As a single mom, you probably feel stressed trying to balance responsibilities of parenting and financial obligations every day. Sometimes, you may find it difficult to meet even basic needs in daily lives, such as food, healthcare, childcare and housing.
Luckily, if you are living in Oklahoma, you don't need to solve all these issues alone. There are a diverse range of assistance programs available statewide to provide direct or indirect financial assistance to help you access affordable and quality childcare services. Some can even support you to pursue career or education opportunities.
No matter you're looking for assistance as a single mom yourself or on be half of a friend, you've come to the right place. In this blog, we will provide more details about the available assistance for single parents in Oklahoma.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a federal program that provides cash assistance for low income households and individuals to purchase nutritious foods. The program's basic eligibility requirements include identity (U.S. citizen or legal alien), work requirements and income limits.
Like others, single parents enrolled in the program will receive SNAP benefits with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. These cards work the same way as debit cards. You can use them to purchase eligible food, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products in authorized locations for yourself and your children
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC provides food and breastfeeding support for pregnant women or those who have recently given birth. The program not only offers supplemental food packages, but also provides nutrition education classes and free consultation sessions with registered dietitian to lower your nutritional risk.
To qualify for the program in Oklahoma, you must live in the state and meet the family income limits. If you are a recipient of Medicaid, SNAP or TANF, you will be automatically eligible for WIC.
Affordable health care plays a vital role in supporting the healthy growth of young children. In Oklahoma, single moms with limited income can apply for health insurance for themselves and children through Medicaid program, which covers basic health support, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and more.
Oklahoma Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Low income single moms in Oklahoma can also receive TANF benefits. The program provides temporary financial aid for basic needs, employment related services and child care support for qualified families.
To be eligible, you must be residing in the state legally and are responsible for a minor child living with you. You will also need to meet specific income standards, and agree to cooperate with Child Support Services and a personalized TANF Work Plan.
Oklahoma Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Oklahoma’s EITC is a tax credit aims to benefit low- and moderate-income families and individuals, including single moms. To qualify, you must have worked and earned income under $63,398, and have investment income below $11,000 in the tax year 2023, among other eligibility requirements.
You can claim the credit to offset any taxes you owe and use the credit to claim cash refund if you meet all the requirements. And the best part is that you can not only claim EITC for the current tax year, but also prior years if you were eligible.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
A comfortable living environment is important for children, however, utility bills can sometimes be a heavy burden, particularly in summer or winter times. If your household income is at or lower than 130% of federal poverty level and meet other eligibility requirements, you can receive financial support for your home energy bills through LIHEAP.
If you would like to apply for utility assistance this summer, it's important to note that the enrollment is expected to open on June 18, 2024. Pay close attention to the official announcement on the webpage of OKDHSLive to stay updated and informed.
Child Care Subsidy
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services offers subsidies for quality child care services for parents who are working, attending school, or participating in job training.
The program primarily targets low-income families with children aged 13 or younger and pays part of the child care costs directly to service providers. The amount is determined based on a combination of factors such as family size, income, and the number of children in care. Families with lower incomes typically receive a higher level of assistance.
Housing Choice Vouchers Program
The government can help cover a portion of your rent and utilities if your income falls below 50% of the median income in your area.
To apply for such affordable housing, you need to provide information about your income, family size, expenses, and current living situation. The easiest way to apply is to visit your local Public Housing Authority (PHA). You may also apply online or by mail if you have a clear understanding of the requirements and have everything prepared in advance.
Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance provides temporary income for unemployed Oklahomans that lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, including single moms.
To receive unemployment benefits, you need to prove that you earned a minimum of $1,500 from a covered employer before losing your job, and you must be able and available to work. Self-employed, contract, or gig workers are not eligible for the benefit.
The amount you can receive is based on wages earned during the base period, which is the first four of the previous five completed calendar quarters (appx. first 12 of the last 15 months).
In addition to government-led programs, charity organizations offer various forms of assistance for single moms in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Single Parent Scholarship Program (OSPS)
The OSPS aims to help low-income single parents finish post-secondary education without worrying about the education cost. You will be eligible to receive $1,200 each semester as a selected scholar, which can be used to pay for tuition fee, textbooks, and other living costs such as utilities, transportation, and child care.
The scholarship is given out every fall and spring semester. You need to be the custodial parent of at least one child under 18, and a full-time student at a non-profit college or university. Applicants with Bachelor's degrees will not be considered. You may find more eligibility requirements and the application process on its website.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
Legal Aid Services is non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible low income residents of Oklahoma. They can offer legal advice on civil legal issue or help you better understand your legal rights.
If you participate in some of the government assistance programs mentioned above, you may qualify for two more federal-funded communications programs.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The ACP is a federal program that enables low income families to access affordable high-quality phone and internet connection. If your family income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or any family member participates in government assistance programs like SNAP or WIC, your family will be eligible families for the benefit.
The Lifeline Program
Similar as ACP, Lifeline provides discounted mobile service to low-income individuals and families. If your or your family income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or you participate in government assistance programs like SSI, SNAP and Medicaid, you will qualify for the program.
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If you qualify for the ACP or Lifeline, you can apply directly with providers such as EASY Wireless to qualify for their Unlimited Plan, including a FREE smartphone and more:
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Drop by one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for the benefits, or get started by applying online:
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