In a state where “we live and die by oil”, Alaska is officially in recession due to plummeting oil prices hitting the state hard.
Among the hardest-hit is single parent families who are already struggling to make ends meet — even during the best of times.
There is still, however, a plethora of programs in place to help low-income single mothers in Alaska get through difficult times.
These forms of assistance provide help with food and nutrition, housing, daycare as well as medical care.
The Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP) provides temporary cash assistance and work-readiness services to low-income families with children to help them with basic needs.
The focus of ATAP is self sufficiency so ATAP participants are required to immediately seek paid employment opportunities or participate in work related activities for a specified number of hours per week.
Alaska’s Adult Public Assistance (APA) program, on the other hand, provides cash assistance to needy aged, blind, and disabled Alaskans with income and resources within APA eligibility threshold.
The Alaska Food Stamp Program is a 100% federally funded program that provides food assistance to very low income people and families in Alaska.
Eligible applicants must pass income and assets tests. The gross monthly income test is based on 130% of the current Alaska’s poverty standard — about $33,000 a year for a single mother of two.1
Once accepted into the program, you will receive an Alaska Quest Card which can be used instead of cash to purchase food items at grocery stores and supermarkets.
General Relief Assistance (GRA) is a safety net program designed to meet basic needs of Alaskans in emergency situations such as shelter, utilities, food, and clothing.
Eligibility & relief amount will be determined by the department on a case-to-case basis. However, the amount of assistance for subsistence is limited to a maximum of $120 for each household member.
Medicaid is a health insurance program for specified low-income target groups in Alaska. Potential recipients include children, pregnant women, the aged, blind, and/or disabled, as well as women with breast or cervical cancer.
Eligibility is determined based on income, resources, residency status, and other requirements. The state’s Medicaid covers up to 142% of the poverty level, or about $36,200 a year for a single mother of two. Pregnant women with family income of up to 200% of FPL are eligible.
Apply for Medicaid online at MyAlaska — you’ll need to create an account if you don’t already have one. Alternatively, you may enroll through Healthcare.gov.
Denali KidCare is a low-cost health insurance program for Alaska’s uninsured children ages 18 and under whose families earn or own too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. 2
There is no premium charged for eligible children, teens and pregnant women. However, youth age 18 may be required to share a limited amount of the cost for some services.
Child care assistance in Alaska is known as “Parents Achieving Self Sufficiency” ( PASS ) and is divided into three categories: PASS I, PASS II, and PASS III.
The PASS I program provides child care assistance for families receiving benefits under the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program. Unlike the other two, PASS I does not require you to contribute toward your child care costs.
PASS II is for those who are transitioning from the Alaska TAP and PASS III is for families who are not eligible for, or who have never received, PASS I or PASS II.
If you are already receiving ATAP benefits, contact your case manager or DPA case worker for more information on how to apply for PASS I child care assistance.
Alaska Heating Assistance (HAP) Program assists eligible low-income Alaskans in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling by making direct payments to their gas or electric utility companies. The program runs from October 1 through April 30.
To qualify for for heating assistance this winter through the HAP Program, if your income must be less than 225% of the federal poverty income guidelines for Alaska.
Priority is given those who may be elderly, disabled, have families with children, and/or have the highest energy consumption.
Alaska’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program is designed to provide temporary benefit payments to eligible Alaskans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and who are ready, willing, and able to work.
The unemployment insurance benefits are based on the amount of wages earned during the covered period. In Alaska, the benefits range from $56 – $370 per week, claimable up to a total of 26 weeks.
For the fastest filing method, go to my.ALASKA.gov and click on “Unemployment Insurance Benefits” to initiate a claim or if you wish to file over the phone, contact the number listed below for your area.
Anchorage UI Claim Center
Juneau UI Claim Center
Fairbanks UI Claim Center
Alaska Education Grant (AEG) provides need-based financial assistance to eligible Alaska students attending qualifying postsecondary institutions in Alaska.
Grant awards typically range from $500 to $2,000 per academic year for students who have qualifying unmet financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
The availability of funds is limited, so eligible students with the highest financial need will be awarded in order of need until funds are exhausted.
The Alaska Performance Scholarship provides an opportunity for Alaska high school students to earn a scholarship to help cover the cost of postsecondary education in Alaska. Alaska’s hardest-working students can earn up to $4,755 a year.
To qualify for APS, students must take a specific, rigorous high school curriculum, earn a minimum 2.5 GPA, and do well on a college or career-readiness exam.
Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) is a taxable, yearly dividend, financed indirectly from oil revenues, paid by the state government to every Alaska residents including all men, women, and children.
The dividend payout for 2016 is $1,022.00, less than half of 2015’s historically high $2,072 dividend, which comes to about $3060 for a family of three.
The application period is January 1 through March 31 of the year for which you are applying. Applications filed after March 31 will be denied by law as late applications.
- As of 2017, 100% of the federal poverty level for a family of three is equal to $25,520 in Alaska
- Pregnant women who meet income guidelines are also eligible for Denali KidCare
- Child Care Assistance Offices