stop being dependent on this check. The person is forced to live paycheck to paycheck because if they save any of it, they are punished.

The solution is: there isn’t one

Unfortunately, there is not a good solution for this. It is a shame that money in a savings account is considered tangible instead of seen as an ”emergency fund”. However, if this were allowed, it would most likely be abused sooner or later.

When rules don’t apply

What this means, is a whole lot of people who really need help with their personal finances, are not learning any of it because they just cannot relate.

All personal finance advice mentions having an emergency savings as an integral part of controlling your finances, but that simply is not an option for those living on government assistance. Saving anything is deemed bad. How can you get your finances under control when you are encouraged to spend every penny you receive?

My dad saves what little he can in a figurative shoe box in his home. It is something, but unfortunately it does not earn interest and, more importantly, is not safe.


I have given this a lot of thought and cannot come up with any viable solutions. I would love to hear what your brilliant minds can come up with!


If you have thoughts on this and would like to discuss please use Twitter or send me an email.