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Friday, March 31, 2017

Financial Help for Single Moms or Independent Mothers Living in New York

The state of New York enjoys the prominence of its capital city in terms of global financial success.
Unfortunately, many New Yorkers are not spared from the crisis brought by global economic downturn.
Not surprisingly, single mothers and those with little or no education fared worst.
In a bid to cushion the impact of recession, the state of New York provides a number of safety net programs to help alleviate their struggle with life’s challenges.


New York Family Assistance (FA) provides temporary cash assistance to very needy families with children under the age of 18 as well as pregnant women. FA operates under federal TANF guidelines.
As a condition of eligibility, each person who applies for or is receiving FA, is required to comply with federal work requirements to receive FA benefits.
The maximum monthly benefit for a single mother of two with no income living in New York City is $789 — the highest among the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

FA is one of two programs providing temporary cash assistance in New York. The other is Safety Net Assistance (SNA), a New York State program with no federal participation.


The SNAP Program provides food support to lower income New Yorkers including working families, the elderly and the disabled to feed their families. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size and family’s income.
Eligible SNAP participants are issued a EBT card used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets, in lieu of paper food stamp coupons.
In New York, eligible families may get $200 monthly benefits up to $1,202 for a family of eight. For an application as well as eligibility pre- screening, go to ACCESS NYC.


New York Medicaid is a health care coverage for low-income New Yorkers who couldn’t afford to pay for medical care —mostly uninsured children under age 18, pregnant women, disabled adults and seniors.
As New York is expanding Medicaid eligibility threshold, Medicaid will now cover most New Yorkers age 19-65 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
New York is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as NY State of Health — through which you can apply for Medicaid, CHPlus or other private health insurance.


If you’re looking for health coverage for your children, New York State has a health insurance plan for kids, called Child Health Plus or CHPlus.
Under the ACA, CHPlus covers uninsured children from families with incomes up to 405% of the federal poverty level or about $80,150 annually for a single mother of two.
Starting January 1, 2014, you must apply for Child Health Plus coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace. For assistance, please call 1-800-4543.


The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is a special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children up to the age of five. All applicants must be income eligible and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”.
It provides nutritious foods along with nutrition education, breastfeeding support and information on where to apply for free or low-cost health care or other needed services in the community.
Participants in an adjunct program — Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), TANF, Head Start, Early Head Start are automatically eligible for the program.


CACFP provides nutritious meals and snacks to infants and children as a regular part of their day care. It aims to improve the quality of nutrition offered at a critical time in young children’s development.
The majority of CACFP participants are preschool-aged children up to 12 years of age. Eligibility is based either on the poverty status of the area or on the family income of the enrolled children.
If you have questions about the Child and Adult Care Food Program, contact the New York State Department of Health at 1-800-942-3858.


The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) provides free or low cost child care to eligible families living in New York City. Fees for child care services, if any, are based on a sliding scale.
Eligibility is based on family’s income and reasons for needing child care. In general, families with incomes below 200% of the State Income Standard (SIS) or about $39,580 for a family of three may qualify for assistance.
If you’re interested in subsidized child care, you should apply by contacting ACS-funded programs in your area. Go to 311 Online to search for ACS-funded child care programs near you.


There are free pre-K programs in NY public schools that are approved by the New York City Department of Education but provided by community organizations. These programs usually last 2½ to 6 hours of a school day.
To enroll in the program, contact public schools directly to inquire about admissions or to get on their waitlists. The full list of public schools offering pre-K programs can be found in the Pre-Kindergarten Directory.


Section 8 helps lower income families in NYC obtain a decent place to live in at a rent they can afford. Eligible families are issued a housing voucher to search for a unit in neighborhoods of their choice.
The program works as a rent subsidy allowing families to pay a reasonable share of their income for rent with NYCHA making up the difference up to a specific limit.

NYCHA is currently not accepting applications. When NYCHA begins accepting applications, there will be a public notice and you may apply based on that notice’s requirement.


Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks.
As a condition of eligibility, you are required to actively seek suitable employment during each week in which you are claiming benefits.
If you’re filing for the first time, sign in with your NY.GOV ID and follow the instructions to file a claim. If you wish to file over the phone, call 1-888-209-8124 (NYS residents) or 1-877-358-5306 (Out-of-State residents).


The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a need-based grant that helps eligible New York students pay tuition at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State (NYS). Depending on the academic year in which you apply, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,000.
To be eligible for TAP, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list a New York State school or college on the form. The TAP application deadline is June 30 of the academic year for which aid is sought.


Government Assistance Programs – This article goes over all of the housing help available for single moms including income-based housing, Section 8 housing, The Operation Hope Home Buyers Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, and USDA Rural Development Housing Assistance.
Private Assistance Help – Everyone does not qualify for government assistance which is where private assistance comes in. This post covers several programs and ways to get private housing assistance including CoAbode Single Mother’s Housing Share, Private Transitional Housing, and charities and organizations.
Home Buyer’s Programs for Single Mothers – If you’re looking to purchase a home but need some help here are some fantastic resources on home buyer’s programs including FHA Insurance Loans, Individual Development Accounts, Habitat for Humanity Housing Solutions, USDA Loans, and Hud Homes.


There may be some local grants and programs available to you to obtain help purchasing a car. One of my old friends was able to get a $2,000 voucher toward a car if she attended college (which, she did.) Contact your local social services office to see what programs are available in your area. That one phone call could get you a free car!
Your second option is to apply to charities that grant single moms cars. Some of the charities will provide the cars based on need while others will use a voting system. There’s usually a long wait list in these programs so the sooner you enter your information into the database the better.


If you’re going back to school there are also many resources available that you should utilize. Here are links to some resources you need to check out.
Scholarships for Single Moms – This post has all the legit scholarships for single mothers that I could find. I also add to this list every time a company contacts me with a new scholarship opportunity. When applying for scholarships you should also search for degree specific scholarships which you can do at a place like FastWeb.com. And remember, the more unique the scholarships opportunity is the less competition there will be!
College Grants – This post has a list of grants you can apply for to go back to college. Remember, one of the most important things you can do is fill out the FAFSA each and every year.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs – If you’ve already got your degree and have amassed a pile of student loans you might be able to get student loan forgiveness! These programs are for high demand government jobs (like teaching, for instance) in certain areas. The link above will give you a guide to student loan forgiveness by state.

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