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USAGov: Your Guide to Reliable and Official Government Information 2022

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Get to know USAGov via social media, our email list and our website

Finding reliable and official government information can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. USAGov works as a helpful guide on federal government resources, that can help you answer questions, work through personal and professional issues, or simply find more information.

USAGov is available through:

Our website – Visit USA.gov to navigate through a variety of government information, organized by topic area. You can browse through different topics or search for specific terms or agencies directly in the search bar. Join the millions of annual visitors to find important websites, agency contact information, state-level content, and infographics.

Social media channelsExplore our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for real-time, shareable posts. These platforms allow followers to ask questions, track conversations around hashtags, and connect with other official government accounts.

Email – Another way to stay in touch with us is by subscribing to our emails. Enter your email to receive updates around topics like consumer issues, housing information, and benefits right to your inbox. 

Whatever your questions may be, let USAGov help you answer them. 





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Get Help From USAGov This 2020 Holiday Season 2022

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The 2020 holiday season is one like never before. Due to the pandemic, people across the U.S. have adjusted the way they work, shop, and connect with others. Use these tips collected by USAGov to prepare you for anything the winter holds:

Follow official safety guidelines from government health experts. Keep yourself and others safe by taking action to prevent the spread of viruses like the common flu and COVID-19. Focus on hand hygiene. Wear a mask when outside in public settings and around others. Keep at least six feet of distance from those outside of your household. Get detailed recommendations from the experts at the CDC

Be wary of scams. Scammers take advantage of vulnerable situations and try to get your money or personal information in any way they can. Common scams in 2020 include phishing, fake cleaning product websites, and utility bill scams. Be aware of red flags and report at ReportFraud.FTC.gov

Keep food safety in mind. Thinking about preparing family recipes or volunteering at a local food shelter? Get the latest news, alerts, and tips to safely handle, cook and store food at Foodsafety.gov

Make sure you know the latest product recalls. Now is a time for families and friends to connect, prepare special meals, and exchange gifts. Take some basic precautions to ensure everyone stays safe and injury-free. Get to know which household products are being recalled by government agencies. Whether it’s about the latest toy or classic ingredient, find out by visiting Recalls.gov

Get help if you need it. The holidays could be harder than ever this year. If you or a loved one is struggling or has concerns about their mental health, know that there are ways to get help. Reach out to a health care provider. Connect with professional groups, advocates, and experts. 

You can get help right away this winter from these official helplines and resources from the CDC, National Institute for Mental Health, and other organizations. 

 

Want the latest updates from the federal government? Visit USA.gov to find official resources for individuals, families and organizations. You can also subscribe to email updates and alerts straight to your inbox.



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USAGov’s Five Tips for the 2021 Tax Season 2022

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As the tax season approaches, you may have questions about filing your federal, state and business taxes in 2021. Economic Impact Payments, tax credits and other relief provided in 2020 have many people wondering how to file during the pandemic. Use USAGov’s tax season guide to understand the initial steps you need to take to successfully file by the April 15 deadline.

Five tips to kick off the 2021 tax season:

  1. Gather all required forms

  2. File online with ease

  3. Report unemployment benefits

  4. Know the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  5. Understand where to go for tax help

Tip 1: Gather all required forms.

Collecting your tax documents is an important first step to filing your tax returns. These records include W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks and other income documents. Understand what forms you may need and access them online from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), order over the phone or receive them in your community at locations like post offices and libraries.

Tip 2: File online with ease.

The IRS gives you the helpful tools to file your taxes online. You can also receive your refund faster by signing up for direct deposit. Access the IRS Free File tool to see if you can start your tax return electronically. If you meet certain income requirements, you may qualify for free tax return preparations. 

Tip 3: Report unemployment benefits.

Millions of people received or are receiving unemployment benefits because of the ongoing pandemic. These benefits are taxable and must be included in your federal tax return. However, Economic Impact Payments, also known informally as stimulus checks, are not taxable and don’t need to be not included in your gross income. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to find answers to questions specific to your circumstances.

Tip 4: Know the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

As a taxpayer, you have rights when dealing with the IRS. Keep the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in mind when you begin to file. You are entitled to things like your privacy, confidentiality and never paying more than the correct amount of tax. 

Tip 5: Understand where to go if you need more help with your taxes.

Find answers to your questions about state-specific taxes, when you can receive your refund, navigating recent tax law changes, and more with these helpful resources:



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USAGov’s Five Lessons Learned to Combat Scams in 2021 2022

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According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans have reported over 260K scams and lost over $412M in frauds linked to COVID-19. Due to the rise in fraud, federal experts across the government share official information on how to recognize, avoid and report many types of scams. Explore five key tips collected by USAGov during National Consumer Protection Week this March to protect your family and wallets in 2021.

The five key tips to know are:

  1. Scammers take advantage of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. If an offer, service or product is too good to be true, it probably is. 

