As a way to provide a better living for the family, single mothers are heading back to school for degrees that will help them improve their future. However, with little finances at their disposal, single parents need assistance if they are to pay for school. Recognizing the need to provide financial aid for single mothers… Read more »
No one doubts that being a single parent is tough. Trying to balance work and paying the bills makes life a real challenge, let alone having the time and money to complete higher education. The government, colleges, corporations, non-profit organizations, and private providers all offer scholarships and grants to help financially-strapped students pay for a… Read more »
Being a single mother can be very stressful and challenging. It is definitely not an easy task to manage alone when there are so many bills to pay, day care, food, shelter, etc. More often that not, single moms struggle just to make ends meet.
Many opportunities have been made available to assist them in their financial needs and help them get a breakthrough. One way of availing financial aid is to apply for grants which are freely awarded to “those who need it most”.
Over the years, the Federal & state government as well as non-profit groups have floated many schemes and programs for the benefit of single mothers. These kind of financial aid are available to help these women face the challenges of single parenting.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TANF has been designed to provide a small cash amount on a monthly basis for food, clothing, shelter and other essentials. It is meant for those who have children and are finding themselves unable to afford even the basic necessities.
A single mom, with children under the age of 19, is eligible for assistance under TANF. However, this once in a life time assistance is restricted to a period of not more than 60 months.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a government-funded insurance plan available in every state. The program caters to uninsured children from families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford insurance on their own. It covers children for everything they need – doctor visits, vaccination, dental, and vision.
The state-administered CHIP program is a godsend for those who would otherwise not have access to regular medical care; providing the much needed quality health coverage to millions of children nationwide.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
LIHEAP program is a federally-funded grant program that is implemented at the state levels that helps households meet their immediate home energy expenses.
The LIHEAP is offered in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, 140 Indian Tribes, and five U.S. territories to single mothers with qualifying incomes. Priority is given to low income families with children, disabled and elderly people.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program
The WIC program is one of the most successful government programs for financially-strapped mothers. The program consists of coupons for free items every month. These items are the basics required for pregnant or nursing mothers and children up to the age of five.
The financial limits on WIC are higher than that of other programs, so your odds of acceptance are very good.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Another financial assistance scheme for single mothers is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was previously known as the Food Stamp Program (FSP).
This SNAP program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the primary aim of providing healthy food for low income families.
Section 8 Housing Program
Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is a federal housing program which provides housing assistance to low-income renters and homeowners. This assistance for single mothers comes in the form of rental subsidies.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
This federally-assisted meal program is essentially a subsidized school lunch program for needy families through subsidies to schools. This means that if you qualify, your children are eligible for free meals (or reduced-price meals) in school.
You can find out more about the program and how to apply for it at www.fns.usda.gov or call the Office of Public Affairs at 703‐305‐228.
The Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grant offers one way for eligible single mothers to finance their education. This federally-provided money does not need to be repaid, making it a more attractive option than a loan.
As a single mother who want to continue your education, a Pell grant for higher education may be just what you need to go back to school and further your career.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Similar to the Pell Grant, FSEOG is a federal education grant awarded to single mothers with “the absolute highest levels of financial need” who could not otherwise afford college tuition.
Priority is given to the Pell Grant recipients and those with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFC). Awards may be granted in amounts ranging from $100 to $4,000 per year based on the gravity of the applicant’s financial need.
However, finding the right grant is only the first step in the process. If you elect to apply for any of these grants, you’re required to make a proposal in the form of grant writing and prove that you are the one that should get the money!
Keep in mind that while these free government grants can help you tide over difficult times, you should not rely solely on them, rather, you should ensure that you strive to become self-sufficient so that you can provide for your family all on your own.
- The above list is not meant to be exhaustive. We’ll make every possible effort to maintain & update it. [↩]
Life as a single mother can be very challenging. In today’s economic condition, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine the plight of single motherhood.
With absolutely zero support, these women have to juggle full-time parenting with a full-time job, while struggling to do the very best they can to “make ends meet”. Granted, it is a lot easier if there are two working partners. But to manage all this alone especially with little or no income, it can be quite a struggle.
Helping Single Moms Cope with Single Motherhood
To help single moms cope with the challenges of single parenting, there are several grants that have been developed to help them with the financial burden of raising a child. Though it isn’t a guaranteed entitlement, these grants are freely awarded on the basis of economic hardship which unlike “borrow money”, do not require any repayment.
The first step is researching what’s available and finding out whether or not you qualify for them. A very good source of information is the internet. You can get all types of information online and decide what best suits you. Check your State, Government websites and sites like www.grants.gov is a good resource to find information about grants available for singe moms.
Among the plethora of programs aimed at helping single-mother families, the earliest and most important form of government aid is the cash assistance program — also commonly referred to as “welfare.” Other initiatives include food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance & education grant.
Grants such as the Pell Grant is a unique grant provided by the US Department of Education that helps the neediest students to pay for college. Special emphasis is given to single parents who wish to complete their college education. Eligibility for this grant is based on one’s financial need and the applicant is required to complete a FAFSA form each year to qualify — and it’s FREE.
And for those who are struggling to meet the escalating cost of higher education, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program has helped many achieve their educational goals and led them to self-sufficiency after they graduate from college. Scholarships for single mothers are also available for single women with children on the basis of academic achievement.
To find “what’s available” in your state of residence, check out the listing of State Higher Education Agencies where you’ll find a whole plethora of state’s education programs, financial aid assistance programs, grants, scholarships, continuing education programs, and career opportunities.
More “Pro-Single Mom” Assistance
More ways of availing government assistance is to apply for
- unemployment benefits — up to 26 weeks,
- special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants & children,
- childcare subsidy,
- disability benefits,
- low-cost healthcare insurance for kids2, etc.
All these are meant mostly for those with children who are finding themselves unable to afford even the basic necessities.
Though these grants are meant for assisting during difficult times, it does not cover expenses for private tuition fees, house rents, social funds repayments or personal debts etc. It is only meant for you to get yourself up and build a foundation to help you become self-sufficient and less dependent of “public assistance”.
- Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty. Source: http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/ [↩]
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for children up to age 19. To learn more, make a free call to 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) [↩]