Help for single mothers in the State of Montana.

Surviving in the State of Montana as a single mom needs courage because it is a real challenge. Everything is on your shoulders from the basic needs of your kids to your needs. Kids look forward to receiving human basic needs such as clothing, food, education, shelter, health care, child care and many more. Can you afford all these needs with your low-income? It is quite impossible, isn’t?

A single mother is faced with all the basic needs that she has to provide to her kids. In recognition of the battles a single mother goes through, the State of Montana has established a wide variety of programs in this regard aimed at helping these mothers financially. Assistance is given in, among others, health care, child care, food, cash, housing and energy. The criteria used are low-income and some non-financial factors.

Health care assistance for single moms in Montana
Who can survive without quality healthcare? There is absolutely no one. Health care is vital in the State of Montana but though inaccessible to single moms because of their low-income. Fortunately, the State has stepped in to help out.

The State of Montana has several programs that are primarily designed to help single mothers with their financial battles. Medicaid and HMK (Healthy Montana Kids) are among the programs. Medicaid provides cover to parents with kids below the age of 19, children, pregnant women, elderly, visually impaired, disabled and women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer or breast cancer.

Medicaid cover is subdivided into Full Medicaid and Basic Medicaid. In a Full Medicaid division, almost all necessary services are offered whereas some services are excluded in Basic Medicaid division. There are eligibility rules applied in both the programs. The rules include non-financial requirements and financial requirements.

On the other side, HMK gives cover to uninsured kids below the age of 19 years. They must be of the low-income single moms. The services offered in this are numerous indeed including doctor consultation, hospital visits, dental care, vision care and many more. However, the households of these kids have to meet income guidelines to be approved in the program. Below is the table showing the income limits for the HMK program.

Household size Annual Gross Income
2 $38775
3 $48875
4 $58875
5 $68925
6 $78975
7 $89025
8 $99075

Fig.1. Income limits for HMK program

Source: http://www.hmk.mt.gov/abouthmk.shtml.

Child care assistance for single moms in Montana
Child care is important to single mothers so that they work towards being self-sufficient or advance their careers fulltime at school. Child care costs in the State of Montana are affordable for single moms considering their low-income coupled with many household expenses they are tied with.

The State has the program named Best Beginnings Child Care scholarship that helps with child care payments for low-income households. Some single moms may be expected to contribute co-pay based on their income. Those receiving the benefits of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Students) are automatically eligible for the scholarship. The mother has to choose any child care provider of her own. It must be licensed or certified or registered. It must also meet the standards of Early Childhood Services Bureau.

Housing assistance for single mothers in Montana
Shelter is among the basic human needs that a single mother and her kids need. To have a descent and a safe housing unit is not easy given the costs of housing which, even worse, constantly increase. A single will battle to occupy any unit.

In respond to this need, the State of Montana has a Section 8 Housing Voucher assistance that is awarded to low-income households to rent a housing unit. The unit can be any of the interest of the applicant; however, it must meet the standards. The applicant will be bound to paying only 30% of her monthly income adjusted. Please note that demand is high for these houses and it is therefore normal to be put on a waiting list. If you are homeless then you might receive preference and your name may be moved to top.

Food assistance for single mothers in Montana
The lack of nutritious foods in Montana could subject the single mother and her kids to malnutrition-associated diseases. The State of Montana, therefore, endeavors to fill this gap by providing nutrition assistance through a number of programs. These programs include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) formerly known as food stamps, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Farmer’s Market.

SNAP offers benefits to families with kids less than the age of 22 years, the elderly, disabled, and visually impaired. Employment and Training services are offered coupled with food stamps. These services are applicable to people with age range between 16 years and 59 years old. They are obliged to participate in these services unless exempted to work.

Non-financial and financial requirements are important in determining eligibility into this program. Income guidelines are listed below.

Household size Gross Monthly Income limits
1 $1211
2 $1640
3 $2069
4 $2498
5 $2927
6 $3356
7 $3785
8 $4214

Fig.2. Income limits for SNAP program

Source: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/snap/index.shtml.

Farmer’s Market is a program that allows the holders of Electronic Benefits Transfer to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from a locally farmer. WIC, on the other hand, provides nutritious foods to pregnant women, infants and children below 5 years who are determined to be at nutritional risk. Income limits also apply for this program.

Cash assistance for single mothers in Montana
Cash allowance is offered through TANF program. The State has realized that single mothers do battle to provide their kids with some needs apart from nutritious foods. Example goes to the provision of clothes. However, to receive the benefits of TANF, one has to participate in work activities offered by the program where employment training skills and job training services, to mention a few, will be dealt with.

The program lasts for only 60 months. It is offered to minor kids living fulltime with their single mom, pregnant women in their last weeks of pregnancy and refugees who have dependents born in Montana. Unfortunately, the recipients of Social Security Income are not eligible for TANF program. The single mom is also obliged to co-operate with the division of Child Support Enforcement to establish the whereabouts of the missing father.

Energy assistance
Energy assistance is offered to low-income single moms who cannot keep up with their winter Utility bills. The program offered in this regard is LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program). They are also helped with Weatherization costs ─heating improvement in the homes so as to minimize consumption of energy.

All these programs are granted on the basis of financial neediness. For Weatherization, the mom’s income may not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and for Energy assistance it may not exceed 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. The recipients of SSI and TANF qualify automatically for these programs.

Single moms are given every help they need in nurturing their kids. The State of Montana has a wide variety of assistance programs that are exclusively launched to help the low-income families.

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