As a sole breadwinner, the responsibility for providing for their children may take a toll on most single mothers.

Many resort to working on multiple jobs and yet they could barely manage to support their families, let alone save for a rainy day.

The state of Utah offers a wide range of programs designed to help single mothers with basic needs such as food, child care, health benefits and more.

The primary goal is to help them achieve self-sufficiency, child well-being, and long-term family stability.

1Utah Family Employment Program

The Utah Family Employment Program (FEP) helps families in Utah increase their income and become self sufficient. The law requires all FEP applicants, as a condition of eligibility, to participate in employment related activities, usually at least 30 hours a week.

The FEP is designed to serve both single-parent and two-parent families with children under 18 living with them, as well as pregnant women in their third trimester.

If you live in Utah, this pre-screening tool will help determine if you may be eligible for cash, food and/or child care assistance programs.

For those who are eligible for FEP may request for one-time emergency assistance instead of receiving monthly cash assistance. This type of payment, however, can only be made once in any 12-month period.

2Utah Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program serves as the first line of defense against hunger for Utah residents. It provides monthly benefits to eligible families to buy an adequate supply of nutritious food through an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card known as the Utah Horizon Card.

Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits but the program is designed to help those who need food assistance most — low-income families, single mothers, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Students between ages of 18 and 49 may also be able to get food stamps if they meet certain requirements. If you’re a student, contact your eligibility specialist to see if you qualify for benefits.

3Utah Assisted Child Care Program

The Payment-to-Parent Assisted Child Care Program is a federal and state funded program that provides financial assistance to both single and two-parent families in Utah who meet eligibility requirements.

Families with incomes not exceeding 85% of the state median income level are eligible for assistance and as a condition of eligibility, parents receiving child care subsidy must be employed or enrolled in a training program.

The amount of child care assistance is determined based on several factors and often do not cover the entire cost of a provider. Utah currently pays up to 75% of average childcare costs.

4Utah Medicaid

Medicaid offers health care coverage for Utah low-income residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. This mostly includes children under age 18, pregnant women, disabled adults, seniors as well as women with breast or cervical cancer.

In order to qualify for Medicaid program, you must be a resident of the state of Utah whose financial situation would be characterized as low income (144% FPL) or very low income (44% FPL).

As Utah is not expanding Medicaid coverage, many uninsured adults in Utah who would have been newly-eligible for Medicaid will remain ineligible. However, you may still be able to get financial assistance to pay for coverage in the marketplace.

5Utah Children’s Health Insurance Program

CHIP is a state health insurance plan for uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid. The program covers children from birth through age 18. Once approved, CHIP covers well-child exams, immunizations, dental care, hearing and eye exams, and more.

Most people on CHIP are required to pay premiums and co-pays and in Utah, cost-sharing is limited to 5% of the family’s annual income. Depending on your income, you may pay up to $75 for each quarter.

6Utah Section 8 Voucher Program

The Housing Authority of Utah County provides vouchers to Utah’s low-income families to help them afford decent & safe housing. Priority is given to extremely low-income families with children.

In general, families and individuals with income levels in excess of the 50% of the area median income as established by HUD do not qualify for Section 8 Assistance.1

240 East Center Street
Provo, Utah 84606

(801) 373-8333

The Housing Authority of Utah County assists with rent in Utah County, outside of Provo. For assistance within the city of Provo, contact the Provo City Housing Authority at (801) 852-7080.

7Utah Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program

The H.E.A.T. program is Utah’s version of the federal LIHEAP program that provides winter utility assistance to low-income households in Utah. Applications are normally accepted annually from November to April of each year.2

Priority is given to those who are truly vulnerable – the lowest-income households with the highest heating costs, the disabled, elderly, and families with preschool-age children.

8Utah Unemployment Insurance

Utah Unemployment Insurance provides jobless compensation to eligible unemployed workers through no fault of their own that meet Utah’s eligibility requirements.

It is intended to pay temporary benefits to eligible claimants during times of unemployment when suitable work is not available – up to a maximum of 26 weeks.

To qualify for benefits, you must have earned at least $3300 in the first four of the last five calendar quarters and make at least 4 job new job contacts each week that you file a claim for benefits.

Claims for UI benefits will be expedited if you file online or if you decide to file by phone, you can call the numbers listed below

Salt Lake County
(801) 526-4400
Utah County
(801) 375-4067
Weber and North Davis Counties
(801) 612-0877


HESSP (formerly UCOPE) is Utah’s supplemental grant and work-study assistance award available to Utah resident students with demonstrated financial need as evidenced by the award of Federal Pell Grants.

The total amount of any HESSP grant and/or work-study awards to an eligible student in an award year vary from a minimum of $300 to a maximum of $5,000 depending on the availability of funds.

However, not all schools participates in HESSP program so you need to check with your school’s financial aid office if the grant is available.3

  1. 2014 Income Limits for Section 8 Programs
  2. If you live in Davis, Morgan, Washington, or Weber county, you may apply before September 30, if funding is available.
  3. In addition to USHE institutions, Brigham Young University, Westminster College, LDS Business College, and the UCAT campuses participate in the HESSP Program.