There are several programs for assistance for single mothers in Arkansas. The local Welfare or Human Services office will have a variety of programs available to help single mothers. We will discuss several of the programs available and what the requirements for each program are throughout this article. Many single mothers know that help is out there, they just do not know where to begin looking or what items they may need to qualify. Every program will have different guidelines for qualification. Many of them will ask for the same documents, it is best to keep these documents available in one folder for easy location. The basic items to always keep together in one folder are pay stubs or income verification, rental agreements or mortgage statements, birth certificates, bank statements and utility bills. These items are the basics that almost every agency will require for program eligibility.
Childcare Assistance for Single Mothers in Arkansas
A Federally funded program assisting single mothers in Arkansas regarding childcare provides care for children at a reduced fee or no fee, depending on the qualifying income of the single mother. To apply for this program, contact the Department of Human Services and inquire about the Childcare Assistance Program. Single mothers that are full time students or that work thirty or more hours per week to sustain a household may qualify for full childcare assistance through a federally funded program.
With this program, the Department of Human Services will review the income in the home compared with the living expenses and determine if the applicant qualifies for a reduced rate or free childcare. The single mother will then be given a provider name that is in the network of providers and that is close to their home to contact for the service. If the income exceeds the program requirements, the agency can provide information regarding other childcare programs. Federal funding is available to Arkansas single mothers, in some cases, even with the income requirements being exceeded for the Department of Human Services programs. These will be discounted rate programs with providers within the network that is approved by the Department of Human Services.
The state of Arkansas has a great program to assist single mothers in providing healthcare for their children. This program is called ARKids First. It is a program for assistance for single mothers in Arkansas to ensure that their children receive proper medical care. This program is designed for single mothers whose income exceeds the requirements for whole family coverage. The state of Arkansas sponsors this program solely without government assistance.
Whole family Medicaid coverage is available for those families that meet the income requirements of the state. Arkansas has income requirements that are coupled with a household’s living expenses that will determine eligibility for the whole family Medicaid program. If a child qualifies for this program, they will be excluded from the ARKids First program. ARKids First generally includes all children that are not included in the whole family Medicaid program. The income requirements are a bit more lenient regarding the ARKids First medical assistance program.
Food and Household Supplies Assistance
There are several programs available for food and household supplies assistance for single mothers in Arkansas. WIC is a wonderful program to help mothers or families that meet their program requirements. Children up to the age of five can be included in the WIC program.
The requirements for the Arkansas WIC Program are:
• The income of the household must be within 185% of the poverty level.
• Children must be between the ages of newborn to five years old.
• Arkansas residency is a must.
• A specific dietary need or general need for nutritional assistance for the children.
• An exam deeming a participant’s children eligible by an on-staff Nurse or other medical professional
• Children who are deemed to be at a nutritional risk.
WIC has added many food items to their accepted list. Always be sure to inquire about alternative item availability should the child in the program have a specific food allergy or lactose intolerance problem. WIC also has a Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program available. It is operated by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. This program is funded by the USDA. Fresh fruits and vegetables are provided to the women and children that qualify for this program or that are currently receiving general WIC assistance.
The food stamp program is available for families that meet the requirements for nutritional assistance. Eligibility is based upon the income of the home, number of people in the home and the living expenses within the home. The amount received will vary for each qualifying household. Items needed for qualification include proof of income or lack of income, rental lease or mortgage statement, bank account statements, utility bills, birth certificates for all members of the home and other required documentation.
Arkansas also has a Food bank Network that can assist low-income families with emergency food supplies. In many cases, additional items such as toiletries, diapers, wipes, clothing and general household necessities may be available. A list of locations is available at the Department of Human Services. It is a good reference to keep on hand during the waiting period for food stamp approval or denial.
Additional Assistance for Single Mothers in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas does have a transportation assistance program. This program is designed to help single mothers obtain transportation to work or school. It also helps transport qualifying families to non-emergency medical appointments. Transportation assistance is available within specific welfare quarters limits.
Rent and housing assistance can be available for qualifying single mothers and families. If shelter for the family must be sought, HUD is an available option. Strict income restrictions do apply to the HUD Housing program. A highly reduced rent payment will be assessed to qualifying families in approved housing. The local welfare office can provide references for rental assistance; however, most programs do require an eviction notice in order to assist in providing rental assistance funds.
These programs are all designed with the single mothers of the state of Arkansas in mind. The local welfare office will have all of the necessary resources and literature for eligibility requirements for these programs. Many must be started in a process through the Department of Human Services. Assistance for single mothers in Arkansas is available in many avenues. Their programs are some of the best in the country. The state of Arkansas prides themselves on being able to help families get back on their feet when they’ve suffered a hardship.