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.

Given below are the different types of government assistance programs that will help them get their life back on track.1

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.

To apply, you contact either the local PHA serving your community or the Office of Public Housing within your local HUD office.

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.

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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.

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  1. The above list is not meant to be exhaustive. We’ll make every possible effort to maintain & update it. []