Single parent assistance is available to families in many different forms. Whether one-parent households need assistance with purchasing groceries or affording their monthly rent payments, financial support can be provided.
It can be difficult to raise a family in a single-income home, but financial assistance programs can offer benefits to residents who are struggling economically.
In single parent homes, budgets can be tighter than in household units where two parents earn incomes. For these reasons, single mothers and fathers may be interested in gaining financial compensation through government resources and benefits programs.
By enrolling in these government assistance programs for single parents, mothers and fathers have greater likelihoods of providing stable childhoods for their dependents.
Can I collect TANF benefits as a single parent?
The government welfare program is an option for low-income households that are struggling to make ends meet. Much as the name suggests, this Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is available to petitioners on a short-term basis.
Often, these dollars can be used as single parent households to purchase necessities. Individual states are responsible for distributing this federal grant money to qualifying applicants. Generally, petitioners who receive these benefits must live in the states where they are applying, have legal presence in the United States and meet the program income eligibility requirements.
The welfare office chooses to award TANF benefits to applicants primarily based on the financial need they demonstrate through their applications. In order to apply for TANF, petitioners must submit their claims to program officials who will assess whether or not they qualify for enrollment.
Next, applicants will likely need to participate in interviews with program officials to discuss their eligibility. During this time, applicants should be sure to express the fact that they are supporting their children on only one income.
Once petitioners are accepted into the TANF program, they should keep in mind that these valuable funds are only available to them for limited periods of time. For these reasons, enrollees must be sure that they are searching for more sustainable, long-term solutions to their financial struggles.
Learn About Housing Programs for Single Parent Families
Section 8 and other housing assistance programs are available to low-earning families that need places to live. It can be too expensive for some families to rent or purchase homes, but programs such as those administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can assist them.
HUD housing is a form of public housing and it provides low-income recipients with safe, affordable housing options that they can live in. Due to single-parent households’ limited incomes, shelter opportunities may be available to them.
Additionally, local housing authorities (HAs) determine who can live in these facilities based on criteria that includes:
- Family income levels: Single parent households must report how much income the supporting parent earns. Only households that earn less than a specific amount of money may qualify to receive funding.
- Qualification statuses: Families who qualify as low-earning may receive HUD housing assistance. Alternatively, applicants could receive funding through this program if they have elderly or disabled family members who live in their houses.
- Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or immigrants with legal status in the country to qualify for HUD benefits.
Alternatively, single parent families may also find support through their state’s Section 8 housing program. This program provides enrollees with the financial means they need to rent or buy apartments and houses. With Section 8, recipients can use program vouchers to afford private-market home listings at reasonable rates.
HUD funds these vouchers, but local public housing agencies (PHAs) pay the subsidies directly to the homeowners or landlords. Program benefits are also distributed based on petitioners’ income levels. This single parent housing help makes it more affordable for families to live in homes that meet their needs without breaking their budgets.
About SNAP Benefits and Other Food Programs for Single Parent Families
Food stamps are available throughout the country for qualified families who do not earn much income from their jobs. Officially, this program is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and families who are struggling financially are given monthly benefits that they can use to buy groceries.
Mothers and fathers who receive SNAP benefits are able to focus their attention on other matters besides worrying if they will be able to afford groceries to feed their children.
In order to enroll in this benefits program, families must contact their local food stamp office and submit their applications to SNAP officials. Once these claimants are accepted into the program, they are awarded electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards, which they can use like debit cards to buy food.
Examples of qualifying items that recipients can purchase with these funds include:
Alternatively, single mothers may be eligible to enroll in their state’s WIC program, which is available exclusively for women, infants and children. This program provides prenatal and postpartum funding to mothers and their young children.
In order to qualify for WIC benefits, claimants need to be financially eligible for this support. Applicants must also visit their WIC office and pass health-related interviews that assesses whether or not they are at a nutrition risk. After petitioning mothers are accepted into this program, they can use their funds to purchase specific, healthy items to feed themselves and their children.
Furthermore, this program helps single mothers to ensure that they are providing their dependents with nutritious meals on a regular basis.
Learn About School Lunch Programs to Assist One-Parent Households
Single parents who do not have the funds to afford lunch for their children to take to school should consider enrolling them in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
This initiative offers free or reduced lunches to students each school day during the academic year. During summer holidays, however, single parent households may also be worried about feeding their children. However, mothers and fathers who qualify for the nation’s free summer lunch program are relieved of these expenses.
With these locally-based programs, children whose parents are unable to provide them with lunch each day are able to come and receive free meals so they do not go hungry when school is not in session.