The foremost problem facing single mothers today is their lack of income to meet their most basic needs.

With limited resources at their disposal, it is a constant struggle to put food on the table or to keep a roof over their head.

In Missouri, the state government offers a wide range of programs to cater to different levels of society, from lower income to single-parent families.

Special benefit programs that target specific social needs of single mothers are made available for those who qualify.

1Missouri Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides temporary cash benefits to low-income families with dependent children in Missouri — up to 45 months. The amount depends upon the family’s income, resources, and living arrangements.

Those receiving benefits are required, as a condition of eligibility, to participate in work activities for a minimum number of hours per week, unless there is a good cause.

Application for Temporary Assistance can be made in person at your local Family Support Division office. Click here to find the office that serves your area.

2Missouri Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP helps eligible Missourians, children and families, who may be working but are still struggling financially, to buy food and provide nutritional meals for themselves.

Eligibility is determined by certain factors, mainly your income & household size. In general, families with income less than 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL) may qualify for SNAP benefits.

This prescreening tool might help you determine if you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. However, this is not an application tool. Application for SNAP can only be made in person at your local FSD office.

3Missouri MO HealthNet

MO HealthNet offers health care coverage for Missouri’s low-income residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements — and they are as follows

  • MO HealthNet for Kids
    — for children with family incomes up to 300% of poverty, or about $73,800 for a family of four
  • MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women and Newborns
    — earning must be less than 196% of poverty, or about $48,200 for a family of four
  • MO HealthNet for Families (MHF)
    — limited to parents with incomes below 18% of poverty, or about $4,400 a year for a family of four

As Missouri is not expanding Medicaid coverage, many uninsured adults who would have been newly-eligible for Medicaid will remain without a coverage option. However, you may still be able to get financial assistance to pay for coverage in the marketplace.

4Missouri Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Missouri CCAP provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents. The purpose of is to enable families to gain employment and remain employed.

The program 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.

Funding is limited and there is often a waiting list in place. To check your eligibility, you may contact your local Family Support Division (FSD) office.1

5Missouri Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a special supplemental nutrition program for pregnant, breast feeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 who meet the income eligibility guidelines.2

In order to qualify, you must be a resident of the state of Missouri and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”.

6Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to assist eligible low income households in Missouri pay for their energy bills. Priority is granted to the lowest-income households with the highest heating costs.

It provides a one-time payment to help pay your heating bills during the months of November through March. The maximum amount you could receive is $800.

7Missouri Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own. It is designed to provide temporary benefits to eligible claimants during times of unemployment when suitable work is not available.

In Missouri, the maximum benefit amount claimable is $320 per week — up to a maximum of 13 weeks, one of the lowest for a state, second only to Florida, at 12 weeks.

To file a claim for UI benefits, call the nearest Missouri Division of Employment Security Regional Claims Center at one of the following phone numbers:

Jefferson City
(573) 751-9040
Kansas City
(816) 889-3101
(417) 895-6851
St. Louis
(314) 340-4950

The Internet claim filing system is also available 24 hours a day, except between 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12:31 a.m. on Sunday, CT. To file your claim using the Internet, click here.

8Access Missouri

Access Missouri is designed to give Missouri students with financial need the opportunity to attend schools of their preference, including public and private colleges & universities throughout Missouri.

Eligibility is based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC), with applicants with EFC of $12,000 or less eligible. The amount of the annual award varies each year based upon state appropriation to the fund.

To be considered for eligibility, file your FAFSA by April 1 — no separate application form required. Those who apply on or before February 1 are guaranteed an award.

  1. Missouri’s Family Support Division Offices
  2. Income guidelines are based on 185% of poverty level.