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.
The Family Employment Program (FEP) is the TANF funded cash assistance program in Utah. The purpose is to offer unemployed and underemployed families, opportunities to increase their income through employment and cash support.
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 who meet income guidelines.1
The law requires all FEP recipients to participate in employment related activities, usually at least 30 hours a week (or 20 hours per week if the parent has a child under age 6).
If you live in Utah, this pre-screening tool will help determine if you may be eligible for cash, food, medical and 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.
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 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, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
If you are in a household with less than $150 in monthly gross income and have less than $100 cash on hand, you may be eligible for Expedited SNAP in 7 days.
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.
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.
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.
As Utah is not expanding Medicaid coverage, eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 55% of poverty. Coverage is available for pregnant women with incomes up to 139% of poverty.
For your convenience, you may now apply for Medicaid and CHIP online at jobs.utah.gov/mycase. If you need help with the application, please call 1-866-435-7414.
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.
Apply for CHIP anytime. CHIP is now accepting applications year-round. You may also contact your eligibility office by calling toll-free 1-866-435-7414.
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.2
240 East Center Street
Provo, Utah 84606
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.
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.3
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.
To apply for HEAT Assistance, call
8Utah Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families reduce energy costs in their homes. Benefits are provided in the form of noncash grants to households to make home energy efficiency improvements.
Eligibility is set at 200% of the poverty level but priority is given to the elderly and disabled, as well as families with preschool-age children, high-energy consumption, and emergency situations.
To apply for weatherization assistance, you must submit your application to the agency that services the county in which you reside.4 Based on the information provided, your application will then be prioritized and put on a waiting list.
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
- Utah County
- Weber and North Davis Counties
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.5
- How do I qualify for cash assistance in Utah? FEP Basic Eligibility Information
- 2014 Income Limits for Section 8 Programs
- If you live in Davis, Morgan, Washington, or Weber county, you may apply before September 30, if funding is available.
- Find which local agency serves the area you live in
- In addition to USHE institutions, Brigham Young University, Westminster College, LDS Business College, and the UCAT campuses participate in the HESSP Program.