It's no secret that life is significantly more difficult if you are a single parent. For starter, balancing the responsibilities of raising a child with the stress of making ends meet can be a huge challenge.
A 2019 study estimates the number of children living in a single-parent family in U.S. at about 24 million, or 34%. To help address the problem, many organizations and government agencies are devoting huge amount of resources to offer assistance to these families.
And while the majority of children in single-parent families -- about 15 million according to the the same study -- live in mother-only households, around 3 to 4 million live in father-only households. If you are a single father who is seeking resource assistance or financial support to help raise your children, you have come to the right place. This blog post will cover some of grants available to single fathers, including who are eligible for them and how to enroll.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Consistent access to nutritious food is the key to a long and healthy life, for both children and adults. But many low income families may lack the financial resources to support a well-rounded diet, which can lead to many negative health effects. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was designed to ensure that most Americans have access to healthy foods. One report estimates that as many as 34 million Americans, including 9 million children, are food insecure, with 53 million now turning to food programs such as SNAP.
SNAP works by offering electronic vouchers for the purchase of food at grocery stores and farmer's markets. It is is an incredibly helpful resource that is available for those who are concerned that they're not getting enough food due to their financial limitations.
Eligibility for SNAP is determined by your gross income, monthly income, and assets but they vary depending on which state you live in. You can apply for SNAP benefits and submit certain required documents directly online, at your local SNAP office, or HRA and SNAP centers.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) differs from SNAP in that you can get access to food without electronic vouchers or other forms of payment. Each state, upon receiving the food from the federal government, provides the food to pre-selected local agencies, usually food banks, which in turn distribute the food to local organizations.
With TEFAP, you can collect food from your local community kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public at no cost. The eligibility requirements are similar to those of SNAP, but you would need to contact your state distributing agency to start the application process.
National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program is another federal program that provides over 30 million children with free or low-cost healthy meals and snacks while at school. While not directly financing you as the father, the school lunch program is designed to alleviate a huge burden by covering most of your children's diet.
By enrolling in this program, you can have peace of mind in knowing that no-matter your financial situation, your children will be getting access to plenty of nutritious food throughout the day.
You can join this program by submitting an application directly to your children school or district, which you can do at any time during the academic year.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a time-limited program made to replace what was previously known as Welfare. The purpose of TANF is to help low-income families and single parents provide basic necessities for their children. The time limit for TANF is 60 months (or 5 years), but families may not have to stop receiving support at the end of this period.
TANF provides financial assistance for food, clothing, housing, or other needs. It is available to those who are unemployed or have a household income of up to $2,226 for 1 person, $3,052 for a family of 2, and $3,839 for a family of 3. You must be a resident of the state in which you are applying for and a US citizen, legal permanent resident, or legally qualified immigrant to apply.
The TANF application can be done online, by phone, or at your local Community Services Office, and is a relatively seamless process.
HUD rental assistance program
Rising housing cost is one of the most pressing concerns in the United States, with 49% of the population seeing it as a major issue in their area. To help address this problem, many different types of housing assistance programs and housing grants are available in the country to help those in need.
HUD rental assistance is a housing program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides financial assistance to help eligible low-income families, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities access affordable, safe and decent housing. The program provides rental subsidies to private landlords on behalf of eligible tenants, who then pay a portion of their income towards rent.
Section 8 Housing Vouchers
Another part of the HUD rental assistance program available to single fathers is Section 8 Housing Vouchers, which pays a monthly grant towards your housing cost.
With this program, money is delivered directly to your landlord, which makes for an easy and stress-free process all together. The only issue is that certain rules may apply depending on your state, and that not all landlords accept this type of program. It's best to speak with your current landlord or the landlord of the home you are interested in before moving forward.
Nevertheless, this program can be a useful resource if you are are looking for financial assistance with your housing expense and and that you meet the income criteria.
You can apply by contacting your local public housing authority or HUD office. You will need to fill out a written application, so it's good to prepare any documents you may need and check online to find out exactly what you should bring.
