Life is doubly hard for single mothers who play the role of both, the father and the mother, for their kids.

With limited resources and parenting time, kids in one-parent families suffer in some way or the other.

Single moms in Texas could expect help from a plethora of state’s support programs — food, shelter, education, healthcare, among others.

These are all geared towards improving the quality of their life and helping them achieve self-sufficiency.

1Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The purpose of TANF is to provide temporary cash assistance to needy dependent children and the parents or relatives with whom they are living. For example, a single mother of two may get a monthly cash benefit of up to $285.

In Texas, cash benefits are issued on a monthly basis through the Lone Star Card that works like a debit card, allowing you to use the card at authorized retailers or to get cash from an ATM.

Application for benefits is easy. If you live in Texas, go to YourTexasBenefits.com — the one-stop portal for all Texas residents to apply for SNAP food benefits, Medicaid, CHIP, as well as TANF.

One-time TANF of up to $1,000 in cash is also available for families in crisis — including losing a job, losing a home, or a medical emergency. However, it can be given only once in a 12-month period to those who qualify.

2Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Texas SNAP helps low-income people and families in Texas with cash assistance to buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet. Since it is a federal entitlement program, all those who qualify for benefits should receive them.

Eligibility is determined by certain factors, mainly your income & household size. Single mothers and elderly SSI recipients are more likely to receive SNAP benefits than others.

3Texas Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC is a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy.

All applicants must be income eligible — incomes not exceeding 185% FPL, and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”.

It provides special checks or vouchers for buying healthy foods to supplement their diet. Other benefits include nutrition education, breastfeeding support, free screening and referral to health care.

For information on how to apply for WIC
Call 1-(800)-942-3678 (toll free)

4Texas Medicaid

Texas Medicaid serves primarily children from low-income families, pregnant women, people age 65+ and people with disabilities who could not otherwise afford private insurance coverage.

As Texas is not expanding Medicaid coverage, eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 15% of federal poverty level, or about $3,000 a year for a single mother of two.

As a result, many uninsured adults in Texas who would have been newly-eligible for Medicaid will remain without an affordable coverage option.

5Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Texas CHIP is designed for children whose families who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford to buy private insurance.

With CHIP, kids from low-income families can receive free health coverage for various medical services such as routine check-ups, dental and vision care, prescription drugs, hospital visits and lab tests.

In Texas, children with family incomes up to 201% of federal poverty level, or about $40,700 for a single mother of two are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid.

6Healthy Texas Women

Healthy Texas Women is a program dedicated to offering women’s health and family planning at no cost to eligible women in Texas who meet income guidelines — no more than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Pregnant women or those enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare Parts A or B are not eligible for Healthy Texas Women.

Under the program, low-income women ages 18 to 44 are eligible for services including family planning, whether it is to achieve, postpone, or prevent pregnancy as well as help with chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

7Texas Child Care Assistance Program

Parents in Texas who work, attend school or participate in job training may be eligible for financial assistance to pay for the cost of child care.

Eligibility criteria may vary in different regions of the state but generally, families with incomes not exceeding 85% of the state median income will qualify.

Depending on what part of the state you live in, there may be other programs to assist with child care costs. Call the Texas Information and Referral Network (dial 2-1-1) to find out more.

8Texas Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance offers temporary financial assistance to employees who lost their jobs through no fault of their own; providing a safety net for them and their families during times of unemployment.

Depending upon your previous earnings, your weekly benefit amount will be between $63 and $493. Most Texans receive jobless benefits for up to 26 weeks.

You may submit an application for unemployment benefits online or if you wish to file by phone, call a Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 to speak to a customer service representative.

9TEXAS Grant

To be eligible for TEXAS (Towards EXcellence, Access and Success) Grant, you must demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA — that is, a 9 month EFC of no more than $4,800, and be enrolled at least three-quarter time.

Funding is limited, so you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) by March 15th for priority consideration.

10Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)

TEG is targeted at financially needy Texas residents planning to attend at least three-quarter (3/4) time at a private, non-profit college or university in Texas.

The maximum award amounts are typically around $3,364. However, students with exceptional need — those whose EFC is less than or equal to $1,000 may receive awards of up to $5,046 in a given year.

11Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)

Administered by the state of Texas, TPEG provides assistance to students with financial need who are seeking a first Bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or professional degree.

Texas residents and out of state residents who meet the priority deadline of March 15th are eligible. Award amounts may vary based on availability of funds and number of eligible applicants.

Since each institution set its own priorities in making awards to students, it’s best that you contact your college financial aid office for additional information on eligibility or availability of fund.