Children raised by a single parent are becoming more common in the United States. A typical household was always thought to be a two-parent home with a mother, father, and one or two children. That was way back in the past because today is so different.
There are about 11 million single-parent families in the United States with children under the age of 18. Over 80% of this really big number are families with single moms. A single mother is a woman who raises her children on her own. She can be a grandma raising her grandchildren, divorced, widowed, abandoned before marriage, or she may not even know who the father is.
Once you’re a parent, every dollar is more valuable than ever. This is particularly the case if you are a single mother who must support your family on a single paycheck. Fortunately, there is plenty of financial assistance available for single mothers, particularly those regarded as low-or middle-income. Here are a few programs and grants that can help you get effective financial assistance:
Assistance Programs for Daily Needs
The government has plenty of programs to cover the daily needs of low-income single mothers such as:
TANF is a vital part of the support network for very low-income families. The major goal of this grant is to assist these families to achieve self-sufficiency through a combination of short-term financial aid, job opportunities, and other forms of assistance. There are 2 types of TANF grants: “child-only” grants and “family” grants.
Child-only grants are designed to cover only the needs of the child. This is why they are typically smaller than family grants, offering around $8 per day for one child. On the other hand, The family grants provide a small amount of cash per month for food, clothing, housing, and other necessities for up to 60 months. Bear in mind that the time limit varies from one state to another.
A single mother who is unemployed and has children under the age of 19 is eligible for TANF support. Nevertheless, the grantee must participate in work activities for at least 20 hours per week (unless there are special circumstances)
Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a very successful federally subsidized assistance option. It provides free healthy food to pregnant women, new moms, and children under the age of 5 who are considered to be undernourished.
Basically, It is a short-term program, with eligible applicants typically receiving benefits for 6 to 12 months, after which they should reapply. On average, adults typically get $11 per month for fresh food, while children receive $9 per month.
Eligibility is decided depending on nutritional risk and incomes that meet income requirements. Anyways TANF recipients are given priority in most states.
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
CCAP is a state-administered program that helps low-income families pay for child care while working, looking for jobs, or getting an education or training. It is funded by the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
Most states require families receiving child care assistance to contribute to their child care fees on a sliding payment system, with larger co-payments for higher-income families. Eligibility requirements differ by state, but in most situations, your income must be below the state’s income limit.
The goal of SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program, is to support low-and no-income families with affordable healthy meals. It is a core part of the Federal Safety Net.
SNAP has become the only source of cash support for many needy people in the US.
Since it started, the program has assisted approximately 40 million low-income individuals in affording healthy food. Children under the age of 18 have been receiving the greatest number of benefits. The assistance comes in the form of a debit card (EBT) that the recipient may use to buy groceries at any participating store in their area.
Applying for SNAP is simple; just fill out an application and submit it to a local SNAP office in person, by mail, or by fax.
Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)
DCA provides alternative assistance for single mothers in case of emergency to help with temporary crises. Eligible families may receive a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to deal with an emergency or a minor financial problem. However, the amount of cash may vary based on the severity of the financial issue.
TEFAP is a federal grant that offers free food to low-income single mothers and families that qualify. They also serve emergency food providers like food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.
Like any other program, you need to meet specific criteria to qualify for this grant. Eligibility requirements may include participation in current food (SNAP) or other assistance programs (TANF) that consider income for eligibility. On the whole, it is better to contact your State Distributing Agency for more information about TEFAP.
A government program providing eligible children and adults with healthy meals and snacks. The program mainly focuses on children who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers and day care homes. Also, CACFP offers reimbursements for meals served to children and youth participating in afterschool care programs and children residing in emergency shelters. CACFP helps young children and people in the United States achieve wellness, healthy growth, and development.
Housing Assistance Programs
Low-income single mothers can apply for housing assistance through a variety of federal programs, including:
Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program, formerly known as “Section 8”. This program provides low-income families with rental housing in privately owned buildings. To rephrase this, the qualifying voucher holder gets to choose where to live, as long as the unit meets the criteria of the local public housing agency and accepts the vouchers as a form of payment.
One terrific resource of housing assistance is the Public Housing Program. It is where low-income people can find affordable homes. Before applying for public housing, tenants must meet certain qualifications. Your local agency decides eligibility standards based on your annual gross income, geographic location, and family size.
Still, the fact that there is too much demand and not enough supply is one of the program’s main flaws. Many people are placed on waiting lists until a spot becomes available.
LIHEAP provides one-time financial help to low-income households that are unable to pay their utility bills. This program can help eligible single mothers with their cooling and heating costs. In almost all cases, LIHEAP pays only a portion of the monthly payment, while the household pays the rest of it.
If you are already receiving benefits from other programs such as SNAP or TANF, you may be consequently eligible for this assistance. Nonetheless, you may still be eligible for this program even if you are not a part of any other programs but meet other eligibility requirements.
WAP is a program dedicated to helping low-income families lower their energy expenses. It gives the top priority to single mothers and the elderly in most states. Income is one of the most important factors influencing the eligibility of this program. If you want to apply for weatherization support, choose your state on the map and contact the local WAP agency that serves your area.
Health Care Assistance Programs
Uncovered medical bills can stall your financial security growth (and may even drive you to bankruptcy) faster than anything else. If you do not already have health insurance, you must get it for yourself and your child.
An excellent solution for poor and low-income people who have no medical insurance. Medicaid can be of great use for you as a single mother, even if you are unemployed. The mandatory benefits of this program include:
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital services;
- Physician services;
- Laboratory and x-ray services;
- Home health services.
Optional services include prescription medicines, case management, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Each state runs its own Medicaid program within federal standards. This means that the income level required to qualify varies, higher in some and lower in others. If your state is expanding Medicaid, you will most likely be eligible if your income does not exceed 138% of the poverty line.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
CHIP provides health insurance to uninsured children up to the age of 19. It works for families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to purchase private coverage on their own. It covers everything a child may need, including doctor visits, vaccinations, dental care, and vision care.
On the whole, it is free for the majority of families. Yet, others pay low monthly premiums, enrollment fees, and co-payments for specific services.
Title X: The National Family Planning Program
Title X is a government program dedicated primarily to providing comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services to low-income households. It funds family planning clinics so that low-income single mothers without medical insurance can receive care at a reduced cost, or even for free in some situations.
The program provides so many services, to mention a few:
- Breast and pelvic exams;
- Pap smears and other cancer screenings;
- HIV testing;
- Pregnancy testing and counseling;
- Affordable birth control.
Single moms can also save money on medical expenses by participating in community and state-based programs. They offer checkups and low-cost vaccines for minor children. Look for them through the department of health and human services in your state, county, or town.
In short, finances might add to your stress, especially if you are a newly single mother. Fortunately, there are lots of programs available for single mothers, including TANF cash assistance, SNAP, WIC, CCAP, and others. All of them have helped single-mother families in times of financial difficulties.
It’s important to keep in mind that your program eligibility will differ based on where you live. Therefore, make sure to contact your local agency to get more information.
- Single Mother Statistics in 2022 • Singlemothers.us
- Grants for Single Mothers in America (UPDATED 2022)
- Grants, Housing and More Financial Assistance for Single Moms