There is plenty of assistance available for single moms today. For the most part, the only ones who do not qualify for assistance they applied for are the ones who make enough money to be over the poverty level, or the ones who did not submit the correct forms on time or did not fill out the correct forms in the first place. Do not make the mistake of assuming that you don’t qualify or should not get some kind of assistance. These benefits are designed to help you out. Consider that assistance in one area can free up some of your hard earned funds for other areas where you need more.
As a single mom you may be entitled to all sorts of help from assistance with purchasing groceries to paying for child care and even helping you keep your family warm in the winter. When you add up all the items you have to pay for on your income as a single mother you may find yourself wondering how on earth you are going to manage to make ends meet.
Single moms can apply for food benefits in the form of SNAP. Unlike some of the other available benefits, SNAP takes into consideration your income as well as your outgoing funds within reason. For instance, cable and Internet are not considered as part of your outgoing funds because they are “luxury” items, but your electric bill and rent are considered. There is a great deal of controversy over what should and should not be purchased with SNAP but the actual rules are that you must by food with it. No restaurant food, no pet food, no tobacco, diapers or alcohol- simply food to feed your family. You will receive a set amount of food funds each month and it will be up to you to manage your shopping and what you buy to make sure that the SNAP funds last throughout the month.
Medical benefits are also available to single moms. Pregnant women who meet the income guidelines also qualify for medical benefits which are proactive up to three months. This means they will pay for medical bills that were filed up to three months before you started receiving medical assistance. If you do not qualify for free medical benefits, most states offer similar medical plans that you can purchase for a nominal amount. For the most part, children of single parents are very rarely denied free medical benefits as long as there are no medical benefits available to cover them from either parent. In some cases, free medical benefits are granted even if a parent carries insurance on them.
Single moms who meet financial criteria and do not receive child support or receive less in child support than they would in the form of TANF qualify for cash benefits. Most states will take the father to court for child support once TANF is obtained. Keep in mind that the state acts in the best interest of the state and the child, not the parent. This means the state will take their funds paid out through TANF from the child support before the mother gets it.
There are also multiple grants available for single moms who want to go back to school. Sometimes the cost of the schooling is less than the amount of the grant, which means that the single mother will then get the leftover funds. Not only is college an investment in bettering your future but it can also help support your family now.
There are various housing assistance programs for single moms which not only take care of the rent portion of the cost of living, but also sometimes include benefits in the form of cash to help pay the utility bills for that residence. You might also benefit from the Individual Development Account which assists in saving up funds for the purchase of a new home, matching the single mom’s saving up $3 for every dollar that the single mom deposits. Where you live is one of the most important factors for being successful as a single mom. This has nothing to do with how fancy your home is but more with showing that you can provide a safe and healthy home for your child and keep a roof over your heads without having an additional parent around.
Take advantage of any type of assistance you qualify for- chances are you will only be receiving the help for a short while until you get on your feet, or finish your education or find a better job. The realization that you are a single mom is a hard one to deal with, but how you handle the situation once it sinks in will shape how your future develops.