With little or no income, single-parent families are more likely to suffer in the face of any economic hardship.

In almost every case, they lack the resources necessary to meet the most basic needs of day-to-day living.

The state of Vermont is aware that without intervention, they are left with little option but to go deeper into poverty.

That’s why programs are set up to provide assistance to low-income single-mother families in their quest for self-sufficiency.

$Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit

Vermont is one of 26 states that supplement the federal EITC with their own. Vermont piggybacks onto the federal EITC by adding an additional 32% to the federal credit — one of the highest of any state.

This year, the EITC can help working families in Vermont make ends meet with a credit up to $6,269. A single mother of two earning under $44,648 should see if she qualifies.

In addition, any family with dependent children who receives the Vermont EITC is automatically income eligible for food benefits through 3SquaresVT. This helps families save money and put more healthy food on the table.

1Vermont Reach Up

Reach Up helps families with children in Vermont by providing cash assistance for basic necessities and services that support work and self-sufficiency.

Eligibility depends on your income, resources, living expenses, who lives with you, your ability to work, and other factors. Eligible families of three may receive up to $640 per month.1

If you’re a single mother with a child under 6 years old, you’re expected, as a condition of eligibility, to work 20 hours per week or participate in approved activities that will lead to a job.

myBenefits is the official State of Vermont’s website for public benefits such as 3SquaresVT, Essential Person, Fuel Assistance, and Reach Up.

2Vermont 3SquaresVT (Vermont Food Stamps)

3SquaresVT is the name for Vermont’s food stamp program. It provides monthly benefits to low-income Vermonters to help pay for the cost of food. Children whose families get 3SquaresVT, in any amount, automatically get free school meals.

The benefits you may receive will depend on your household size, income, and expenses. In Vermont, families of three may receive up to $348 in monthly benefits.

If eligible, you will receive an EBT Card, called Vermont Express, which allows food stamp benefits to be issued and accessed electronically, and can be used to buy eligible food items at participating stores and farmers’ markets.

Vermont Foodbank

Through a network of 270 food shelves, meals sites, senior centers, and after-school programs, VT Foodbank can help you find a food pantry near you.

For more information, contact:
Tom Abbiati
Director of Food Resources

3Vermont Medicaid

Medicaid is a health insurance program for the low-income families. Vermont Medicaid is also referred to as Green Mountain Care where Vermonters receive universal health care coverage.

As Vermont is expanding Medicaid coverage, many previously uninsured Vermonters age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level may now gain coverage.

Vermont is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as Vermont Health Connect — through which you can apply for Medicaid, Dr. Dynasaur (see below) or other private health insurance.

4Vermont Dr. Dynasaur (SCHIP)

Vermont’s Dr. Dynasaur offers affordable, low-cost health insurance for the uninsured children of Vermont from birth through age 18. Pregnant women are also eligible for coverage through the Dr. Dynasaur program.

Benefits include doctor visits, prescription medicines, dental & vision care, immunizations and special services for pregnant women such as lab work and tests, prenatal vitamins and among others.

Pregnant women may pay monthly premiums of up to $15. Families with children may pay monthly premiums of up to $60. There are no co-payments or deductibles.

5Vermont Child Care Financial Assistance

Child care financial assistance (also known as child care subsidy) is a program that helps eligible families with the cost of child care. The subsidy is paid directly to a qualified child care provider and the recipient pays the remaining cost.

You can use the Subsidy Prescreening Tool on the Agency of Human Services, Division for Children and Family website to see if you might qualify for child care benefits.

6Vermont Fuel Assistance Program

Fuel Assistance (also known as Home Heating Assistance) can help eligible households in Vermont pay part of their home heating bills. Priority is granted to low-income Vermonters who live in public, subsidized, or Section 8 housing where rent includes the cost of heat.

You may be eligible if your gross household income is equal to or less than 185% of the federal poverty level. Depending on the availability of funding, eligible families may receive up to $543.

7Vermont Rental Assistance Program

The Vermont Rental Assistance Program provides rental subsidy to help eligible low-income families live in safe and decent housing of their choice. Many beneficiaries of the program are families with children, the elderly, and the disabled whose income falls within the income guidelines.

When you’re accepted into the program, you monthly rent will be limited at between 30% and no more than 40% of your total household income.

8Vermont Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance benefits provide short-term replacement of lost wages to workers unemployed through no fault of their own. It is NOT intended to be a permanent source of income.

If you become unemployed and have worked in Vermont in the past 18 months, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance. The maximum weekly benefit amount is $458.

Application for UI benefits can be done via Vermont’s Claimant Portal or if you wish to file your claim over the phone, please call 1-877-214-3330

UI Claims Center Operating Hours
8:30am – 4:00pm Monday through Thursday
9:00am – 4:00pm Friday

9Vermont Lifeline

This Vermont program entitles low-income Vermonters up to a $13 reduction off their monthly phone bill. The credit appears each month on the recipient’s bill.

If you are eligible for other government benefits, you may automatically qualify for this program. Eligibility is also based on income criteria that may change from year to year.

10Vermont Incentive Grant

Vermont Incentive grants are available for Vermont residents with financial need who are enrolled full-time at any postsecondary institution that participates in the federal Pell grant program.

The grant award amount is based on financial need and the actual cost of attendance. The minimum and maximum award amounts are determined annually based on funding availability.

Vermont Part-Time Grant is for Vermont residents enrolled in fewer than 12 credits per term. The amount of each award varies based on the number of credit hours.

11Vermont Advantage

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) offers a fixed-rate private education loan for students who need to supplement their federal borrowings at a fixed interest rate as low as 5.85% APR.

You must meet certain eligibility criteria to apply for the Vermont Advantage loan, including applying with a credit-eligible cosigner. 2

  1. Source: The Vermont Legislature – Reach Up by the numbers.
  2. The cosigner is usually a parent or guardian, and must be either a U. S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.