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.

1Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI)

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. The actual amounts are based on the family’s unique household circumstances, such as income and resources.

2Idaho Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program helps put food on the table for approximately 34,000 Idaho households and 85,000 individual Idahoans every day — helping them stretch their limited budgets, improve nutrition, and reduce the risk of diet-related health problems.

Eligible households will receive an Idaho Quest Card which can be used instead of cash to purchase food items at grocery stores and supermarkets.

3Idaho Medicaid

Idaho Medicaid is a health care coverage for low-income Idahoans who might otherwise go without medical care for themselves and their children.

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.

As Idaho is not expanding coverage, Medicaid eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 24% of poverty, or about $4,900 a year for a single mother of two.

4Idaho Health Plan (SCHIP)

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.

In Idaho, children with family incomes up to 185% of poverty, or about $37,700 for a single mother of two, are eligible for Idaho Heath Plan.

There may be a small monthly premium for SCHIP coverage — $10.00 or $15.00, depending on income,1 for each child who receives Health Plan coverage.

5Idaho Special Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

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.

6Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP)

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.

Eligibility is based on household income and family size. Priority is given to families already receiving Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI).

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.

7Idaho Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

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.

8Idaho Unemployment Insurance

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.

9Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

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

Joy Miller
Scholarships Program Manager

  1. $10 for families earning between 133% — 150% FPL; $15 for families earning between 150% — 185% FPL.