Being a single mother can be very challenging. It can take a toll on mothers physically, emotionally, and financially. Thankfully, there are several government programs that have been designed to offer single mothers assistance with many of their financial needs.
SNAP Benefits & Food Assistance
Food benefits are available to single mothers who do not have the means to purchase food for themselves or their children. Income guidelines do apply, but unless single mothers make a substantial amount of money, most will easily qualify. The government maintains a website that hosts a benefit screening tool that can offer single mothers an idea on just how much assistance they might be able to qualify for.
Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program
WIC is a government program that offers vouchers to pregnant mothers and single mothers with children under the age of 5. WIC provides women with nutrition information and breastfeeding information. Single mothers who receive SNAP benefits automatically qualify for the WIC program.
Temporary Assistance to Need Families
The TANF program may also be called Work First in some states. This program offers cash assistance to single who meet income guidelines. Single mothers must agree to find work and be available to volunteer as required by the program guidelines.
Child Support Enforcement
Single mothers who qualify for certain government programs may be automatically enrolled to participate in child support enforcement. This entity ensures that the fathers of children born to single mothers are required to provide support for their children. If fathers do not comply with a court order for child support, there can be serious legal consequences.
Child Care Assistance
One of the biggest barriers to finding work for single mothers is having the ability to secure quality child care services. It almost costs more money to pay for child care services than most single mothers make while working at a job. Child care assistance programs are designed to ensure that children receive quality child care services without overburdening single mothers financially.
Free School Lunch Program
Single mothers who have school age children usually qualify for free or reduced lunches for their children at school. This is a wonderful program because paying for daily school lunches can add up after some time. This program ensures that children receive nutritious school lunches that they otherwise might not receive because single mothers may not have enough income to pay for them.
Section 8 /Housing Choice Rental Assistance
Single mothers with low incomes can qualify for assistance through Section 8 or Housing Choice Rental Assistance. Clients agree to rent a unit for a year and the government program provides a set percentage of the rent to help offset the costs. Single mothers get access to quality housing through this program and assistance in paying for rent that they might not have otherwise been able to afford.
Emergency Utility Assistance Services
These types of programs are known by different names in different states. Some offer regular assistance through other programs such as Section 8 or Housing Choice, while other programs offer a limited number of funds throughout the year to single households. Different organizations are responsible for this service in each state, but the Salvation Army and the Department of Social Services commonly administer utility assistance.
Furniture can be expensive and many single mothers don’t have the resources to acquire necessary household furniture. Some organizations like the Salvation Army offer vouchers for assistance in securing furniture through their thrift store. This can save single mothers a great deal of money when they are setting up house.
Educational Grants and Loans
There are many scholarships, grants, loans, and educational financial assistance available to single mothers. College grants usually include the Academic Competitive Grant, the Pell Grant, the National Smart Grant and many more at the individual state level. Most grants are secured with one easy application that single mothers can complete online at FAFSA.gov.
Raising children as a single mother can be quite challenging. Single mothers must secure steady income and services in order to make ends meet. Thankfully, many government agencies offer assistance to single mothers to help make their jobs much easier. Government programs for single mothers offer assistance to single moms, but they benefit their children as well.