  3. Resist the pressure from scammers to act immediately.

  4. Government imposter scams are on the rise. 

  5. Protect yourself and your community by reporting scams and fraud.

1. Scammers take advantage of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scammers use stressful situations to take advantage of you. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has been no exception. Protect your money and information by staying informed.

2. If an offer, service or product is too good to be true, it probably is. 

Many financial promises are often too good to be legitimate. Keep an eye out for signs of a scam like online dates asking for financial details or winning a contest you never signed up for. Avoid sending money, gift cards, or cryptocurrency to anyone you meet online.

3. Resist the pressure to act immediately.

Legitimate businesses and agencies will always give you time to make a decision. But, scammers will pressure you to act immediately. If they demand money or make threats, that is a red flag that they are a scammer. If you get a message from someone you don’t know, ask for their information and do not share your own. Visit the FBI’s scam page to learn about common scams that pressure you.

4. Government imposter scams are on the rise. 

Fraudsters often pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. It’s important to remember that agency officials and representatives will never demand money or threaten to throw you in jail if you don’t comply. Do not give any of your personal information to callers claiming to be the Social Security Administration or Internal Revenue Service. If it’s legitimate, they will contact you again. 

5. Protect yourself and your community by reporting scams and fraud.

When you report scams to the FTC, more than 3,000 law enforcement can access your report. The more information you can give, the more useful your report will be. Provide details at ReportFraud.FTC.gov. The FTC is the main agency that collects common scam reports like fake checks, student loan schemes, and agency impersonators. Be sure to check USA.gov to understand other places you may need to report based on your situation.

Want to protect yourself from the threat of scams? Stay informed at USA.gov. Follow @USAGov on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from agency partners. You can also subscribe to email updates and alerts straight to your inbox. 





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Get Help for Homelessness, Hunger, and More 2022

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Helping hand reaching out to a man. Brought to you by USAGov.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of Americans face homelessness and go without proper food and shelter. It can affect people at any age and from all walks of life. And if you’re experiencing financial issues, domestic violence, or substance abuse, you may be at special risk.

Whether you or a loved one is facing a housing or food crisis, it’s important to know there are potentially life-saving resources near you that can help:

Find the government programs and services you need to help make life a little easier and safer for you and your family at USA.gov.



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USAGov’s Guide To Government Benefits During Any Life Event 2022

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People navigate life, not government. Yet there are many life events that are associated with government benefits. If you are considering options for a college degree, looking for affordable places to live or grieving the loss of a loved one, explore this guide to better understand the government services and programs that can support you at these different moments of your life. 

Looking to insure your kids? Get coverage through the Children’s Healthcare Insurance Program (CHIP). Many families have trouble affording private insurance coverage, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid in the U.S. Access CHIP to get coverage for your children under the age of 19. This program is managed by your state and can cover well-baby and well-child care, dental coverage, behavioral health care, and vaccines.

Ready to go to college? Apply for financial help toward your education. For most students planning to pursue their dreams and attend college or career school, financial aid is essential. Understand how to apply for help through the Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). Fill out the form and the Department of Education will use your data to determine what federal grants, work-study, and loans you’re eligible for. Ask your school counselors for other aid you can access, such as state or local scholarships.

Retiring from the workforce? Access retirement benefits. When you retire at any age, you may be concerned about maintaining your quality of life without a regular income. One common option for retirement support is through Social Security benefits. Social Security provides you with a source of income using taxes paid into a trust fund to provide benefits to people who are eligible. Head to SSA.gov to estimate your retirement benefits, apply with an online application and track or manage your personal support with a my Social Security account.

Experiencing homelessness or having problems paying for your home? Seek rental assistance. Whether you were recently displaced or worried about your rent due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, there are assistance programs that may be available to you. Understand your tenant’s rights and current protections, including the federal ban on evictions from rental housing that was extended to June 30, 2021. Your landlord could also apply for mortgage forbearance relief and defer payments. Unsure of your next steps? Get expert advice about your situation through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s housing counseling program. 

No matter what you’re going through in life, USAGov is here to help. Visit USA.gov/Benefits-Grants-Loans as we share more about government programs and information related to your situation. Subscribe to official emails. For quick alerts and updates, follow @USAGov on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





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What to Expect From Passports and International Travel in 2021 2022

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Many people are planning destination getaways, visits with families, and business trips in the next year. If you need to renew or get a new passport, you may need more time than you think. Many people are experiencing delays in passport service due to the high volume of applications and changing COVID-19 restrictions. Know what to expect with these passport tips.

Apply early. Submit your application for a new passport or renewal at least six months before your trip. Due to limited availability for urgent travel appointments, the State Department can’t guarantee you can receive in-person service at a passport center.

Know how long routine vs. expedited service will take. 

  • Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. This includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing time.
  • Expedited service costs an additional $60 and can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. This includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing time.

