It’s not easy being a mom, but single moms have it tougher as they must bear the weight of parental responsibilities entirely on their own.
This dual role of “combining full-time work and raising kid(s) alone” is no easy task without the support of “your better half”.
While it may seem doable, the pressure of being a single parent can take its toll on any single mother.
This makes the Iowa’s state programs more significant in helping them cope with their daily struggles.
Iowa is one of twenty-six states (and the District of Columbia) that offer a fully refundable credit. This means that families who have no tax liability can receive the entire amount of the EITC as a refund.
Iowa’s EITC is modeled after the federal credit directly, offering a state credit that is equal to 15% of the federal credit — worth as much as $940 additional dollars for a family with three or more children.
The Family Investment Program (FIP) is Iowa’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. The FIP provides time-limited cash assistance to support low income families with children in Iowa.1
Beside cash benefits, the FIP provides employment and training services for most participants through the PROMISE JOBS — a work and training program that will help you make a plan to support your family on your own.2
Application can be done online via OASIS — the state of Iowa’s application for the Family Investment Program (FIP), Food Assistance (FA), and Child Care Assistance (CCA) programs.
The Food Assistance Program provides healthy food to low-income families with children and vulnerable adults. Its main purpose is to help Iowans buy an adequate supply of nutritious food.
Eligibility and benefits are based on federal rules that consider size of household, income, household expenses, and other variables. Only households with very little or no income may get the maximum benefit amount.3
Most families with gross income up to 160% of the federal poverty level — about $2,250 a month for a family of two — qualify for food assistance.4
Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to children of income-eligible parents who are employed or participate in academic or vocational training or PROMISE JOBS activities.
To be considered for Child Care Assistance, you must qualify for Family Investment Program (FIP) and be responsible for a child who is under the age of 13.
You can apply for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program on-line at Iowa’s Family Portal where you can apply, access forms and rules, and search for a child care provider.
As Iowa is expanding Medicaid coverage, Iowa Health and Wellness Plan — an Iowa Medicaid program, is now available to eligible Iowa adults age 19-64 with income up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.5
There are no out-of-pocket costs for the first year and depending on your family income, a very small monthly premium might be required on the subsequent years.
Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa ( h.a.w.k-i ) is a program that provides free or low-cost health care coverage for Iowa children in families with income not exceeding 302% of the federal poverty level.
For many families, hawk-i is free. Others may pay a small premium, depending on the child’s family income but no family pays more than $40 per month.
WIC serves Iowa’s pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children up to age 5 who meet WIC eligibility guidelines; and are considered to be “at nutritional risk”.
WIC services include nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, checks to buy nutritious foods, immunization screening and referrals, and health and social services referrals.
For more information about WIC, call
LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps qualifying households with heating and cooling costs. It is targeted to low income Iowa homeowners and renters with income not exceeding 175% of the poverty level.
Applications are accepted on a first come/first served basis at your local community action agency from November 1 through April 30. For households with elderly/disabled member, applications begin as early as October 1.
For more information regarding program eligibility, call
Division of Community Action Agencies
If the household is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Family Investment Program (FIP) Assistance, the household is eligible to receive Weatherization services, regardless of income.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a state-administered insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work through no fault of your own. Benefits range from $447 – $548 per week.
As a condition of eligibility, you are required to register for work at your local IowaWORKS Center, unless work search is waived. Failure to register for work can result in a disqualification for benefits.
The UI benefits application may be filed online or at any Iowa WORKS Center, the same week you are unemployed. If you need assistance with your claim, call UI Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843.
Iowa Tuition Grant is available to assist Iowa residents enrolled at one of Iowa’s eligible private colleges and universities. Priority is given to students with the greatest financial need.
The maximum grant is $6,000 per year for up to four years of full-time, undergraduate study. Part-time students may be eligible for adjusted amounts.