Mississippi is the poorest state in the country — with both the lowest median household income and highest poverty rate among states.1
Today, almost half (46.1%) of single mother families in Mississippi raise their children while living in poverty.
Many rely on public assistance just to make ends meet including cash, food stamps, and subsidized housing, among others.
Though it isn’t a guaranteed entitlement, these programs help relieve the financial burden of single parenting.
The Mississippi TANF program, administered by the Mississippi DHS, provides temporary assistance for needy families with children up to age 18 who have little or no resources to meet their everyday needs.
The amount of benefits is based on the family’s income. In Mississippi, monthly payments are limited to no more than $110 for the first person or $170 a month to a family of three — the least generous in the country.
Mississippi requires applicants to complete a mandatory 30-day up-front job search and be screened for possible drug use. Failure to complete these requirements may result in an application denial.
Mississippi SNAP provides monthly benefits that help low income households buy the food they need for for sound nutrition and well-balanced diet. The program issues electronic benefits that help stretch their food budget.
Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits but the program is designed to help those who need food assistance most — low-income families, the elderly & disabled, and Mississippians on public assistance.
SNAP and TANF applications may now be made online through Mississippi Department of Human Services website. When your application has been turned in, the local county office will set up an interview to review your eligibility.2
Mississippi Medicaid is a health care program that helps pay for medical services for low-income Mississippians who meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
In order to qualify for Medicaid, you must be either pregnant, have a disability or be responsible for children under 19 years of age, or be 65 years of age or older.
As Mississippi is not expanding Medicaid coverage, Medicaid eligibility for parents remains very low at 23% of poverty. You may, however, purchase insurance through Marketplace with premium tax credits that lower the cost of insurance.
Application for Medicaid may be filed online through Mississippi Medicaid.3 Applications are assessed for potential eligibility. If not eligible for Medicaid, applications are automatically referred to the Marketplace.
Mississippi provides health coverage for uninsured children through CHIP. It provides health, dental and vision coverage to uninsured children up to age 19 who do not qualify for Medicaid.
In Mississippi, children with family incomes up to 209% of poverty are eligible for CHIP. While those between 133% – 194% of poverty qualify for full Medicaid coverage.
There are no premiums or deductibles, although there may be a small co-payment for some services for higher-income families on CHIP.
The Child Care Certificate Program is a federally funded program designed to provide parents with assistance with child care tuition. Parents may choose any type of child care while participating in this program.
Parents who meet the income and work requirement will be responsible for paying their child care provider a monthly co-payment fee. For more information, call 1-800-877-7882.
Beginning January 2014, paper application will no longer be accepted. Families interested in applying for the Child Care Certificate Program must complete the online application along with other relevant documents.
The Mississippi Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides a one-time financial assistance to eligible households to help pay the cost of home energy bills.
To qualify for the program, applicants must have an income that falls within the program guidelines. Priority is granted to households that pay a high proportion of their income for home energy.
You may apply through the Virtual ROMA website at https://virtualroma.mdhs.ms.gov which is available nationwide but services and funds are for residents of Mississippi only.
Unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to workers Mississippians through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks. Benefit amounts range from a minimum of $30 to a maximum of $235 per week.
Part of the requirement for continuing to receive a weekly unemployment check is that you must be actively seeking a job each week until you find one.
There are three ways to register: online, at the WIN Job Center nearest you, or by phone. To register and file your claim for unemployment benefits via the Internet, click here or you may file your claim by calling 1-888-844-3577.
MATG is available for Mississippi’s financially needy students attending state approved public and nonprofit two-year and four-year eligible colleges and universities. Priority is for Pell Grant recipients with unmet need.
MTAG awards may be up to $500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores and $1,000 per academic year for juniors and seniors.
To apply for MTAG, you need to file your FAFSA and complete the Mississippi Office of Financial Aid Application. You’ll be required to submit a variety of supporting documents during the application process.
MESG provides tuition assistance to high-achieving Mississippi residents pursuing undergraduate studies at eligible public & non-profit colleges and universities in the state.
The maximum award amount is $2,500 per year for a maximum of 8 semesters or degree completion, whichever comes first, but awards may not exceed annual tuition and fees.
For first time applicants, complete an initial application online on or before September 15 during the fall of the aid year for which the student is seeking assistance.
HELP is designed to provide tuition assistance to Mississippi students whose financial need, as demonstrated by federal student aid eligibility, are not met from other sources.
Applicants must be attending an eligible Mississippi institution, must have a minimum ACT score of 20 and an average gross income of $39,500 or less over the prior two years.
To apply for HELP, you need to complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an online application along with the HELP Worksheet (also referred to as the Household Verification Worksheet).References
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- How do I apply for food stamps in Mississippi?
- You can fill out the PDF version of the Mississippi Medicaid Application Form and either click the application submit button, or save the completed PDF and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org