Government Financial Help For Single Moms
Being a single parent is a challenging and daunting task for single moms. Even if the parent has a stable job, the expenses, particularly the daycare costs, could take away a sizable amount out of the monthly income. This would leave very little money in the pocket for food and meeting the children’s needs. The situation could get out of control for parents who, amidst the everyday anxiety, also have to deal with debt issues. It is imperative for those in debt to ensure they do not deepen the crisis by taking cash advances to pay back the lenders.
Although all this might appear gloomy, single moms can rejoice at the fact that there is plenty of government financial help that aims to provide help with expenses. Financial help is offered through several assistance programs which are administered by governmental agencies. Only those meeting the income limits and asset limits set for the specific program will be able to apply for help. Some of the well-known financial help programs that have been instrumental in helping thousands of single moms across the country get back on their feet are:
TANF: Cash assistance:
For those needing cash assistance to meet their basic needs, the “temporary assistance for needy families” program will be a godsend. Approved families will be receiving a card named the “EBT” – Electronic benefits transfer – which can be used just like a debit card. As the name suggests, this form of assistance is only temporary, and there is a lifetime benefit limit for the applicants. As this limit does vary from state to state, readers are suggested to check with the local DSS for exact details. While applications forms and information on the required documentation can be found online, you can also choose to visit the local social services office and fill out the form in person.
One-time TANF: Crisis assistance:
In addition to the monthly cash assistance, several states also offer a small one-time payment as assistance to families who are in a crisis situation. If you are in need of such emergency assistance, look for more details on “one-time TANF”. Only certain situations which are deemed as eligible by administering agencies will be approved for assistance.
CHIP: Health insurance to uninsured children:
Children’s Health Insurance Program helps families get free health care for their uninsured children. Families need to meet the income guidelines in order to be eligible for application. As is the case with several other programs, CHIP applicants can find the forms online, fill it out and fax it instead of visiting a local DSS office. Ensure you go over what exactly is required along with the filled-out forms and send all required documentation so as to avoid delays arising out of unfinished applications.
Food stamps and WIC:
Formerly called the “food stamps”, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps families with assistance for buying healthy and nutritious food items. Those getting approved will receive a benefits card which can be used in the retail food stores that participate in the program. To find a store near you that participates, use the retailer locator tool in the USDA official web site. Do take note that some food items are not eligible to buy using the SNAP card. As a general rule, any food item that can be consumed on store premises is considered ineligible.
WIC stands for “Women, Infants, and Children”, and is a nutrition program specifically targeted at helping pregnant and postpartum women. In addition to pregnant women, children under the age of 5 are also covered. Food packages are offered under this program with a vision to help pregnant women meet their nutritional needs.
Public housing and housing choice voucher:
For those having to deal with unaffordable rent every month, HUD offers rental assistance in the form of public housing and housing choice voucher programs. For those who prefer renting privately owned housing rather than living in a subsidized housing project, the housing choice voucher program will be a better fit. Rental assistance will be directly offered to the landlord which will cover a part of the rent. The difference between the assistance offered and the monthly rent will have to covered by you whose amount will depend on the household income. To know more specifics and apply for this particular program, contact the local housing agency in your area.
For single moms getting back to school and in great need of financial help, FAFSA will be the first step towards getting aid. Although this is the best start for every student needing assistance with tuition, most will find the aid amount to be small or insufficient to cover a major part of the tuition. On the other hand, single moms will find that there are a lot of scholarship offers which cater to women, if not specifically to them. Applying for such women-focused grants and scholarships would mean better chances of winning the award.