There are approximately 3.018 million people who live in the state of Arkansas, according to the US Census Bureau. Around 16% of the population lives in poverty. Now, 16% on paper may seem to be just a statistic to you, but that 16% turns out to be over 480,000 real-life people.
Arkansas is consistently ranked in the top-10 when it comes to states with the highest poverty levels. Due to this fact, it is important for Arkansas residents to know about the low-income resources that are available in the state.
Some of the important resources include a prescription drug program, a childcare assistance program and a legal assistance program.
Arkansas Drug Card Program
Many people depend on prescription drugs to live a normal life and there is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, around 23% of people overpay for their prescriptions, causing them to lose a lot of money over time.
The Arkansas Drug Card Program gives all Arkansas residents the opportunity to save money on the prescriptions they need to live with this completely free program.
To be part of the program, you just need to be an Arkansas resident. There are no other membership requirements. There are no income requirements. There is no age limit. There are no applications to submit.
To acquire a free prescription drug card, an Arkansas resident just needs to visit www.ArkansasDrugCard.com. There, you can create and print your very own card, search for pricing on prescriptions, and locate participating pharmacies in the state. Arkansas residents can also pick up a card at local health centers, hospitals and clinics.
The goal of the program is to specifically help uninsured and underinsured low-income Arkansas residents save money on their prescriptions, though any Arkansas resident can take advantage of the program.
Members can save up to 75% at participating pharmacies on their prescriptions, though most members typically save around 30%.
The Arkansas Drug Card is accepted at all major pharmacy chains and thousands of pharmacies across the Natural State.
DHS Childcare Assistance Program
The DHS Childcare Assistance Program is a national program to help provide financial assistance for quality childcare for low-income families.
The program is administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services, though the Arkansas Department of Human Services and Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education manages the program at the state level.
To be eligible for the program, a family must meet the following criteria:
- Meet the established income guidelines
- Each adult in the home must be employed and work at least 30 hours per week OR be enrolled or attending high school, college, GED classes, vocational school or a training program as a full-time student
- A combination of work and school is acceptable as long as it is for at least 30 hours per week
- There must be at least one eligible child from infancy to 12-years-old in the family
To apply for the program, a family must print out and complete an application and then send it to the Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education. The application can be found online.
A family can receive an award from the program if there are funds available. If funds are available and a family is deemed eligible, the family will be contacted by a local program eligibility specialist. The specialist will provide the family with a list of active childcare providers participating in the program. The family will then select a childcare provider and that childcare will be covered by the funds from the program.
If a family is deemed eligible for the program but funds are not available, the family will be notified and put on a waiting list. The waiting list period is good for 12 months. For a family to keep its spot on the waiting list after 12 months, they will have to re-apply to remain there.
Arkansas Legal Service Partnership
There are two non-profit law firms that teamed up in Arkansas to provide residents with free civil-legal assistance to eligible low-income Arkansans.
The CALS provides free legal help to low-income Arkansas residents in civil (non-criminal) cases dealing with housing and rentals, debt and bankruptcy, end-of-life planning, public benefits, family law, consumer protection, disasters, criminal record sealing, and veterans affairs.
The CALS serves 44 out of the 75 counties in Arkansas, which is 60% of the state. The Legal Aid of Arkansas covers 31 out of the 75 counties in Arkansas.
According to the Legal Aid of Arkansas, to be eligible for the free legal services, a person must have a maximum income level of 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, though legal aid can waive up to 200% if certain specific factors are present.
To apply for free legal services from either law firm, a person can call either law firm’s helpline or apply on either law firm’s website.
These three resources are solid, trustworthy resources to help low-income families and residents in Arkansas find a little bit of relief in their lives when it comes to expenses and saving money.