Help for Single Mothers in ARKANSAS

Arkansas, AR

The natural state of Arkansas has historically been a poor state. Though prices are low here, that doesn’t help much if there’s little or no money. For single mother families who live on little to no income, even the barest essentials are a struggle to afford.

Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) #

Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) is a time-limited assistance program to help needy families with children become more responsible for their own support. It aims to reduce dependence of needy parents on public assistance.

Benefits may include cash payments, childcare assistance, help with transportation, employment-related services, including job-readiness activities, and other supportive services.

How much is cash assistance in Arkansas?

Arkansas’ cash assistance benefit level for a family of three is the lowest in the country at only $204 per month and it’s limited to no more than 24 months.

How do I apply for TANF in Arkansas?

Applications for Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) can be filed in person at the local DHS office in the county where you reside or apply online through Access Arkansas for expedited processing.

Arkansas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

Arkansas SNAP provides monthly benefits for eligible, lower-income families in Arkansas to buy the food they need for nutritionally adequate diet.

SNAP benefits are used in place of cash to buy food. If deemed eligible, you will receive an EBT Card, which allows SNAP benefits to be issued and accessed electronically.

What is the income limit for SNAP in Arkansas?

Most families in Arkansas with gross income up to 130% of the federal poverty level, about $2,693 a month for a family of three, qualify for the program.

Family Size 100% 130%
1 $1,215 $1,579
2 $1,643 $2,137
3 $2,072 $2,693
4 $2,500 $3,250
5 $2,928 $3,807
6 $3,357 $4,363
7 $3,785 $4,921
8 $4,213 $5,478

Gross income limit applies to most households, except those in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income.

Where do I apply for food stamps in Arkansas?

Applications for SNAP and TEA can be done online via ACCESS Arkansas or in person at the local DHS county office. Either way, applicants are required to complete an interview for their eligibility determination.

Arkansas Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

Arkansas WIC provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals to health care, at no cost, to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5.

In Arkansas, instead of paper checks, participants receive WIC benefits loaded onto a smart card which can be used at any WIC-authorized grocery store.

What is the income limit for WIC in Arkansas?

To be eligible, applicants’ income must fall at or below 185% of the poverty level. And those who receive Medicaid, ARKids, TEA or SNAP are automatically eligible.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

If you have questions, or need more information about applying for WIC, please contact State WIC Office at 501-661-2508.

Arkansas Health and Opportunity for Me (ARHOME) #

Arkansas Health and Opportunity for Me (ARHOME) is a Medicaid program that offers eligible Arkansans health insurance coverage.

Coverage is provided by one of two private health insurance carriers — Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield and Arkansas Health & Wellness (Ambetter).

What is the maximum income to qualify for Medicaid in Arkansas?

As Arkansas is expanding Medicaid coverage, nearly all uninsured Arkansans age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level may gain coverage under the ACA. Children and pregnant women are eligible at higher income levels.

Arkansas Medicaid 147% 214% 138%
1 $21,430 $31,200 $20,120
2 $28,990 $42,200 $27,210
3 $36,540 $53,200 $34,310
4 $44,100 $64,200 $41,400
5 $51,660 $75,200 $48,490
6 $59,210 $86,200 $55,590
7 $66,770 $97,200 $62,680
8 $74,320 $108,200 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

Where do I apply for Medicaid in Arkansas?

Online enrollment is now available through ACCESS Arkansas — where uninsured Arkansas can apply for Medicaid, ARKids First! and other State’s benefit programs.

Arkansas ARKids First! #

ARKids First! provides health insurance coverage for thousands of Arkansas children across the state who otherwise might have gone without coverage.

ARKids First! has expanded and will now offer two coverage options: —

  1. ARKids First-A
    There is no charge when you child participates in ARKids A.
  2. ARKids First-B
    For ARKids B, there are co-payment required for some services.

What is the difference between ARKids A and B?

ARKids First-A is Medicaid for children. ARKids First-B is for children under age 19 whose families who earn too much money to qualify regular Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage.

What is the income limit for ARKids in Arkansas?

Under the ACA, children in Arkansas with family income up to 216% of the poverty level — about $53,700 for a family of three, are eligible for ARKids First!.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $31,490
  • 2 $42,600
  • 3 $53,700
  • 4 $64,800
  • 5 $75,900
  • 6 $87,000
  • 7 $98,110
  • 8 $109,210

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

Arkansas Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) #

Arkansas CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families with children under age 13 who need help paying for child care.

