09242017Headline:

Single Stop USA, your one-stop shop for free student help

by Kamel Benyahia

 

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut where you couldn’t find a way out, and didn’t know who to turn to? According to the Delgado website, the primary reason students were dropping out was to take on work responsibilities to meet life demands. So, in January 2012, they brought in Single Stop, a non-profit organization based in New York that receives funding from the Robin Hood Foundation, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and works in partnership with United Way, to give students access to professionals who offer their expertise to anyone who has questions regarding almost anything legal or financial.

 

Single Stop covers a wide variety of areas they can assist students in. Filing income taxes is the most popular service they offer, free of charge, to Delgado students. They will also help you fill out your FAFSA along with your taxes to make sure everything matches up. This means no longer paying someone a chunk of your return for doing something you could do on your own, or get done for free at Single Stop. They can also see if you qualify for tax credits that you may not be aware of.

 

Another service offered by Single Stop is legal advisory, for which a full-time on-site attorney is employed. They can give legal advice on a variety of issues, from immigration and custody, to small business issues, public assistance, and even assistance with expungements for minor criminal offenses. They can help you determine your eligibility for SNAP/food stamps, child care and Medicaid. This is truly a one-stop shop, or Single Stop, for all of your questions and needs as a student. Everything is confidential, and the counselors are all trained and experienced. There are no income restrictions for financial or legal services, only an income cap of $50,000 for people looking to take advantage of the free income tax service.

 

Single Stop has customized a program called the Benefits Enrollment Network (BEN). BEN is a database that allows counselors to outline what benefits students and their families are eligible for, according to the Single Stop page on dcc.edu.

 

To book an appointment, you can go to Single Stop’s page on the Delgado website under Student Affairs. You can also call them at (504)671-6563, or visit them in room 309, on the west side of Building 2. They are here to help you; take advantage of their expertise. Remember, this is all free.

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