Hardship Grants for Single Mothers
Single mothers often find it hard to make ends meet. According to a 2019 survey conducted by Pew Research Center of 130 countries, the US has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. Of these around 23% of children below 18 years living with a single parent. The global average is only 7%, for instance, an average 3% of children belong to single-parent households in China.
To remedy this situation, the US government offers numerous grants and loans to single mothers. Let’s take a close look at how you can apply for, and receive, hardship grants for single mothers in the US.
Sources of Hardship Grants for Single Mothers
There are several federal and state-funded, as well as non-profit organizations and individuals who offer grants for single mothers. Here are the different sources where you can apply for hardship grants for single mothers.
1 – Federal Pell Grants
The Pell Grant is the US’ largest student aid program. This program provides a grant of up to US$ 6,495 to needy students who wish to pursue higher education in colleges. In 2019, the Pell Grant program disbursed over US$ 28 billion for schools to more than 7 million aspiring and needful students across the country. Of these, almost 60% of recipients belonged to the African-American community and nearly 50% of the rest were of Latin descent.
This need-based grant is ideal for single mothers with limited means to continue their education in hopes of becoming skilled workers and productive members of society. This is a grant, and not a loan, hence recipients are not required to repay the amount in any way or form.
To learn about the eligibility criteria and application process of this grant, we recommend you visit the official Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
2 – Federal Work-Study Grant
Federal Work-Study (FWS) grant is a federally subsidized financial aid initiative. It offers single-parent students a way to earn income by becoming part-time employees, on or off-campus, in their chosen field of education.
Under this program, single-parent students can work up to 20 hours a week and receive monthly paychecks as per their hourly wages. These wages are extremely useful to continue pursuing higher education for single mothers.
3 – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is an extremely useful way to improve the lives of low-income families. The program’s main aim is to help needy families become self-sufficient with a combination of work opportunities and short-term financial assistance.
You can choose between “Family” TANF grants or “Child-Only” TANF grants. A family grant is easier to get and provides a small cash amount monthly for food, clothing and other basic needs. This grant is offered for the duration of 60 months, or less in some states.
The Child-Only TANF grant is meant to fulfill the needs of children. The grant amount is around US$ 8 per day for a child, which is significantly less than the Family TANF grant money.
These grants are often called as “welfare” and the eligibility criteria vary from state to state. If you are an unemployed single mother with children below 19 years, you may be eligible for assistance under TANF. However, the eligibility criteria require the recipient to be working at a regular job for at least 20 hours a week.
To learn more about eligibility criteria and the application process, we advise you to visit the official TANF website.
4 – Supplemented Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Supplemented Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, was previously known as the Food Stamp program. This initiative provides affordable and healthy meals to needy families, most of who belong to the low-income group.
This is one of the earliest and most widespread welfare programs run by the federal government. For the majority of low-income families in the US, the SNAP initiative is the sole form of income assistance they get. SNAP has helped over 40 million low-income US citizens to afford a nutritionally sufficient groceries, especially in families with children below 18 years of age.
This program is offered through a debit card (EBT) system that the recipient uses to purchase grocery items in any of the participating stores close to their home.
The application process for this program requires the applicant to fill out an application form and submit it at your local SNAP office, either by fax, email or in person.
5 – Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
The WIC program is a federal-funded nutrition initiative under the US federal Government. The WIC program has committed to providing free and healthy foods to pregnant women, new mothers and children below 5 years who are considered to be at risk of malnutrition.
This is a short-term relief program under which eligible applicants receive benefits for up to 6 (six) months to a year (12 months). Recipients can re-apply to continue receiving the benefits of this initiative. Under this program, eligible single mothers receive up to US$ 11 per month for fresh vegetables and fruits while children receive up to US$ 9 per month.
From June to September 2021, women and children (between 1 and 4 years old) will receive a temporary increase in the grant amount from the WIC program. This brings the total amount to around $35 per month per participant.
The eligibility criteria for receiving aid under the WIC program require determining the nutritional risk and income level of applicants. Priority is given to TANF awardees in most states for the WIC initiative.
To learn whether you are eligible for receiving grants under the WIC initiative, it is recommended to visit the official website and check their FAQs page. Make sure to fill the application form as instructed and keep all income and family-health-related documents handy at the time of applying.
These are the top 5 sources to get hardship grants for single mothers in the US. These federal and state-funded programs have helped millions of needy individuals and families to lead comfortable, healthy and happy lives for years.