It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for families whose income is less than 85% of the State Median Income (SMI). For a family of three, the limit is $4,430 per month.

As a condition of eligibility, parents must meet the work requirements of at least 30 hours per week. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.

How do I apply for child care assistance in Arkansas?

In order to apply for assistance, contact one of the Program Eligibility Specialists in your county at 1-800-322-8176 and request an application.

After an application is completed, it may be returned to your local DHS office, or mailed to the address below

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Office of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
P.O. Box 1437, Slot S145
Little Rock, AR 72203

Another great resource is Arkansas Better Beginnings, a program of the Arkansas Department of Human Services that provides parents with information on quality child care providers.

Better Beginnings distinguishes the quality of each Arkansas child care facility by a 1, 2, and 3-star rating system, providing families with tools to identify and find high-quality child care near them.

Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

Summer LIHEAP Assistance will open July 10 and will be available through September 29, 2023.

LIHEAP provides one-time financial assistance to eligible households to offset heating costs during winter season and cooling costs during summer months.

Arkansas LIHEAP offers two types of benefit payments:

  1. Regular — this benefit provides payments directly to energy service providers once per program year. Eligible households may receive up to $950 or $475 during summer.
  2. Crisis — the crisis benefit is intended to assist households experiencing or in danger of experiencing a life threatening or health related emergency due to a heating or cooling issue.

Eligibility for LIHEAP in Arkansas is based on 150% of of the poverty income guidelines or, if greater, 60% of the state median income level.

Review this Eligibility Chart to see if your household is income-eligible for benefits.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in Arkansas?

LIHEAP applications are accepted through the community-based organizations (CBOs) on a first-come, first served basis typically from January to April 30 and from July to September 30 of each year.

Please contact the CBO that serves your area for more information on how to apply. Households with the elderly, disabled or a young child under age 5 are given priority consideration.

Arkansas Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Arkansas LIHWAP offers a one-time crisis benefit up to $2,000 to help qualified households pay their residential water and wastewater past due utility bills.

As of March 2023, qualifying households may receive an additional $2,000 credit benefit relief spread out over 12-months.

LIHWAP assists eligible households that:

  • need help paying their current drinking water and wastewater bills,
  • are disconnected from water services,
  • have a dated notice of disconnection, or
  • have past-due bills.

Arkansas residents who receive public assistance from other programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), SNAP, TANF and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically eligible for the program.

To access the LIHWAP application and for all related questions including eligibility, please visit

Arkansas Unemployment Insurance #

Arkansas Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own. In Arkansas, receipt of benefits is limited to no more than 16 weeks.

If you meet the eligibility requirements of the law, you’re entitled to supplemental income while you are looking for a new job, up to a maximum of $451 per week.

How do I file for unemployment in Arkansas online?

You may file your initial claim using EZARC (Easy Arkansas Claims) or ArkNet for your weekly claims. And if you wish to file over the phone, please call ArkLine at 501-907-2590.

Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture) #

Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture) is the newest state grant program aimed at supporting non-traditional students and enhancing the educational qualifications and skills of Arkansas's workforce.

It is reserved for Arkansas students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields or regional high-demand areas of study.

Who is eligible for Arkansas Future Grant?

The ArFuture grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply as early as possible. The deadline to apply for the fall semester is July 1 or January 10 for spring semester.

Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant (GO! Grant) #

No longer accepting applications — Program Sunsetting

GO! Grant provides $1,000 grants to full-time and $500 grants to part-time students based on financial need. Students must be an Arkansas resident for at least 12 months prior to applying for the grant.

Eligibility is based on the family’s adjusted gross income as reported on the FAFSA. For more information, contact the ADHE financial aid division at 1-800-54STUDY or 501-371-2050.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (ASPSF) #

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (ASPSF) is a scholarship program available to low income single parents in Arkansas “to enable them to attain self-sufficiency through post-secondary education.”

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be single parents who have primary custody of their children, and demonstrate sufficient financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

Scholarship amounts range from approximately $500 per semester to as much as $1,000 per semester. Eligibility guidelines and application deadlines may vary by county.


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