Nebraska may have the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the country,1 yet for single mothers who rely on minimum-wage jobs, they still fare worst.
Given the rising cost of living, the state makes certain that financial assistance is always available in a variety of forms for its most vulnerable families.
The “Cornhusker State” participates in several federal-initiated programs designed to help lower income, single parent families cope with life’s uncertainties.
Though they aren’t guaranteed entitlements, these programs aim to encourage self-sufficiency so that they can provide for the family on their own.
Nebraska Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) provides small cash assistance to low-income families with children up to 18 years of age. It is used to pay for family living expenses like rent, utilities, food, clothing, and other necessities.
Work-eligible recipients are required to participate in Employment First program, Nebraska’s employment program tied to ADC and are required to complete at least 30 hours a week of designated work activities
Cash aid is temporary and limited to 60 months of lifetime assistance for work-eligible individuals. In addition to cash aid, most Nebraska ADC recipients may qualify for Medicaid and food assistance.
Now there is no need to mail in a paper application. You can apply online via ACCESSNebraska — the official website to apply for public assistance benefit programs in Nebraska.
SNAP helps low-income people buy food. It’s not necessary to be receiving other public assistance in order to be eligible, but Nebraskans don’t receive SNAP automatically — they must apply and be found eligible.
SNAP eligibility starts right at 130% of the poverty line, or $26,546 for a family of three in Nebraska.2 Single mothers and elderly SSI recipients are more likely to receive SNAP benefits than others.
You can apply for SNAP using a paper application or on-line at ACCESSNebraska or by calling the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-254-4202.
Medicaid offers health care coverage for Nebraska residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements for Medicaid. It covers families with children, pregnant women, and people who are aging, blind and disabled.
Nebraska is yet to expand Medicaid coverage, but there will be new income rules for determining eligibility for children and their families, as well as for pregnant women.
If you haven’t done so, you may fill out an application online by visiting ACCESSNebraska or you may call 1-800-383-4278 to request a paper application that you may submit by mail.
Kids Connection is Nebraska’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — a state-sponsored health insurance for children under the age of 19; providing the same services covered under Medicaid.
It is primarily designed to provide health coverage, at no cost, for children in families with income too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private coverage.
Currently, only kids with family income not exceeding 213% of the poverty level are eligible for medical assistance through Kids Connection.
The Child Care Subsidy Program help low-income families pay for the child care while they work, attend school, or both. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size.
The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 (or up to age 18 for children with special needs) if the monthly income for a family of two is no more than $1,600.
Families who are no longer income eligible for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) may qualify for up to 24 months of “subsidized” child care under Transitional Child Care.
To learn more about Child Care Subsidy Program, contact ACCESSNebraska by calling 1-800-383-4278 or call 1-800-892-4453 for help finding a child care provider near you.
WIC is designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, new mother, infants and children up to age 5 who are at health risk due to inadequate nutrition.
To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must be determined by a health professional, through a health & diet assessment, to be at nutritional risk.
There are over 110 clinics in Nebraska. Find the WIC clinic closest to your home to schedule an appointment. If you’re eligible, you’ll get WIC checks for food on the same day of your appointment.
Nebraska LIHEAP helps eligible low-income Nebraska homeowners and renters offset the cost of heating and cooling their homes. Priority is given to households with income below 125% of the federal poverty level.
Apply online at ACCESSNebraska. If you do not have Internet access, call 1-800-383-4278 to obtain a paper application. The amount of the benefit is determined by income, household size, type of dwelling, and fuel type.
In addition to regular energy assistance, LIHEAP also provides home weatherization and crisis assistance to households threatened with a utility shutoff or have received a shutoff notice.
Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to Nebraskans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks.
As a condition of eligibility, all claimants are required by the state law to complete a personal profile and online resumé at NEworks — Nebraska’s on-line public labor exchange.
You can file your claim anywhere using the internet at UIConnect or if you are unable to complete your claim online, call the Nebraska Claims Center at 402-458-2500.
The state of Nebraska provides the Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG) to Nebraska students who meet certain qualifications. Eligibility is based on EFC and availability of funds. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
The NOG is awarded through postsecondary institutions within the state. Students must complete & submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for priority consideration.
- Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Unemployment Rates for States.
- What are the guidelines for food stamps? Nebraska’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Guidelines