Raising a family is never an easy process and doing it on your own can be even harder. Luckily there are a number of programs that can help you get on your feet and able to raise and support your children. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can look into assistance from the following programs.
CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program)
The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program is designed to help working mothers and mothers who are continuing their education have access to affordable child care.
In order to be eligible for the program you must have children under 13 years of age or under 18 if you have a disabled child. Your household income must meet certain requirements based on the number of people in your household, for example a family of three must make less than $2989 a month. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply visit http://www.dss.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=136.
If you are approved for assistance you will be given a monthly stipend that is determined based on your monthly income and family size. You must choose a care provider that meets the requirements of the program and you are responsible for paying the difference in the amount paid by the program and the actual child care costs.
LaCHIP (Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program)
LaCHIP offers free health insurance for children who are under the age of 19 and do not qualify for Medicaid.
In order for a child to be eligible for LaChip they must be under the age of 19 and not covered by any form of health insurance. The family income level must be more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, for example a family of three must make less than $3,052 a month in order to be eligible. To find out if you are eligible and to apply for the program visit http://bhsfweb.dhh.louisiana.gov/LaChip/no-cost/apply.asp.
LaCHIP offers no-cost health care coverage for all dental, vision, mental health and medical expenses. The program also covers prescriptions, immunizations, hospitalizations and physical therapy. This program is a great way to make sure that your children are healthy and able to have adequate medical attention in an emergency. If you are having trouble keeping up with regular medical care for your children or just want help in case of an emergency, LaChip can be a lifesaver and a great way to save money for the future.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
SNAP offers assistance for low income families to afford adequate food to stay in good health. For the majority of households SNAP only offers supplemental support for a family’s food budget. There are very few restrictions placed on SNAP which is different from the food assistance offered by WIC.
In order to be eligible for SNAP you must meet certain income requirements. For example a family of three must make less than $2,000 a month to qualify and they can receive as much as $526 a month in food assistance. Anyone in the household who is able to work must be actively searching for work and accept any job opportunity that they are offered. To apply for SNAP visit https://cafe-cp.dcfs.la.gov/selfservice/
SNAP offers monetary assistance each month based on your income and the number of people living in your household. During the first fourteen days of each month the benefit amount is transferred to your Louisiana Purchase Card. This card can be used at nearly any food store in much the same way as a normal debit card.
If you are having trouble meeting your rent or are in danger of becoming homeless then you can get rental assistance. This program offers subsidized apartments that provide affordable rent options. You can also get public housing vouchers to help you find a place to live if you are in significant need. To find out how to qualify for rental assistance visit the Housing and Urban Development website for Louisiana here https://cafe-cp.dcfs.la.gov/selfservice/.
If you are looking to go back to school or you need financial help to continue school the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance can help you find and apply for a grant that can help you pay for your school tuition. They can even help you with your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to ensure the best possibility to get money for school. Visit http://www.osfa.la.gov/ to find out about all the different options available to help pay for your higher education.
WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
The WIC program is geared toward providing adequate nutrition for pregnant mothers, breastfeeding women and children under the age of five. This can be a lifesaving program that allows you to be able to avoid formula and healthy foods for you and your children.
In order to be eligible for WIC you must meet a certain income requirement, this requirement is based on your annual salary and the number of people in your household. For a family of two, the annual income must be $27,214 or less to be eligible. There must also be children under the age of five in your household or you must be pregnant or postpartum. To find out more about the WIC program in Louisiana visit http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/942.
The WIC program offers checks that can be used to purchase specific WIC foods. These foods are certified to have a certain nutritional value and are part of a balanced nutrition for your family. They also offer breastfeeding support and assistance with other needs for infants. They can even offer nutrition counseling and immunizations to ensure that your children continue to grow up happy and healthy.
These programs can be a great benefit on the path to self-sustainability and moving toward a better future for you and your children. It is important to remember that none of these programs are meant to be permanent, rather they are supposed to be temporary assistance to help single mothers build a better life.