There is no job tougher then being a mother. Understandably, it’s much tougher and more stressful being a single mother.
With little resources at her disposal, singe moms are faced with countless struggles just to provide the barest necessities for their kids.
All too often, they have to make hard choices between paying for food and other basic necessities of life.
But in Maryland, the state offers financial aid designed to cater to their most basic needs while they work toward becoming self-reliant.
EITC plays an important role in keeping working families — particularly single mothers — out of poverty. Along with the federal credit, the state of Maryland offers taxpayers its own version of the credit.
Maryland’s EITC is currently set at 50% of your federal EITC and is not refundable. If the non-refundable credit amount is equal to or greater than your state tax liability, you’re entitled to claim an additional 26% refundable credit.
Maryland is the only state with both a non-refundable and refundable credit. Some families, generally those with higher tax liabilities, claim only the non-refundable credit; others will claim both; while a third group will claim only the refundable credit.
Montgomery County, a large suburban county neighboring the District of Columbia, is one of three counties to offer a local EITC in addition to the state credit. Eligible families that filed for the EITC receive a county credit equal to 100% of the state’s refundable credit.1
Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) is a time-limited program that assists families with dependent children who could not afford even basic necessities. The program is designed to serve both single-parent and two-parent families, as well as households with disabled adults.
Families who need only short-term assistance may apply for a Welfare Avoidance Grant (WAG) where eligible families receive a one-time lump sum payment instead of monthly TCA benefits.
Apply in person at your local DSS office (click here) or you may also file an application online at Maryland SAIL — a web-based screening and application tool for all Marylanders to apply for benefits.
The Food Supplement Program (FSP) helps low-income households in Maryland buy the food they need for healthy eating. Eligibility is determined by certain factors, mainly your income & household size.
If you qualify for FSP, you’ll receive your benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office got your application. FSP benefits are issued electronically on a card that works like a bank ATM card.
Under the ACA, Medicaid eligibility is expanding throughout the state to cover all Marylanders adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, or about $28,180 annually for a single mother of two.
Maryland Health Connection is the state’s health insurance marketplace for all Marylanders to enroll in Medicaid, MCHP and other health coverage.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you can always shop for reduced-cost coverage through the Marketplace where you can compare different plans before you make a choice.
The Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) gives full health benefits for uninsured children up to age 19, and pregnant women of any age who meet the income guidelines.2
Children under age 19, who are not eligible for Medicaid, and whose countable income is up to 317% of the federal poverty level (FPL); and pregnant women, whose countable income is at or below 259% FPL are eligible to apply.
Starting October 1, 2013, you can apply for MCHP through Maryland Health Connection. If you or your child is found eligible for MCHP, you can select a plan right away.
The purpose of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Program is to provide financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families. Eligibility for the subsidy is based on income level and family size.
A family of two in the state must earn no more than $$24,277, or 33% of the state median income for a household of that size, to qualify for a subsidy or $29,990 for a family of three.
All families applying for child care subsidy will be placed on a waiting list. According to the latest available data, nearly 3,700 children whose family income should qualify them for subsidies were on the wait list.3
Eligible families receive a voucher from the local department of social services to take to the provider of their choice. The subsidy is paid bi-weekly directly to the provider and the remaining cost is co-paid by the recipient.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a program that helps children receive free, nutritious meal throughout the summer months. This program is funded the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and is administered by the Maryland State Dept. of Education (MDSE).
It is open to children under the age of 18 but those who participate in other benefit programs, such as the SNAP, Medicaid or TANF are automatically eligible.
The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) helps pay home heating costs for low-income households, particularly those from the lower income bracket that pay a high proportion of their income for home energy.
In Maryland, households who qualify for MEAP can also sign up for the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP), which can help protect you from utility cut-offs.
To apply for any of these programs, contact the Local Home Energy Programs Office in your area or call 1-800-352-1446.
Unemployment insurance provides benefits to persons who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing and able to work, and actively seeking work.
The current weekly benefit amount provided by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $430 per week.
If you are unemployed, file your claim as soon as possible, as your eligibility begins the week in which you file your claim. Claims may be filed by telephone or you may choose to file your claim online.
Funded by the state of Maryland, the Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant offers eligible Maryland students financial aid that may cover up to $19,000 of full-time college tuition at any public or private college or university in Maryland.
To be considered for a Guaranteed Access Grant, you must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than April 1 or by March 1 for priority consideration.
Like the GA Grant, this is a need-based award but less generous than the GA — the minimum annual award amount is $400 and the maximum award is $3,000. As fund is limited, those with the lowest EFC are awarded first.
The actual amount is determined by a set formula reflecting the cost of college attendance, expected family contribution, state scholarships awarded and Pell Grant funding received.
- Maryland CASH Campaign, Montgomery County’s Earned Income Credit
- Please refer to the MCHP Income Guidelines for details
- Maryland.gov, Child Care Subsidy Program Waiting List