As a single parent, it’s difficult to make ends meet sometimes. You may only be pulling in a half of what parents raising children together make from employment. This can make single parenting extremely difficult, which is taxing not only on you, but also your children.
Luckily, there is financial help for single mothers, and knowing what is available can help you finally get your head above financial waters.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages a program that helps single mothers with children under the age of five years old and pregnant women. With the help of WIC low income women can receive funds to provide nutritious food to their children. They also receive education about nutrition and immunization screening.
To apply to WIC, contact your local social services office, or visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/howtoapply/
Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF)
For assistance with:
- Job preparation
- Job searching
- …and more
Contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ for TANF benefits. The program accepts low income single mothers. While this program can be a tremendous help, it only lasts a maximum of five years. It’s expected that within five years recipients will be able to improve their financial situation with the help of TANF’s benefits.
Apply for TANF by contacting a local social services office, or by visiting the Department of Health and Human Services’ website at http://dss.sd.gov/tanf/applying/.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Many single mothers do not make enough money to be considered for employment based health insurance. This can be detrimental to the health of a single mother’s children. To ensure children raised by single mothers receive the adequate healthcare they need, CHIP and Medicaid have partnered to provide coverage for:
- Doctor’s visits
- Dental care
- Hospital visits
Children must be under the age of 18. Pregnant women may be covered under CHIP and Medicaid if they fall within the guidelines. You can check on the guidelines for your state by contacting your local Department of Health office, or by searching online for the Department of Health website for your state.
Housing Choice Voucher
With the rising costs of houses and rentals throughout the country, it can be difficult to secure safe, affordable housing. For this reason, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has subsidized housing and Section 8 housing, which are low cost rental options.
There is a difference between the two rental options. Subsidized housing involves people living in one dwelling with others, while Section 8 housing is living privately. Most single mothers opt for Section 8 due to preferring the security of having a private residence, but having people around can be great for socialization and support if needed.
To learn more about these affordable housing options, contact your local HUD office, or visit HUD’s website at:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD
Department of Public Welfare
States often receive grants from government agencies to provide affordable childcare options to its residents. Some grants allow low income families to receive free daycare, while others cut the cost significantly.
To find out whether or not your state has funding and if you are eligible to receive daycare assistance, visit your local Department of Public Welfare office.
Why Financial Aid for Single Mothers Is Available
The government and local communities know that single mothers have to work hard to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing home for their children. To relieve some of the pressure of being a single mother, the government and local community have worked together to identify the most challenging parts of raising children alone.
By offering this financial aid for single mothers, they are able to lessen the stress in single mother households so children are able to receive the attention and love they need and deserve.