Delaware is a relatively high income state, however that also means that the cost of living is comparatively higher.
For single mothers working full-time on minimum wage, making ends meet is often a daily struggle.
As in any other states, single women with children in Delaware fare worst even in the best of times.
Delaware’s support programs take into account the struggles of low-income parents — especially single mothers.
TANF is Delaware’s main cash assistance program for lower income families with children under the age of 18. It provides temporary financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.
In Delaware, you cannot receive TANF checks for more than 36 months in your lifetime. As a condition of eligibility, you must work or participate in work related activities for 30 hours a week.
You must complete and submit an application to any local DSS office in person and be interviewed by a Social Worker to determine your eligibility.
Food Supplement Program enables low-income families in Delaware to buy a variety of food that is the basis for better nutrition. Benefits are issued electronically to the family’s Delaware Food First card each month.
The amount of benefits your household can get is based on the income, expenses and number of people in your household. The average monthly benefit amount per person in Delaware is $125 or $386 for a family of three.
Applications can be made via Delaware ASSIST — an online application for Delaware residents to screen and apply for the State’s public assistance programs.
Medicaid provides medical assistance to eligible low-income Delaware’s families — children, parents, pregnant women, whose income is insufficient to meet the cost of necessary medical services.
As Delaware is expanding Medicaid coverage, low-income uninsured adults between the ages of 19 and 65 who are previously ineligible may now gain coverage under the ACA.
Delaware will be operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as Choose Health Delaware — through which you can apply for Medicaid, DHCP or other health insurance.
The Delaware Healthy Children Program (DHCP) is targeted to uninsured children from birth to the age of 19 whose family income is at or below 212% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
DHCP provides high-quality health insurance with benefits including prescription drugs, routine checkups, immunizations, dental care, certain vision and hearing services, and mental health benefits.
To find out if your child may be eligible for DHCP medical coverage and complete an online application using ASSIST — the State of Delaware’s Application for Social Service Programs.
Delaware Child Care Subsidy Program provides childcare subsidy for income-eligible families who need help paying for child care. Priority will be given to families who are receiving Temporary Assistance (TANF).
Families that qualify for the subsidy program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care; while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.
To request an application or for more information contact
Delaware Opportunities Child Care Subsidy Program
35430 State Hwy. 10
Hamden, NY 13782
Head Start provides comprehensive child development services to Delaware’s children, with a special focus on helping preschoolers from three to school entry develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school.
To be eligible, families must have an annual income at or below federal poverty guidelines — that’s about $20,420 a year for a single mother of two. Families receiving TANF benefits are automatically eligible.
If you need more help to locate a Head Start program in your area, call the Head Start Collaboration Office at 302-739-4667.
Section 8 Program offers housing subsidies to eligible low-income Delawareans to rent housing units from participating landlords. Applicants who reside in Kent or Sussex County have priority on the waiting list.
Participants pay 30-35% of their income for rent & utilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes the balance of the rent.
As a condition of eligibility, participants, with the exception of the elderly and disabled, are required to enroll — or be enrolled, in the Moving to Work program.
8Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP)
Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) provides one-time assistance to income eligible households to help them meet their home energy needs. Income eligibility is defined as 200% of the federal poverty level.
DEAP, also known as LIHEAP, offers the following supports to eligible households:
- The Fuel Assistance Program
- The Energy Crisis Intervention Program
- The Summer Cooling Assistance Program
As DEAP is administered by Catholic Charities, Inc., applicants should call their local office to find out where and how to apply for assistance.
Households eligible for DEAP may also qualify for home weatherization improvements through the Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program, also administered by Catholic Charities, Inc. WAP operates year round with a waiting list.
Unemployment insurance benefits provide a partial wage replacement to workers who are out of work through no fault of their own that meet Delaware’s eligibility requirements.
It is intended to pay temporary benefits to eligible claimants during times of unemployment when suitable work is not available. In Delaware, the weekly benefit amount is between $20 to $330 payable up to a maximum of 26 weeks.
You can file your initial claim online or by telephone. A one week waiting period is now in effect for all new claims, during which benefits will not be paid.1
Unemployment Insurance Information Hotline
- New Castle County
- Kent & Sussex County
This grant is designed to help under-employed working adult 2 learn new skills that will increase their earning potential in present or future employment. The maximum grant for one academic year is $2,000 and is subject to available funding.
Dislocated, laid off, and underemployed workers may be eligible for a Delaware Workforce Investment Board Individual Training Account Grant of up to $4,000.
Despite the name, the Scholarship Incentive Program is a grant. ScIP is a need based grant of $1,000 awarded to Delaware students who demonstrate substantial financial need, as determined by FAFSA.
Students who would like to be considered for a ScIP must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before April 15th. Since it is a non-renewable grant, students must submit their FAFSA every year for consideration.
- How long does it take to get unemployment benefits in Delaware?
- You must be employed by a company in Delaware. Any part-time or temporary employment at a Delaware company qualifies.