Childcare Assistance Program
Childcare assistance can be a crucial step toward an easier life as a single parent. It can help remove a lot of the stress that comes with raising a child on your own. Unlike other government programs, the Childcare Assistance Program is specifically made for families and single parents, making it more likely to have a direct impact on your life as a single father.
Qualifying for the Childcare Assistance Program is based on both income and family size. Today, more households qualify for childcare assistance than ever, including many middle income households. With the monthly income limit at $6,103.33 for a family of 2, $7,676.67 for a family of 3, and 9,250.00 for a family of 4, you might be surprised how many families can qualify for this program.
You can find more information around the eligibility criteria on the website specific to your state as it may vary slightly. But a good first step to enrolling in the Childcare Assistance Program would be to identify your childcare provider such as a home, center, or daycare. Note that there are some non-profit childcare organizations that provide free child care and would not require any sort of subsidies.
Scholarships for Single Parents
Plenty of scholarships are available for single dads and moms and you can find them through a variety of search platforms. Through them, you will be able to find many government and nonprofit organizations that not only provides financial aid, but also assists with academic support, and career development resources to low-income single parents in the U.S,
These scholarships offer financial assistance to single parents who are pursuing higher education, including technical and vocational training, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees. They can be used to cover tuition, books, and other educational expenses. In addition to financial support, some may even provide academic advising, career counseling, and job placement services to help single parents achieve their educational and career goals.
An easy way to begin your search through the following sites:
These sites have databases of various scholarships and grants available to single dads. The search process is user-friendly and allows you to narrow down your results by criteria such as grade level, area of study, or institution. Once you’ve found the scholarships that best match your needs, you can begin to read up on the application requirements and instructions.
You can refer to our other blog post for more information about scholarships for single dads.
While Medicaid is not exclusively for single-parent families, it's an important government assistance program to be a part of. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program established in 1965 under the Social Security Act, and it currently covers more than 84 million Americans. The program provides medical coverage for people with limited income and resources all over the country.
Medicaid provides a wide range of health care services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and long-term care. The program also covers preventive care, such as vaccinations and screenings, and can help cover the costs of some medical equipment and supplies.
Every state's Medicaid program may slightly vary, but in general you must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, meet the income criteria as well as some other specific requirements.
You can apply for Medicaid online, by mail, or in person at your local Medicaid office. You can find the application form and instructions on the Medicaid website for your state.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Now, WIFI and cell service may not be considered "essential." But let's face it, the internet has become a crucial part of modern life and an important way to stay connected to the outside world. Whether you use it for work, to stay in touch with friends and family, or as a source of learning and entertainment for your child, we believe every household should have a reliable connection.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was designed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with the aim of providing affordable and reliable internet and phone access to low-income individuals and families.
To be eligible for the ACP, you must have an income that is at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), be participating in certain assistance programs, or be participating in tribal specific programs. Some of these programs include SNAP, Medicaid, Veteran and Survivors Pension Benefit, National School Lunch Program, Pell Grants, WIC, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation, and other tribal programs.
How About Getting FREE UNLIMITED DATA For Yourself?
And think about this: if you want to be more efficient in keeping track of and applying for all these single-father benefits that we mentioned above, you need to stay connected to the internet.
The good news is that with ACP, you may be eligible for free phone service and data plans through EASY Wireless.
The application process is simple and can be completed online or by mail. By providing free cell phone service, the ACP seeks to help low-income individuals stay connected with family, friends, potential employers, and vital resources that can improve their quality of life.
When you qualify for this program you can receive:
EASY Wireless Free Unlimited Plan
- FREE UNLIMITED Data & Hotspot
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
- FREE SIM Card & Activation
EASY Wireless offering free monthly cell phone service with unlimited data to eligible customers. It only takes a few minutes to see if you qualify for this free government service. Learn more at EASY Wireless.
All in all, there are several programs available for single fathers that can help alleviate financial burdens and provide support during challenging times.
These programs aim to assist with various expenses, such as housing, education, child care, and medical bills, among others. While the application process for some of these grants can be difficult to navigate, it's important to explore all available options and take advantage of the resources available.