Do Dislocated Workers Automatically Get Pell Grants?

The Federal Pell Grant program provides grant assistance for attending college to individuals demonstrating financial need. A dislocated worker is not automatically entitled to a Pell Grant. The individual must first apply for federal education assistance and meet eligibility requirements before being provided grant assistance.

Federal Pell Grant

To be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid at Pell Grants are available for students who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree. The maximum annual amount of the Pell Grant is $5,645 for the 2013-2014 school year. This amount can change from year to year. An individual's Pell Grant allocation will depend on financial need, cost of tuition, status as full-time or part-time and whether the applicant will be attending school for the full school year.

Dislocated Worker Assistance

Generally speaking, a dislocated worker is someone who has been laid off from a job through no fault of her own. The Workforce Investment Act has more specific information on who qualifies as a dislocated worker in terms of being eligible for government job search and training assistance. Dislocated workers can receive assistance from their Local Workforce Investment Area One-Stop operations centers or by contacting their local employment security offices.

One-Stop Operations Center

The Workforce Investment Act administered by the U.S. Department of Labor provides financial resources to operate local One-Stop centers throughout the country. Each One-Stop center consists of partnering organizations that provide information and resources to meet the needs of job seekers. One-Stop partners may include employment security, local colleges, veterans work programs, disability assistance and other organizations. The One-Stops also provide services specific to adults, youths and dislocated workers. Job seekers may qualify for core, intensive and training services based on their need and on the resources that are available.

Additional Training Assistance

Additional grant assistance my be available for dislocated workers who find they are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. Additional assistance may also be available for those who do qualify for a Pell Grant, but need additional financial resources to attend school. Local One-Stop centers can provide financial assistance for training when it can be determined that further training is needed to obtain an adequate job. Job seekers are require to go through core and intensive services -- as defined in the Workforce Investment Act -- through the One-Stop centers before being eligible for additional financial resources for training.


About the Author

Dawn Aldridge has worked in accounting and business since 2004. Her diverse experience includes public, small business and government accounting, as well as logistics and inventory management. She holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Springfield.