Use online tools where you can. Look online at the self-service tools available on the Travel.State.gov website 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For example, you can check what your passport status is online

Once you receive your passport, understand what health guidance is in place when traveling internationally. Some COVID-19 restrictions still apply depending on your destination.

For more COVID-19-related travel information, visit USA.gov. Subscribe to official emails. For quick alerts and updates, follow @USAGov on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





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Kids and Depression | USAGov 2022

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Date: January 18, 2018


mother hugs her kid

You know in your heart something’s not right. Your child is withdrawn and just seems so sad. It’s hard to see them in so much pain. 

One in five teens experiences depression. And depressed kids are at a greater risk for substance abuse and suicide attempts.  

This guide from USA.gov helps you recognize and talk to your child about depression, and find the help they need to feel better again.

For Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers

To Share with Your Child

For Younger Kids

For Teens and College Students

If You Think Your Child Might be Suicidal

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for confidential help 24 hours a day.

Learn ways to prevent suicide, signs to watch for, and advice for helping your child heal psychologically following a suicide attempt.



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Important Tips to Prepare Before and During a Hurricane 2022

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Severe weather and disasters can happen at any time without notice or warning. From late May until the end of November, hurricanes and their fierce storm surge, damaging winds, and intense flooding, ravage the coasts of the United States.

Having an annual hurricane checklist is key to ensuring your family’s safety during this time of year to prepare yourself, your family, and your assets. Here are a few things to remember: 

  • Make an emergency plan and practice it. It’s best to craft this plan with your family so everyone will know what to do in the event of an actual emergency. This includes knowing an evacuation route if your family needs to leave your home and find a place to shelter. Also, make sure that your plan encompasses what to do in the event that the family isn’t all together. 

  • Build an emergency preparedness kit. This kit needs to include food, water, medicines, and supplies to last for a few days. Other items you may want to add are batteries, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. 

  • Have many ways to receive alerts. Download applications on your smartphone to get alerts in real-time before and during the storm. A few to keep in mind are the FEMA and Red Cross apps. Because you may be relying heavily on your phone, you may want to make sure it’s charged when you receive word that a storm is coming your way. Sign up for email alerts from your local authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You may also want to invest in a battery-operated portable radio in the event of a loss of electricity. 

  • Ensure important documents are up to date and in a safe place. Make copies of documents like your driver’s license or state-issued ID, birth certificate, Social Security card, and insurance policies and add them to your emergency kit. 

  • Consider flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area. Not all homeowner/renter insurance policies cover damages from floodwaters. 

  • Get the outside of your home ready. Secure any loose items such as hanging gutters and bring outdoor furniture into the home. Cutting down hanging tree limbs are also a great way to protect your home from potential damage. 

  • Be sure to follow COVID guidelines. Due to COVID-19, the way to prepare may be different from previous years. Keep in mind that your shelter may be different and you may need to include other items in your emergency kit such as masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning materials.  

To stay safe during the storm

  • Follow protocol and guidance from local authorities. If asked to evacuate, do so within a timely manner.

  • Move to an interior room in your home away from windows and doors if strong winds occur. 

  • If flooding in your home starts to happen, go to the highest level of your home but not an attic for fear of being trapped by rising water. 

  • DO NOT walk, swim, or drive in floodwaters. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and just a foot of water can sweep your car away. 

  • If you’re using a generator, use it outdoors away from windows. 

Stay informed and follow USAGov, your official guide to government information and services, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  You can also subscribe to email updates and alerts straight to your inbox. Other helpful accounts for updates include FEMA, the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center.





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Five Tips to Recover After a Hurricane 2022

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  • Understand Government Benefits for Different Stages of Life

    Every phase of life has unique challenges that can change at any time. As you experience big transitions like retiring from a long career or losing your home, understand what government services can help along the way. Search through the latest guide to navigate through any event life throws your way.


  • Six Tips for the 2022 Tax Season

    As the federal tax deadline approaches soon, you may still have questions about filing your federal, state and business taxes in 2022. Use USAGov’s tax season guide to understand steps you need to take to successfully file by the April 18 deadline.


  • Protect Yourself From the Ways Love Can Go Wrong

    Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show the people in your life love, care and what they mean to you. Unfortunately, the excitement and romance of it all can have a bad side. If you or a loved one is looking for love online or experiencing domestic violence, know how to stay safe from the ways love can go wrong.


  • USAGov’s Tips to Jump-Start Your 2022

    As the days unfold into the new year, it can be hard to prioritize the things that need to be done first. If you’re unsure of where to begin, USAGov has reminders of what government programs and information to add to the top of your list.


  • USAGov’s Guide to Navigating Travel to the U.S.

    Are you planning an international trip in the next few months? USAGov, your official guide to government information, can help you navigate the latest changes in travel requirements.



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