Having limited financial resources while having to raise a child makes being a single mother extremely difficult. Not to mention, the costs of raising a child have significantly increased over the past decade. As recent data shows, annual childcare expenses exceed $20,000 in 22 states due to wage stagnation and rising costs in education, healthcare, housing, and food.
To help them handle the physical, emotional, and financial pressure of being a single parent, local governments provide state grants for single mothers. Read the article below to learn more.
Background On Single Mothers And Financial Assistance
There are several grants designed to help single-mother households, such as the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Housing Grant, and Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). These federal and state grants have all been instrumental in providing financial assistance to single moms during difficult times.
Other statewide grants are also available, such as the Pell Grant, which assists financially struggling students in paying for college. Most beneficiaries of this educational grant are low-income single mothers.
Overview Of State Grants
State grants are a great resource for single mothers to acquire enough money to afford college and pay off any debts or car loans. Applying for state grants is relatively simple. If you are eligible, you can submit a grant application to your state or local government to begin the process.
Federal funding is channeled through state social services programs to assist single moms in caring for their children. Grants administered under these programs are often issued for educational, housing, or transportation purposes. However, there are also state grants offered to help pay for other basic household expenses, such as utility bills and groceries.
Types Of Grants Available
State grants are awarded based on a household’s financial needs. As a result, priority is given to single parents with the lowest incomes. Here is a list of some free grants available for single mothers, the majority of which are provided by the state.
The Pell Grant is one of the most well-known programs that provide financial aid to those who wish to continue their college education. This federal grant serves as a major source of academic funding for low-income single-mother households. The monetary incentive may be used to pay off tuition fees, miscellaneous, books, laptops, and other college-related expenses. For the previous academic year (2021–2022), the maximum grant award reached $6,495 while the minimum award was $650.
Cal Grant is the largest state-funded college assistance program in California. The program provides college funding assistance for low-income families residing in the Golden State.
Applicants may choose from the three types of Cal Grants: A, B, and C. Annual monetary incentives under any type may range between $1,094 and $12,570, depending on the recipient’s GPA and financial situation.
Beneficiaries of the California Dream Act, which permits undocumented students who finished high school in California to obtain state financial aid, may also qualify for the Cal Grant program.
Temporary Assistance For Needy Families
The TANF is a state-funded grant program that offers supplemental cash aid for a maximum of two years to employed parents who meet income requirements. This program is designed to help low-income families to achieve self-sufficiency and find better work opportunities.
There are two kinds of TANF grants provided, “family” grant awards and “child-only” grants. For a single child, the “child-only” pays $8 per day and is only meant to cover the child’s basic needs. Family grants, on the other hand, provide cash incentives for up to 60 months to cover a household’s housing, food, and clothing expenses.
Child Care Costs Assistance
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which currently receives funding from the Child Care and Development Block Grant, assists low-income parents with childcare expenses while they work, find employment, or attend college.
Most states impose a co-payment requirement on families receiving CCAP, usually in the form of a sliding fee system that charges larger co-payments to households with higher incomes.
Utility Bill Assistance
Low-income families who are unable to pay for cooling, heating, electricity and other utility bills may qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). However, unlike other programs, utility bill grants are not given directly to the beneficiary, rather grants are paid directly to the utility company.
Through a number of housing assistance programs, the federal housing grant offers affordable rental options for low-income families.
Section 8 and Public Housing Programs are just two of the housing initiatives managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs are available across the country and may be accessed through local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).
Medical Bill Assistance
Medicare is a health insurance program intended for seniors over the age of 65. However, healthcare assistance is also offered to low-income single moms under certain conditions.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal program that offers free medical assistance to financially struggling individuals and households without any medical insurance coverage.
State governments also offer grants to cover other essential needs of a dependent child in a single-mother household. These may include:
- Head Start Grant
- Child Care Credit
- Children’s Health Insurance Program
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
How To Apply For A Grant
The application process for government grants is always free. Nevertheless, depending on the grant program you are applying for, the process could be overwhelming. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Search and apply for government grants using the Grants.gov official website. Information from more than 1,000 government grant programs is available on their site.
- Register at their website by providing your basic personal details and contact information.
- Submit and track your grant application at Grants.gov using your tracking number.
Required Documentation And Eligibility Requirements
Single-mother applicants may apply for the Pell Grant and other types of state educational grants with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For childcare assistance, housing, and utility grants, a grant application form that details your need for the monetary incentive is required. In addition, basic eligibility requirements may also include:
- U.S. Citizenship or eligible immigrant status
- Median household income not exceeding federal poverty levels
- Has a dependent child below 18 years old
Significant economic distress is often experienced by single-mother households. Raising a child as a single mother can be financially challenging without welfare benefit programs. If you require financial assistance, apply for state grants for single mothers immediately.
If you are a single mom in need of affordable housing, visit this article to find housing for single moms with no job.