Financial Help for Single Mothers in Arkansas

The nature of basic needs is that they should be prioritized. For single mothers, this can be a daunting task that can not be addressed on their own.

With limited resources at their disposal, even the barest essentials are a struggle to afford.

The state of Arkansas offers various benefit programs for single mothers; each with its own set of eligibility guidelines.

The primary aim of these programs is to support their needs until they are able to stand on their own.

1Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA)

The TEA Program is a time-limited assistance program to help economically needy families with children under the age of 18 become more responsible for their own support. It aims to reduce dependence of needy parents on public assistance.

Benefits may include cash payments, childcare assistance, help with transportation, employment-related services, including job-readiness activities, and other supportive services.

For more information about Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance, call the state Department of Human Services at 1-800-482-8988.

2Arkansas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps lower income families buy the food they need for nutritionally adequate diet.

SNAP benefits are used in place of cash to buy food. If eligible, you will receive an EBT Card, which allows SNAP benefits to be issued and accessed electronically.

3Arkansas Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals to health care, at no cost, to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5.

In Arkansas, participants receive food checks and Cash Value Benefit (CVBs) checks which can be used at WIC-authorized grocery stores.

To be eligible, applicants’ income must fall at or below 185% of the poverty level. And those who receive Medicaid, ARKids, TEA or SNAP are automatically eligible.

4Arkansas Medicaid

As Arkansas is expanding Medicaid coverage, nearly all uninsured Arkansans age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) may gain coverage under the ACA.

Online enrollment is now available through ACCESS Arkansas — where uninsured Arkansas can apply for Medicaid, ARKids First! and other State’s benefit programs.

Beginning 2015, nearly all Arkansas enrollees earning between 50% and 138% of the poverty level would have to participate through monthly contributions of between $5 and $25 to their Health Independence Accounts (HIA) — capped at 5% of their income.

In exchange, the state will contribute a “matching” $15 monthly deposit to enrollees’ HIAs. Those who don’t may have to pay more of the cost of their medical services, and in some cases may be refused services.1

5Arkansas ARKids First!

ARKids First provides health insurance coverage for more than 70,000 Arkansas children who otherwise might have gone without. ARKids First has expanded and will now offer two coverage options — ARKids First-A and ARKids First-B.

ARKids First-A is Medicaid for children. ARKids First-B is for children under age 19 whose families who earn too much money to qualify regular Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage.

Under the ACA, children in Arkansas with family incomes up to 216% of the poverty level — about $42,700 for a single mother of two, are eligible for ARKids First! or Medicaid.

6Arkansas Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

Arkansas CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.

As a condition of eligibility, you will need to meet the work requirements — at least 30 hour per week, and have a child under the age of 13. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.

In order to apply for assistance, contact one of the Program Eligibility Specialists in your county at 1-800-322-8176 and request an application.

7Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides one-time per year financial assistance to eligible households to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings.

Eligibility is based on income and benefit amounts are determined by the household’s historical energy usage. Households with the elderly, disabled or a young child under age 5 are given priority consideration.

8Arkansas Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 25 weeks.

If you meet the eligibility requirements of the law, you’re entitled to supplemental income while you are looking for a new job, up to a maximum of $274 per week.2

You may file your initial claim using EZARC (Easy Arkansas Claims) or ArkNet for your weekly claims. And if you wish to file over the phone, please call ArkLine at 1-501-907-2590.

9Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant (GO! Grant)

GO! Grant provides $1000 grants to full-time and $500 grants to part-time students based on financial need. Students must be an Arkansas resident for at least 12 months prior to applying for the grant.

Eligibility is based on the family’s adjusted gross income as reported on the FAFSA. For more information, contact the ADHE financial aid division at 1-800-54STUDY or 501-371-2050.

  1. NPR, States Experiment With Health Savings Accounts For Medicaid []
  2. Bloomberg Businessweek – Unemployment Rates and Benefits, State by State []