Financial Assistance for Single Moms You Never Knew Existed
Being a single parent can be rewarding and hard at the same time. Today, with a struggling economy, being a single mom is even harder than it was a decade ago. That is why it is important to know what types of financial assistance for single mothers are available.
Food Stamps Are The #1 Option
Unlike the food stamps that people who were struggling financially used years ago, today single moms can apply for and receive a food stamp card. This works just like a debit card which makes asking for and receiving help a little less embarrassing. No one but you and the cashier will know that you are using assistance to purchase your food.
WIC (Women Infant& Child Program)
WIC, or the Women Infant and Children program, provides help for single moms with infants and children in the form of pre-written checks. These checks are for specific food use such as infant formula, dairy products, and other pre-approved nutritional items. To be eligible for the program, women must apply through their local department of social services.
Medicaid is medical insurance that is made available to low-income families. This source of financial help for single moms is of great benefit as it can help single mothers save thousands of dollars on medical bills. To qualify for Medicaid the single mother must meet specific financial criteria. If these guidelines are met then Medicaid will be awarded so that the mother may seek out medical care for her children at a reduced cost. Filing for Medicaid can be done at the local department of social services.
Electric and water are two very important utilities that seem to cost the most to keep on each month. Electricity alone can run the average household as much as $150 a month. Water may not cost as much but it can still cost. If a single mother is lucky enough to not have to worry about paying for water because of a personal well, the electric bill is still a worry. This is why many electric companies now provide financial assistance to low-income families who qualify based on a set of strict monetary standards. To find out if there is a program that will benefit your family simply contact your electric company.
While being a single mother can have its rewards and stresses it doesn’t have to be a financial struggle. There is financial assistance for single moms available as long as the mother is willing to accept it.
Emergency Planning is Important
A single mom who needs financial help in emergency situations needs to do two things immediately. First off all she needs to make an appointment with her local trustee. The number will be listed in the phone book, usually under government pages. Once the appointment is made, she needs to either go online or directly to the Department of Children and Family Services and apply for assistance in the form of medical, food, and cash if applicable.
Note that applying for help for single moms does not necessarily mean it will be approved. However, an application that is correctly filled out and that indicates it is an emergency situation with be dealt with in a timely manner. The trustee can help with disconnect notices, rent, and can even direct the single mom to other sources, but they will most likely require that an application is also submitted with the Department of Children and Family Services.
If a single mom does not get child support and she is struggling to get by, TANF may be the best solution for her on a temporary basis. In most states, part of the requirements for getting funds from TANF is that the mother will provide the information to the state in order to take the absent father to court for child support, which means she would then receive those funds.
A single mother might also consider enrolling in college in order to plan for the future. As she goes to college there is potential for her to receive financial assistance in the form of grants and scholarships which are first sent to the school to cover tuition and fees. Any funds that remain will then be sent to the mother.
A single mother who finally finds herself in a position to start planning for the future might consider investing in an Individual Development Account. Her low income assures her approval, as long as her credit score meets the criteria and she is willing to attend money management classes. This plan has a match that can go from 1:1 to 1:3, which means that every dollar she invests will be matched with at least one dollar, and possible as much as three.