Single mothers in Kentucky know that it is not easy to provide the best care for the children, especially during a tough economy. However, there are a number of programs available in Kentucky to help families who are struggling.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
Often food costs can make up a large portion of a family’s budget but SNAP helps to ease this financial burden while still making sure that families get adequate amounts of nutrition.
In order to be eligible for SNAP your family must meet certain income requirements that are based on the amount of people that live in your household. Everyone in the household that is between the ages of 16 and 60 are able to work must be actively looking for work. You may be able to count certain expenses as subtracted from your monthly income in order to increase your SNAP benefits and eligibility. You can get a SNAP application form here http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/snapapplication.htm.
Once you are approved for SNAP you will be mailed an Electronic Benefit Transfer card. This card will be loaded with your approved funds each month which can then be used to buy nearly any type of food. Alcohol, tobacco, household products, pet food, medicines, and hot and ready meals are not able to be purchased with SNAP funds.
KCHIP (Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program)
This program offers free or low cost healthcare for children. This is a great way for single mothers to afford healthcare for their children and ease the financial burden of regular doctor’s visits.
The program is available for children under the age of 19 whose family’s income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four must make less than $46,100 a year before taxes in order to qualify for the program. If you have recently left a job there is a six month period before you can apply your children for KCHIP, however if your employer dropped your health coverage your children may be eligible immediately. You can get an application for KCHIP here http://kidshealth.ky.gov/en/kchip/apply.htm.
KCHIP covers nearly all aspects of healthcare for your children, including regular doctor’s visits, dental care, mental health care, prescriptions, hospitalizations and more. This is an affordable way to get comprehensive health coverage for your children at little or no cost to you.
If you are looking to find a way to afford your rent or fear that you may soon be homeless, then you can apply for housing vouchers. These vouchers can be used to help pay for rent and help to reduce the financial burden that housing may cause. To apply for housing assistance you must meet with the contact for your area to apply for the program. You can find out about the contact for your area here http://www.kyhousing.org/page.aspx?id=600.
K-TAP (Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program)
This program is designed to help needy families move toward self-sufficiency. The program temporary offers monthly cash assistance to help families who are struggling to get back on their feet and reach self-sufficiency.
In order to be eligible for K-TAP you must meet certain income requirements that are based upon monthly household income and the number of people in your household. For a family of three the monthly household income must be less than $974 a month. This will allow you to receive a maximum of $262 a month. To find out how to apply visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/ktap.htm.
The program will give you monthly cash assistance in an amount determined by your income and the number of people in your household. This is a one-time assistance program that will last for 60 months, after this period you can never benefit from the program again.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
This program is for low income families who are unable to pay their heating and cooling needs for their home. This program helps over 150,000 Kentucky residents every year and it can be a great resource to help you and your family as well.
To be eligible for the program you must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level. Your household must also not have more than $2,000 in liquid assets, unless one member of the household has a catastrophic illness, in this case the assets may equal $4,000. To see if you are eligible for the program and to find out more information visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/liheap.htm.
There are three programs involved with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. There is a subsidy component that operates in November and December to help low income families pay their heating costs. The Crisis component operates from January to mid-March and helps those families that are in imminent danger of losing their heat and have no means to heat their home. It can also offer help to families that have received an eviction notice. There is also a program that offers help with cooling costs if there are funds available.
WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
The WIC program in Kentucky is dedicated to providing pregnant and nursing mothers, and children under five with healthy and adequate nutrition. The program is available to low income families and offers a number of services to help new families.
If you meet the requirements for Medicaid or food stamps, then you automatically are eligible for WIC. The income requirements are dependent upon the number of people in your household, for example a family of four must have a monthly income of less than $3,554. To find out how to apply for WIC visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/mch/Applying+For+WIC.htm.
The WIC program offers food checks every month that can be used to buy food that meets certain nutritional requirements. These checks can be used at most food stores and ensure that you provide your young family with adequate nutrition. They also offer breastfeeding support and nutritional advice and support. They can also provide immunizations for children.
Taking advantage of these programs can help you provide for your children and move toward self-sufficiency and the ability to provide a better future for your children.