Help for single mothers in the State of Maryland

Have you ever experienced how challenging it is to reside in the State of Maryland as a single mother? It is challenging in a sense that you have to provide numerous needs to your kids with a low-income. Imagine having to provide shelter, food, clothing, education, child care, health care and others. All these will be a heavy-load on your shoulders.

Fortunately the State of Maryland has helpful measures in place to rescue you. It offers assistance in health care, child care, food, cash, energy and housing, to mention a few. This form of assistance is available to low-income single mothers who cannot afford. However, there are some technical eligibility rules and financial requirements to be eligible.

Health care assistance for single mothers in Maryland
Health care services are a must-have for a single mom and her kids. Note the prevalence of dreadful diseases that need medical attention. Therefore, medical coverage is predominantly needed by single moms in the State of Maryland. But how can they afford that with their low-income?

Well, the State has initiatives of assistance programs in this regard to help these single mothers with their health care needs. There are various programs that are put to offer health care coverage to low-income families. These programs include Maryland Children’s Health Program, Maryland Medicaid and Women’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

Maryland Medicaid ─is health coverage to low-income families determined by income eligibility criteria. The range of medical services covered by this program is broad. In determining eligibility, the recipients of Temporary Cash Assistance and the recipients of Social Security Income are categorically eligible for this program. This program is suited for families with dependents of age 19 years or less and pregnant women are also catered for.

Maryland Children’s Health Program ─this program has two branches. The first branch covers children whose family income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and the other branch covers children whose household’s income exceeds 200% but less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. The later cover is distinguished by the name Maryland Children’s Health Program Premium. There is a premium payment on a monthly basis in this program. With the Maryland Children’s Health Program there is no premium paid. Both programs cover the uninsured children who were declared ineligible for Medicaid program. The age limit is 19. Pregnant women are also coverable provided their income is less than 250% of Federal Poverty Level.

Women’s Breast and Cervical Cancer ─the program is designed for women aged between 40 years and 64 years who are diagnosed with cervical and breast cancer. These women must be uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid. If otherwise insured, they may be eligible for this program if their insurance does not cover treatment of cancer. They will have to be screened via Breast and Cervical Cancer Program which has income limitations.

Child care assistance for single mothers in Maryland
Child care is needed to enable a single mother to study further or work on a fulltime basis. Nonetheless, child care is often a battle for these moms because their low-income simply cannot afford to pay the expenses.

The State of Maryland has a Child Care Subsidy (CCS) program to help pay for child care costs. The mom, therefore, has the responsibility to choose the child provider of her preference provided the provider is licensed to offer such services. Informal care can also be subsidized where a relative offers child care at home while the mom participate in approved work activities or school programs.

Housing assistance for single mothers in Maryland
Shelter is very important is a sense that no family can survive homelessly. Unfortunately not everyone, particularly single mothers, can afford to purchase a descent housing unit as a home.

The Department of Housing and Community Development of Maryland has various programs in an effort to help single mothers in paying their rents. There is Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program and Section 8 Housing Voucher Program. All these programs are needs-based. The State, in either case, pays up to 70% and the occupant pays at least 30% of her adjusted family income.

Food and cash assistance for single mothers in Maryland
The Department of Human Resources has seen the need of nutritious foods to single mothers who simply cannot afford to purchase with their low-income. The program offered is Food Supplemental Program, an alternative name for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Maryland, a forerunner of food stamps program.

Single moms are given monthly benefits in this program via an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card which can be used in any authorized store Statewide. Income limits are considered to receive the benefits of Food Supplement Program (FSP).

Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program is also provided to single moms to supplement their monthly income and help them have their human needs. The problem is time-restricted and thus single moms are urged to participate in work activities that help one meet self-sufficiency level prior to expiration date of the program. Instead of receiving monthly cash allowance, a household may decide to go for Welfare Avoidance Grant which is offered once. Moreover, the single mom has to co-operate with Child Support Enforcement to determine the whereabouts of the father and enforce child support.

The income of the applicant must not exceed 130% of the Federal Poverty level. Below are income limits: –

Household size TCA Max. Benefit FSP Income limit FSP Max. Benefit
1 $259 $1180 $200
2 $453 $1594 $367
3 $574 $2008 $526
4 $695 $2422 $668
5 $805 $2836 $793
6 $885 $3249 $838
7 $995 $3663 $952
8 $1095 $4077 $1202
9 $1182 $4490 $1352
10 $1278 $4904 $1502
Additional member Add $109 Add $1052 Add $557

Fig.1. Food Supplement Program Income limits and benefits. Temporary Cash Assistance Benefits.

Source: http://www.www.dhr.state.md.us/blog/wp-content/upload/2012/10/iag.pdf.

Energy assistance
Utility bills are also a battle for single mothers to pay. The State of Maryland has got an MEAP (Maryland Energy Assistance Program) which is designed to help the vulnerable. There are subprograms in this program. These include Electric Universal Service Program assistance which helps with current or overdue electric bills and Utility Service Protection Program which helps protect single mothers from energy cut-offs.

Education assistance
There are need-based grants and scholarships that can be applied to help further studies at no cost. These are available at institutions of choice because the State of Maryland has subsidized them.

The State of Maryland helps to relief the heavy load on the shoulders of single mothers. It offers a broad range of aids in a quest to create quality life for all. All programs are offered on the basis of financial neediness.

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