As the 13th largest state, Idaho offers an interesting combination of both the city and rural life. Regardless of where the person lives, being a single mother is no walk in the park.
With limited resources at her disposal, stretching a dollar on one income is financially harder these days.
To better their lives, and those of their children, the state of Idaho provides support for single mothers in more ways than one.
From food and cash assistance to child care and medical benefits, these programs aim to help them with basic needs while they work toward becoming self-sufficient.
Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI) provides monthly cash assistance and work preparation services for families with kids in Idaho. The aim is to provide necessary assistance to needy families with children on a temporary basis.
Eligible families receive a maximum of $309 per month for up to a lifetime limit of 24 months.1 The actual amounts are based on the family’s unique household circumstances, such as income and resources.
Application for TAFI can be done online via IdaLink — the official self-service portal for residents of Idaho to apply for public assistance from the comfort of their home.
The Aid for Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) Program, the other cash assistance under TANF, provides a certain amount of cash each month for individuals who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled — capped at $53 per person.
Idaho Food Stamp Program helped put food on the table for approximately 185,000 Idahoans in 2016 — the majority of which (77%) were in families with children.
SNAP benefits are available to families whose total income is equal to or below 130% of the poverty guideline. The average SNAP recipient receives about $115 per month or $408 for families with children.2
Eligible households will be issued an Idaho Quest Card which can be used instead of cash to purchase food items at one of the 1,100 authorized retail locations around the state.
Idaho Medicaid is a health care coverage for low-income Idahoans who might otherwise go without medical care for themselves and their children. Idaho Medicaid offers four different plans: basic, standard, enhanced, and coordinated.
It covers a broad range of people, including children under age 19, pregnant women, elderly people and single parents whose financial situation would be characterized as low income or very low income.
Idaho Health Plan provides comprehensive health care to uninsured children through the age of 18 whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage.
Coverage includes, but not limited to, well-child visits, doctor visits, prescriptions, immunizations, dental and vision care, hospitalization, among others.
In Idaho, children with family incomes up to 185% of poverty are eligible for Idaho Heath Plan. There may be a small monthly premium for coverage — $10 or $15, depending on income,4 for each child enrolled in CHIP.
To determine eligibility for CHIP, contact
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
WIC is a short-term intervention program designed to improve the health of nutritionally at-risk women, infants and children up to age 5. It does this by providing nutrition and health education, healthy food and other services to families who qualify.
Women, infants, and children in Idaho whose gross income falls below certain limits are eligible for WIC assistance. To be fully eligible, applicants must be determined by a health professional to be at nutritional risk.
Idaho is planning on implementing WIC EBT statewide. All state WIC programs must transition from paper vouchers to electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT) by 2020.
The Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) provides child care assistance to low-income, working families by paying for a portion of child care, and parents co-pay for the remaining cost.
Child care assistance is available to parents in Idaho who are income eligible and are working or going to college. Priority is given to families already receiving Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI).
The amount of assistance a family may receive from ICCP is based on income, the amount of hours the parents are working, in school, or participating in approved activities.
Call the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-877-456-1233 and ask for assistance on how to sign up for the ICCP program or visit IdahoSTARS.org to find approved, quality child care providers near you.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides eligible households in Idaho with a one-time benefit towards the utility used to provide heat during the winter.
Eligibility is based on income and benefit amounts are determined by the household’s historical energy usage. Households with the elderly (60 years of age & older), disabled or a young child under age 5 are given priority consideration.
Application for LIHEAP is available November 1 through March 31 each year, depending on funding availability. For additional details, call 1-800-326-4843.
8 Idaho Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
Services may include, but are not limited to, insulation of attics and walls, heating system repairs or replacement, installation of energy-efficient lighting and refrigerators, among others.
Idaho WAP serves low-income households whose household income is at or below 200% of the poverty line. Priority is given to the most vulnerable households — families with young children, elderly, and disabled.
To apply for weatherization assistance, contact the local Community Action Partnership Agency in your area for further information on program requirements and application procedures.
Unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to laid-off workers in Idaho, while they are looking for a new job — up to 21 weeks of benefits.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, claimants must be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work each week that they file a claim for benefits.
The current range for unemployment weekly benefits in Idaho runs from $72 per week to a maximum of $410 per week. Payment will be available about two and a half weeks after you submit your application for benefits.
You may file online at the IdahoWorks System. If you do not have Internet access or need help filing online, you may do so at your nearest local Idaho Department of Labor office.
The Idaho Legislature established the Opportunity Scholarship to assist low-income, talented students who are “at-risk” of failing to obtain a college education.
The awards range up to $3,500 a year for a maximum of four (4) years. Students can use the Opportunity Scholarship at any public Idaho institution and BYU-Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University, and College of Idaho.
Applicants for the opportunity scholarship are selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need as determined by FAFSA and their cumulative GPA.
For additional information, contact
Scholarships Program Manager
- Sadly, Idaho’s TANF cash assistance is disappearing for poor families. In 2015, for every 100 poor families with children in Idaho, only 7 received TANF.
- CBPP, State-by-State Fact Sheets, IDAHO
- What is the income limit for Medicaid in Idaho?
- $10 for families earning between 133% — 150% FPL; $15 for families earning between 150% — 185% FPL.