Louisiana has long struggled with more poverty and economic inequality than most other states — roughly half of single mother families in Louisiana were officially poor.
Despite working multiple jobs, the majority of them are still earning poverty wages which are barely enough to support their families.
The southern state of Louisiana offers a plethora of benefit programs for single moms to better their lives and that of their children.
Though they aren’t guaranteed entitlements, these programs aim to encourage self-sufficiency so that they can provide for the family on their own.
Louisiana is among more than two dozen states that have enacted their own EITC to complement the federal credit — putting more money back into the pockets of the working poor.
Louisiana’s state EITC is currently 3.5% of the federal credit — the lowest in the country among the states that have the EITC. If you’re due to receive a federal credit of $5,572, you can expect to get a check for $195.
Eligible Louisiana residents may claim the state EITC on line 21 of the Louisiana Resident Individual Income Tax Return in the section titled “Refundable Tax Credits.”
Louisiana FITAP provides cash assistance to families with children whose financial resources are insufficient to meet subsistence needs. The average amount of FITAP benefits received per household is about $240 per month.
In Louisiana, the general rule is that you cannot get more than 24 months of FITAP payments in a 60 month period and a lifetime limit of 60 months.
Application for FITAP, SNAP, CCAP, or KCSP benefits can be done online via LA CAFÉ. If you do not already have a CAFÉ account, please create one.
Louisiana SNAP is a food assistance program for low-income Louisiana residents who qualify. Eligible family in Louisiana may receive an average of $420 per month in SNAP benefits.1
If you are eligible for SNAP, you will receive a Louisiana Purchase Card and SNAP benefits will be automatically deposited into your account every month.
A simplified version of SNAP known as LaCAP — Louisiana Combined Application Project, is a separate food assistance program for Louisiana elderly residents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Medicaid provides a complete package of medical coverage for to Louisiana residents who qualify. Generally, eligible recipients of benefits include low income families with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
In Louisiana, you’ll automatically qualify to receive Medicaid if you are a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP).
As Louisiana is not expanding Medicaid coverage, most low-income adults without children and some parents may not be eligible. However, you may still be able to get financial assistance to pay for coverage in the marketplace.
Medicaid has over 450 application center sites around the state. Call 1-888-342-6207 to find the site nearest to you or use the Self-Service Portal to apply or renew coverage for any Medicaid program.
LaCHIP is a no cost health insurance program designed to bring quality health care to currently uninsured children and youth up to the age of 19 in Louisiana. It pays for children’s hospital care, doctor visits, prescription drugs, immunizations, and more.
In order to qualify for no-cost LaCHIP program, family income (before taxes) must not exceed 250% of the federal poverty level. For additional information, call 1-877-252-2447.
The Louisiana CCAP helps low-income families pay for child care while working or attending school or training. The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs.
CCAP pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.
A single mother of two in Louisiana who earns no more than 158% of poverty may be eligible for child care assistance. Call 1-888-524-3578 for assistance.
You may also access the Quality Start website, administered by the state of Louisiana, to locate quality licensed child care centers in your neighborhood based upon ranking.
When you send your child to a Quality Start rated child care center, you’re not only giving your child the best possible care, you’re also entitled to a special tax credit — the School Readiness Tax Credit.
The tax credit to parents is available to families with a child under the age of six who is enrolled in child care. It is based upon the quality rating of the child care center that the child attends.
Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks. As a condition of eligibility, you are required to actively seek suitable employment each week that you are collecting benefits.
Your weekly benefit amount could be anywhere in the range of $10 to $247, depending upon the total amount of wages paid to you during your past employment.
To file a claim for unemployment insurance, you may contact the UI Call Center at 1-866-783-5567 or you may file online at the comfort of your home.
LIHEAP provides provides eligible households with assistance in meeting their monthly utility bills. Priority is given those who may be elderly, disabled, have families with children, and/or have the highest energy consumption.
The Louisiana version of LIHEAP can provide an energy payment and/or in-kind benefit up to a maximum benefit amount of $475. Families with incomes not more than 60% of the state median income may apply.
The Louisiana GO Grant is a need-based grant program by the State of Louisiana to assist Pell-eligible students who need additional aid to afford the cost of attending college.
Awards may vary with each academic year. The minimum award amount that eligible student may receive is $300 with the maximum award not exceeding $3,000 per academic year.
As funding is limited, students who completed the financial aid process earliest are given priority consideration. Proof of residency is a must. However, eligibility is subject to annual review.
- Source: FindTheData – 2012 SNAP Participation and Benefits