Financial Help for Single Mothers in Iowa


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.

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.


1Iowa Family Investment Program (FIP)


The Family Investment Program (FIP) is Iowa’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. The FIP program provides time-limited cash assistance to support low income families with children in Iowa.

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.1

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.


2Iowa Food Assistance Program


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.

Most families with gross income up to 160% of the federal poverty level (about $2,100/month for a family of two) qualify for food assistance.


3Iowa Child Care Assistance (CCA)


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.


4Iowa Health and Wellness Plan


As Iowa is expanding Medicaid coverage, Iowa Health and Wellness Plan — an Iowa Medicaid program, is now available to eligible Iowans adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.

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.

Call the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1-855-889-7985 for more information. If you’re ready to enroll, you may do so at HealthCare.gov.


5Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa ( hawk-i )


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 limited incomes.

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.


6Iowa Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)


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.


7Iowa Unemployment Insurance


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.

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.


8Iowa Tuition Grant


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 $5,000 per year for up to four years of full-time, undergraduate study. Part-time students may be eligible for adjusted amounts.


  1. This plan is called a Family Investment Agreement (FIA). []