Financial Help for Single Mothers in Oregon


The financial burden of raising children alone can almost be too much to bear for many single mothers.

Surviving on one income, they are forced to live without adequate means to provide even the barest necessities.

This is where the state of Oregon steps in.

Through different aid programs — whether food, medical care, or housing assistance, Oregon hopes to lift the financial burden off their shoulders.


1Oregon Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


Oregon TANF offers temporary cash assistance to families with children up to age 18 as well as pregnant women — and it’s limited to the neediest families with little or no income.

Many eligible families must participate in the JOBS employment and training program1, which helps them prepare for and find work. The law requires a minimum average of 30 hours of work-related activities per week.

You can apply for TANF by visiting your local DHS Self-Sufficiency office or use OregonHelps to estimate your potential eligibility for cash assistance.


2Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps supplement food budgets for low-income working families and individuals, people on public assistance, seniors and people with disabilities.

In Oregon, the benefits are distributed through an “Oregon Trail Card” — the state’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system, which can be used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets.


3Oregon Health Plan (OHP)


The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) is a state health care coverage program for uninsured low-income Oregonians. Eligible children under age 19 and pregnant women receive the highest level of coverage.

As Oregon is expanding Medicaid coverage, nearly all uninsured Oregonians age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) may now gain coverage under the ACA.

Oregon will be operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as Cover Oregon — through which you can apply for Oregon Health Plan, Healthy Kids and private insurance plans.


4Oregon Healthy Kids


Healthy Kids is a free or low-cost health coverage program for eligible Oregon children, up to age 19, who are not already insured. Eligibility is based on age, residency and income.

Healthy Kids includes medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs, mental health coverage, and substance abuse treatment.

Under the ACA, Oregon Healthy Kids now covers children with family incomes up to 305% of poverty or about $60,350 for a single mother of two.


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


In Oregon, the WIC program provides supplemental nutritious foods, nutritious education, health care referrals, and breastfeeding support to nearly 100,000 women, infants, and children up to age 5.

All applicants must be income eligible and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”. Households with income less than 185% of poverty guidelines are given priority consideration.


6Oregon Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)


Working families whose income is below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for financial help with child care costs. This child care subsidy program is called Employment Related Day Care (ERDC).

This Child Care Copay Calculation tool helps you figure out your eligibility for the subsidy, and if so, how much of the child care bill (the copay) you would be responsible for paying.

ERDC helps parents stay employed, and children well cared-for in stable child care arrangements. Call 1-800-342-6712 for more info about the application process in your area.


Student parents who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for assistance to pay for child care costs through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.

For more information on Student Child Care Program, contact

Peggy Cooksey, Grants Administrator
OSAC Grant Programs
1-800-452-8807 ext. 7443


7Oregon Head Start


Oregon Head Start serves pre-school children ages 3 to 5 from families living at or below the federal poverty level; providing comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, and social services.

Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance are automatically eligible for Head Start, regardless of income. Pregnant women and children birth to 3 may apply for Early Head Start.


8Oregon Unemployment Insurance


Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to Oregonians who become unemployed through no fault of their own — up to $549 a week. The minimum benefit amount is currently $128 a week.

As a condition of eligibility, you must register with iMatchSkills — Oregon’s Premier Job Matching Tool, to be eligible to collect UI benefits, unless exempt by law.

Use the Online Claim System or call the nearest UI Center to file your initial unemployment application.2 To claim your weekly benefits by phone, please call the Weekly Claim Line (click here).


9Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG)


Oregon Opportunity Grant is Oregon’s largest state-funded need-based grant program. The OOG is available to financially needy undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time at an Oregon state college or university.

Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having an annual gross income of $70,000 or less. The maximum award is $1950 per academic year on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.


  1. JOBS is Oregon’s employment and self-sufficiency program for people on public assistance. []
  2. Use this lookup to find the UI Center for your area []