What Is Federal Financial Assistance?

Federal financial assistance is the transfer of anything of value, most often money, from a federal agency to a non-federal entity. In the most general sense, federal financial assistance is a tool the government uses to serve public purposes as defined by Congress.

Federal financial assistance is a very broad term, and it can take on a variety of more precise forms. One of the most common forms is a grant, which we write about quite often on this blog.

Other examples of federal financial assistance include cooperative agreements, donations of property, direct appropriations, food commodities, loans, interest subsidies, and insurance.

Each type of federal financial assistance serves different purposes and has different legal and regulatory frameworks that govern how that specific assistance can be used.

Where Does Federal Financial Assistance Come From?

Well, that question could take a while to answer in full. In short, your elected officials make laws that outline and define federal financial assistance programs. Then executive agencies implement these programs. The judicial branch may also evaluate these laws to ensure the programs are consistent with the Constitution.  Learn more about the branches of government on USA.gov.

If you have questions and would like more details about federal financial assistance, consider consulting the following resources:

  • Grant Policies – What they are, how they are made, and those that pertain to grants
  • OMB Uniform Guidance for Grants – Thorough definitions and guidelines of federal financial assistance
  • USA.gov – “Learn about government programs that provide financial help for individuals and organizations”
  • Benefits.gov – For individual citizens looking for more information about federal benefits

ContactPlease post a comment below or on Twitter if you have questions about federal financial assistance or grants.

30 thoughts on “What Is Federal Financial Assistance?

  1. I was call saying the government will give me 9200 dollars for not having a criminal record or bankruptcy in the last 15 months. Is this real?


  2. Grant assistance for house repair how do I go about looking in to that plz!!
    I need the help to repair my house …..


    1. Help! Our house is so old and needs plumbing and roofing and carpet cleaning services. I am a disabled VET with terminal cancer and my house is so old and needs to be repaired


  3. I am a 71 year old women and i need to know can I get help with paying my home off quicker. I heard that there is a program that was started by the previous president


  4. I received a phone call from the United States Government Grant department. Saying I have been selected to receive $9,000 dollars in grant money that I don’t have to pay back. Just for paying my home taxes on time and it was given to me by the Health Human Services.


  5. I’m on disability and take care of my sick mother 24/7. I have credit card debt and a suspended licence for fines. I don’t have a car. A Grant could get me out of debt pay off my fines so I wool be eligible to get license back and purchase a car.


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