Financial Help for Single Mothers in Florida

Raising a child on your own is hard enough, let alone trying to support a family on one income. That’s the challenges single mothers face each day.

Through the state’s initiatives & funding from the Federal government, Florida reaches out to these women, helping them get their lives back on track.

If you are a single mother from the land of sunshine, given below are some of the help that you might be entitled to.

1Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The purpose of TANF program is to provide temporary financial help to eligible low-income families. It is designed to end dependence on government benefits by promoting training, job preparation and work.

If you’re eligible, you may receive monthly benefits but limited to a total of 60 months. You must also participate in work related activities for a specified number of hours per week.

For single parents with a child under age 6, the minimum average participation requirement in work activities is 20 hours per week.

2Florida Food Assistance Program

The Food Assistance Program helps improve the diets of low-income Floridians, regardless of age, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. The amount of benefits received is based on the household size and financial circumstances.

If you wish to apply for food assistance, call the Department of Children and Families (DCF) at 1-866-762-2237 or apply online at ACCESS Florida — the official portal for Floridians to apply for public assistance.

3Florida Medicaid

Florida Medicaid provides medical coverage for Florida residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. This mostly includes children from low-income families as well as pregnant women.

In Florida, Medicaid covers children under age 19 with family income below 138% of the federal poverty level; and pregnant women up to 196% of poverty level.

As Florida is not expanding Medicaid coverage, most low-income adults without children and some parents may not be eligible. However, you may still be able to get financial assistance to pay for coverage in the marketplace.

4Florida KidCare (SCHIP)

Florida KidCare offers affordable, low-cost health insurance for the uninsured children of Florida. the program covers children from birth through age 18.

No interview required, just fill out and mail the easy, one-page application. Many families pay $15 or $20 per month, but most families pay nothing at all.

In Florida, children with family incomes up to 215% of poverty or about $42,500 for a single mother of two are eligible for SCHIP.

5Florida School Readiness Program

Families in Florida who are trying to work or get training to work may be eligible for financial assistance through School Readiness Program. These services range from extended day to extended year, and school age care for children.

Depending on the family income, you will pay a fee for each child for whom you receive financial assistance. The co-payment is based on family income and family size and is paid directly to the child care provider.

To learn about eligibility criteria and find out more, contact your county’s early learning coalition. You can also call the Child Care Resource and Referral Network at 1-866-357-3239.

6Florida Head Start

Head Start is a national school readiness program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services for low-income pre school children ages 3 to 5.

For detailed information regarding enrollment, eligibility, and available services, please locate a Head Start program in your county.

7Florida School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are federally funded programs that assist schools and other agencies in providing nutritious meals at reasonable prices to children whose families meet income requirements.

If you are a SNAP recipient and qualify for reemployment compensation, your child automatically qualifies for free school meals.

8Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Florida’s LIHEAP assist eligible low-income Florida households in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling. Eligibility is determined by the local agency providing LIHEAP services in the county in which you live.

In Florida, LIHEAP assistance is not a monthly benefit. Depending on the availability of fund in your county, you may receive assistance up to three times a year – but not every month.

You must contact your local LIHEAP provider to find out if money is available, how to apply, and how to get an application. No web-based application available at this time.

9Florida Reemployment Assistance Program

Reemployment Assistance Program provides temporary wage replacement benefits to qualified individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own that meet Florida’s eligibility requirements.

In Florida, the duration of new unemployment benefits for claims filed in 2014 has been cut from 19 weeks to 16 weeks. The maximum weekly benefit amount remains at $275.

All claimants filing a new claim are required by law to register for work through Employ Florida Marketplace before claiming benefits. Unless otherwise exempt1, all reemployment assistance claims must be filed online.

10Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG)

This need-based grant provides approximately $3,000 per academic year, subject to state budget appropriations. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply.

It is recommended that the application be completed prior to May 15th, as these funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  1. Please review the Exemption Notice. Call 1-800-681-8102 for more information. []