Financial Help for Single Mothers in Georgia

In times of recession, single mothers have a much harder time than do married couples.

These women needs far more support and attention than the others — financially as well as emotionally.

The state of Georgia offers a number of support and aid programs to single mothers and their kids.

These programs cover different facets of life and challenges that they deal with on a daily basis and are geared towards helping them achieve self-sufficiency.

1Georgia Food Stamps

The Food Stamp program provides monthly benefits to low-income families to help pay for the cost of food. Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits but the program is designed to help those who need food assistance most.

Benefits are issued using an electric benefit transfer (EBT) card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is used to purchase food in EBT-authorized stores.

You may apply for food stamps online with Georgia COMPASS or call (404) 206-5300 to have an application mailed to you. After your application is filed, an interview will be arranged by a staff person from DFCS to determine your family’s eligibility.

2Georgia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Georgia TANF is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18. The program goal is to provide necessary assistance to needy families with children on a temporary basis.

In Georgia, receipt of cash assistance is limited to 48 months in a lifetime. Recipients are also required to participate in a work program for at least 30 hours weekly.

3Georgia Special Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC)

WIC helps low-income families with checks or vouchers to buy healthy supplemental foods from WIC-authorized vendors, nutrition education, and help finding healthcare and other community services.

Georgia WIC serves women, infants, and children in Georgia whose income is at or below 185 percent of the federally poverty level; and who are at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

4Georgia Medicaid

Georgia Medicaid is a health insurance program that helps eligible Georgians who can’t afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. It covers families with children, pregnant women, and people who are aging, blind and disabled.

As Georgia is not expanding Medicaid coverage, eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 40% of poverty, or about $7,900 a year for a single mother of two.

However, if your income is less than 400% FPL, you may still be able to get financial assistance to pay for coverage in the marketplace.

5Georgia PeachCare for Kids®

PeachCare for Kids® provides comprehensive health care to uninsured children through the age of 18 who do not qualify for Medicaid and live in households with incomes no more than 252% of the federal poverty level.

There is no cost to families for children under age 6. Starting at age 6, premiums are $10 to $35 per child and a maximum of $70 for two or more children living in the same household.

If you have any questions about Georgia PeachCare for Kids®, please call toll-free at 1-877-GA-PEACH (427-3224).

6Georgia Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS)

Subsidized child care in Georgia is provided through the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program to help low income families afford quality child care. The CAPS program is administered in all 159 Georgia counties through the county Department of Family and Children Services.

Families that qualify for the CAPS program can choose their own child care provider. The CAPS program will reimburse child care providers up to a certain amount.

Georgians are now able to check their potential eligibility and apply for child care online with Georgia COMPASS — the only authorized website to apply for public assistance benefits in Georgia.

7Georgia Special Milk Program

The Special Milk Program is available to children of all schools or nonprofit child care institutions and students attending a split-session kindergarten who do not participate in other child nutrition programs.

Any child from a family that meets income guidelines may buy milk or receive it free, depending on the school’s choice of program options.

To apply for this program, contact your child’s school or child care institution directly to find out if it participates in the Special Milk Program.

8Georgia Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed Georgians through no fault of their own — up to a total of 18 weeks. This makes Georgia the state with the shortest duration for UI benefits in the nation, behind Florida.1

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work each week that you file a weekly claim for benefits.

Claims for weekly benefits may be filed online (a PIN is required) or at any Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) Career Center.

9Georgia HOPE Grant Program

Georgia’s HOPE Grant is available to all students from Georgia who have demonstrated academic achievement and are working towards a Certificate or Diploma at Georgia’s public postsecondary institutions.2

The amount awarded to each student may vary depending on the institution and the no. of credit hours in which a student is enrolled — but is capped at 63 semester or 95 quarter hours.3

In order to consider for HOPE Grant, you can either complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) OR complete the GSFAPPS electronic application.

10Georgia HOPE GED Grant

Another grant within HOPE called Georgia HOPE GED Grant is available to students who earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma.

Recipients receive a one-time award of $500 toward that can be used towards tuition, books, or other educational costs at an eligible public technical college or public or private college or university.

  1. The duration of new unemployment benefits for claims filed after 7/1/2014 is 15 weeks. []
  2. The HOPE Scholarship is for eligible students seeking a degree program. []
  3. To determine the HOPE Grant award amount you may receive, please review the attached chart here. []