Are you a single mom? Have you been experiencing a stretch of hard times or a consistent struggle with bills and your lifestyle? If so, you’re not alone. No matter what state you live in, there is help available for you and your children. With everything from healthcare to day-care assistance, you may be able to get a little boost, if you qualify. But where do you start? Here are just a few examples of what’s available and how you can access these helpful resources.
Making ends is meet is difficult when you’re the sole breadwinner of the family. This also means it can be hard to make your rent payment on the first of the month. If you’re experiencing issues with paying your rent, you may qualify for certain state and government programs that help with payment assistance. One of the main programs is Section 8 housing. You can apply at your local HUD office and if approved, obtain an HCV or Housing Choice Voucher. Based off of your income, this program through HUD helps pay your rent, so you can afford to keep a qualifying apartment or find a new one. Keep in mind that there is often a waiting list for this program, so check with your local HUD organization to find out when open enrollment is available. You can also check for housing assistance and other programs on websites that offer free housing resources like Eligibility.com.
Getting access to quality meals and healthy food can be a problem if you can barely afford to live indoors. Government programs such as SNAP—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, offers a monthly allowance to purchase food from approved stores and vendors. You qualify through financial records and how many people live in your household. Ask your social worker through Human Services about applying for food stamps and other food banks in your area.
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no way to advance your career? Maybe it’s time to go back to school and get a better education. Most counties offer free GED training if you feel like you need a brush up on your educational skills. You can also apply online for a Pell grant or student loan to get qualified to go to a community college or university. From there, there are government based programs that help fund daycare and sometimes transportation for single moms and people who have limited income and resources.
Another option is having an additional source of income if you are working part-time or while going to school. There are options available locally and online. Blogging, for example, is one way to make money to supplement your current finances.
Disability and Unemployment
If you’re out of work because of an injury or you’re unable to work because of an illness, you may qualify for disability. The first step is visiting your local Social Security office and filling out an application. You will also be assigned a worker or assistant who can help aid you in filling it out and acquiring all of the necessary information. Depending on your work history, medical condition and income, you could qualify for either SSI or SSDI. SSI is based strictly on financial need and your health condition. SSDI is determined off of your current health status and how many credits you’ve earned through social security. If you haven’t paid enough into social security throughout the years, you may not qualify.
Unemployment is another way to get some income flowing if you’ve recently lost your job. You can apply online through your state’s unemployment agency. Don’t forget to apply if you feel you’re eligible for the benefits that you’ve earned.
Government assistance is also available for individuals and their children who are without health insurance. Medicaid is available in most states but sometimes is identified with a different name. The best place to start is through your local social service office through Health and Human Services. You can also apply online at Healthcare.gov. From there, your income and other household information will be gathered and then, if you qualify, you will be referred to the appropriate agency in your city and state.
Spending time looking for ways to improve your financial lifestyle is important. Take simple steps and eventually everything will come together and you can get ahead.