Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get From the Government for Free

Well, kinda free — your tax dollars are paying for them, after all
Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get From the Government for Free

Just as billionaires aren’t known for their generosity (otherwise they’d no longer be billionaires), the U.S. didn’t become the richest country in the world by taking care of its less fortunate. If you want anything from the government, you’ve got to wait in a lot of lines, fill out a lot of forms and maybe pee in a cup or two. But there are some services the government offers for free that you probably don’t know about. They like to keep it quiet for some reason.

Help Quitting Smoking

You wouldn’t think not doing something could get so expensive, but have you taken a gander at your local pharmacy’s nicotine cessation aisle lately? All those patches, lozenges and/or packets of gum add up, but there’s a lot of public interest in you not blowing smoke in everyone’s faces, so you might be able to get your local government to pay for them by visiting the CDC website. There’s also a number you can call, but please be serious.

Credit Report

Remember all those earworm commercials for your free credit report from the 2000s? They weren’t tricking anything but your feet. You really can get a free credit report every year by visiting or a monthly credit summary at, both of which look adorably 2000s-y.

Car Seat Installation

A car seat is, like, the only thing they require you to have before you leave the hospital with a baby. You don’t need to have clothes, a Diaper Genie or any idea how to raise children as long as you’ve got that car seat. But hospital employees may or may not be willing or able to tell you you’ve put it in right, and those things are complicated. Nobody wants to scrape your baby off the asphalt later, so you can go to any police or fire station and start yelling for someone to check it for you. They have to help you eventually.

Adoption Assistance

Speaking of babies, which are expensive as hell at every stage of the process, there are entire state agencies devoted to providing subsidies to adoptive parents. They can only be claimed for children with special needs, but are you really gonna complain about how good disabled babies have it?

Birthday Card From the President

You can avoid a Sixteen Candles situation ever again, safe in the knowledge that at least the president has to acknowledge your birthday — with a few caveats. You have to let him know in writing at least two weeks earlier, and you have to be at least 80 years old (or married for 50 years, if you want an anniversary card). 

Make no mistake: If you want that presidential love, you have to earn it.

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