Help for Single Mothers in Tennessee (TN)

To be a single mother in the State of Tennessee requires hard work because of numerous needs that one has to provide to her kids. Irrespective of the status of income, children require a better life full of basic needs such as food, child care, shelter, clothes, and health care and education. The single mother is therefore expected to provide all these out of her low-income. Fortunately there is a help from the State with health care, child care, education, housing, cash and food assistance.

Health care assistance for single mothers in Tennessee

The State of Tennessee has got various programs in place aimed at helping households with low-income to access quality healthcare. These programs include Medicaid and TennCare. Pregnant women, the elderly, the aged, the blind and disabled and children below the age of 19 are covered by Medicaid program. In addition, eligibility into Medicaid requires income and access limits.

TennCare helps to accommodate those deemed ineligible for Medicaid program but uninsured. Their income might be too high for approval into Medicaid. The program covers the children with maximum age of 19, parents residing with kids below 21 years of age, those living with disabilities and blindness and pregnant women. For more info, go to http://www.state.tn.us/tenncare.

Housing assistance for single mothers in Tennessee

Housing is quite expensive and a single mom cannot afford to pay with just a little income received. With the State of Tennessee, housing is made easy, safe and affordable. The State offers Rental Assistance Housing Choice Vouchers to help households with low-income to have descent housing. The Voucher allows the applicant to search for a housing unit for a period of 2 months. It will expire post this period and the next person on the waiting list will also be given a chance to use the Voucher you battled to use.

Eligibility rules apply with these Vouchers. The family income should range below 80 % of the median income of the area of preference. When accepting new applicants, the Department of Housing assures that the waiting list is made of a minimum of 75 % households who are extremely poor. These households’ income should not exceed 30 % of the median income for the preferred area. The recipient of the Voucher is expected to pay 30 % towards rental assistance.

Cash assistance for single mothers in Tennessee

A Family First program is initiated under TANF program. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is a federally established program designed to give a cash aid to low-income households among the States of the United States. In Tennessee, cash allowance is provided through Family First program to eligible candidates. However, because the program is lasting for 5 years only, the recipients are expected and encouraged to develop their skills, advance their careers while in this program so that they can learn how to be self-reliant and self-dependent after leaving the program. A Personal Responsibility Plan will be signed by each participant as a pledge that one will be responsible for his/her plans to quit the program. Income eligibility is used for entry and the program is meant for low-income households. Recipients need to be U.S citizens or Tennessee residents.

Child care assistance for single mothers in Tennessee

Single mothers who are working or attending school fulltime are offered child care help where the child care expenses are paid on their behalf. The eligible mom has to choose the licensed provider of her own and the Child Care Assistance Program offered by the State will help pay. Please note that the demand is high and you might be placed on a waiting list.

Income eligibility is the determining and qualifying factor for approval into the program. The size of the household is also taken into account when determining eligibility.

Food assistance for single mothers in Tennessee

Food stamps are issued to single mothers in Tennessee as an aid to buy groceries on a monthly basis. These food stamps are offered under the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) of the federal government. In the State of Tennessee, the program is under the administration of the Department of Human Services.

Upon approval, the benefits will be sent monthly via EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card and the card can be used in any authorized store. Recipients are determined on the basis of gross income, citizenship, household size and assets. Below are some income guidelines for eligibility into this program. The table is found at http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1344.

Household size Max income (Annual)
1 $14079
2 $18941
3 $23803
4 $28665
5 $33527
6 $38389
7 $43251
8 $48113
Additional member Add $4862

Fig.1. income guidelines for Food stamps

In the same platform of food assistance, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) also come into action to help the babies, pregnant women and the children below the age 5 years. The program offers nutritional information, breastfeeding information, and many more services. Vouchers are granted in this program and they can be found at any contracted store in Tennessee. The single mother must be at nutritional risk to be eligible for the program. Furthermore, income guidelines do apply as listed below from http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefits-details/2038.

Family size Annual Maximum Income
1 $20665
2 $27991
3 $35317
4 $42643
5 $49969
6 $57295
7 $64621
8 $71947
Additional member Add $7326

Fig.2. the income guidelines used for the WIC program.

Energy assistance

Single moms often struggle with home energy payments especially during winter when electricity is in high demand. There is a LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) program used to help pay for home energy bills to the service provider. A maximum payment of $325 is paid for cooling in summer season and a maximum amount of $250 for cooling and heating costs. To qualify for the aid you must meet income guidelines set out by the State. For more insight, go to http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1577 and http://www.state.tn.us/humanserv/adfam/liheap/liheap-agencies.pdf.

Education assistance

Student financial aid is offered by Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation to deserving and financially needy students. There is a wide variety of grants and scholarships in this regard to help any low-income student who demonstrates academic potential. For more on these grants, go to http://www.tn.gov/collegepays and http://www.tn.gov/tsac.

Given the above information regarding the help of single moms in the State of Tennessee, single mothers should now have a sigh of relief and feel relief off their shoulders. The State has come to their rescue with numerous needs they had to provide to their kids.

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