Help for Single Mothers in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

District of Columbia, DC

Washington D.C. tops the list of most expensive place to live in America. For many single mothers in D.C, it’s no bed of roses raising a family. Often single mothers must choose between buying food or paying rent, or delaying medical care to pay for childcare.

District of Columbia Earned Income Tax Credit #

District of Columbia, along with thirty one (31) states, offers its working low-income residents a state EITC, which is modeled after the federal guidelines and eligibility rules.

District’s EITC is offered at 70 percent of the federal credit and is fully refundable. In the vast majority of cases, the credit is received as a lump sum as part of a tax refund early the following year.

How much is District Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $420
  • 1 $2,796
  • 2 $4,622
  • 3 or more $5,201

For earners without qualifying children, the state EITC is 100 percent of the federal EITC and ends when income exceeds $17,640.

District of Columbia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) #

District's TANF provides temporary cash assistance to needy families with dependent children under 19 years of age whose income barely enough to make ends meet.

A central component of the TANF program is its emphasis on work. Adult TANF recipients must participate in work activities as a condition of receiving cash benefits, unless otherwise exempt.

There is no time limit to how long a family can receive TANF in District. Families can now receive benefits beyond the federal 60-month lifetime limit.

How do I apply for TANF in DC?

Applications for TANF are accepted online through District Direct, via mobile application, or through the mail to:

Department of Human Services
Economic Security Administration
Case Record Management Unit
P.O. Box 91560
Washington, DC 20090

District of Columbia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

District's SNAP is a nutritional program that enables low income individuals and families to buy a variety of food staples that is the basis for better nutrition.

A family of three in District with gross monthly income not more than 200% of the poverty thresholds may qualify for SNAP benefits, worth up to $740 per month.

District of Columbia is one of the few states that do not impose work requirements on SNAP recipients but pledge to provide employment and training programs to anyone who wants to participate.

How do I apply for food stamps in DC?

Applications are accepted online through District Direct, via mobile application, in-person, or through the mail. Find out if you may be eligible before applying.

District of Columbia Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

District's WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, new mothers, infants and children up to age 5 who are at health risk due to inadequate nutrition.

To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must be determined by a health professional to be “at nutritional risk”.

What is the income limit for WIC in District?

WIC is open to District families with a household income at or below 185% of the poverty level or those who are enrolled in SNAP, TANF or Medicaid programs.

  • 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

How do I apply for WIC in DC?

To apply for the WIC Program in the District of Columbia, call 1 (800) 345-1WIC to schedule an appointment at a WIC site near you.

District of Columbia Medicaid #

District's Medicaid offers health care coverage for District residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements for Medicaid. It covers families with children, pregnant women, and people who are aging, blind and disabled.

What is the income limit for Medicaid in District?

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will now cover children (19-20) and parents with incomes up to 221% of the federal poverty level, or about $54,940 for a family of three. Children (0-18) and pregnant women are eligible at higher income levels.

District Medicaid 324% 324% 221%
1 $47,240 $47,240 $32,220
2 $63,890 $63,890 $43,580
3 $80,550 $80,550 $54,940
4 $97,200 $97,200 $66,300
5 $113,850 $113,850 $77,660
6 $130,510 $130,510 $89,020
7 $147,160 $147,160 $100,380
8 $163,810 $163,810 $111,740

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

Children who have long-term disabilities or complex medical needs and live at home with families with household incomes over 324% of the FPL may also be eligible for DC Medicaid under TEFRA/Katie Beckett .

How do I apply for Medicaid in DC?

District of Columbia is operating its own Health Insurance Marketplace, known as DC Health Link — through which D.C. residents can enroll for Medicaid, SCHIP or other private health insurance.

District of Columbia Healthy Families (SCHIP) #

District's Healthy Families is for families with children under age 19 and for pregnant women who live in the District of Columbia whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.

The program is free or very low-cost for uninsured families. Services covered by Healthy Families include, but are not limited to, doctors visits, vision and dental care, prescriptions, hospitalization, and more.

What is the maximum income to qualify for Healthy Families?

In District of Columbia, children up to age 19 with household income up to 324% of poverty or about $80,550 for a family of three are eligible for Healthy Families.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $47,240
  • 2 $63,890
  • 3 $80,550
  • 4 $97,200
  • 5 $113,850
  • 6 $130,510
  • 7 $147,160
  • 8 $163,810

DC Healthcare Alliance #

The DC Healthcare Alliance Program (“the Alliance”) is a locally-funded program designed to provide medical assistance to District residents who are not eligible for Medicaid — mostly undocumented immigrants.

You may be eligible for DC Healthcare Alliance if you:

  • are twenty-one (21) and older;
  • are a resident of the District of Columbia;
  • have no other health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid;
  • have income at or below 215% of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that's about $4,454 per month.

What is the income limit for DC Healthcare Alliance?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,613
  • 2 $3,533
  • 3 $4,454
  • 4 $5,375
  • 5 $6,296
  • 6 $7,217
  • 7 $8,138
  • 8 $9,058

There are no monthly premiums, copayments, or other charges for covered services for DC Health Care Alliance.

How do I apply for the DC Healthcare Alliance?

To apply for DC HealthCare Alliance, you must complete the DC Integrated Application for Medical Assistance and submit the combined application online at along with supporting documents.

Immigrant Children’s Program (ICP) #

Immigrant Children’s Program (ICP) is another health coverage program that is offered to children from families who are not eligible for Medicaid due to citizenship or immigration status.

Eligibility include children who

  • are under the age of 21
  • are a District resident
  • are not eligible for Medicaid and
  • have family income at or below 324% of the FPL

What is the income limit for Immigrant Children’s Program in District?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $47,240
  • 2 $63,890
  • 3 $80,550
  • 4 $97,200
  • 5 $113,850
  • 6 $130,510
  • 7 $147,160
  • 8 $163,810

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

Services covered under the Immigrant Children Program are very similar to the services covered under Medicaid. There are no monthly premiums, copayments, or other charges for covered services for children enrolled in ICP.

District of Columbia Child Care Subsidy Program #

District of Columbia operates a federally-funded subsidized child care program that helps income-eligible families with child care cost.

A family is considered “income eligible” when their gross monthly income is less than 250% of the federal poverty level at the time of initial application or 85% of the state median income (SMI) for a family of the same size, whichever is lower.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in District of Columbia?

The income eligibility limits vary based on family size, the number of children in care and amount of income. For a family of three, the limit is $5,179 per month.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $4,108
  • 3 $5,179
  • 4 $6,250
  • 5 $7,321
  • 6 $8,392
  • 7 $9,463
  • 8 $10,533

The program serves eligible children from 6 weeks through 12 years. However, children with disabilities may qualify up to their 19th birthday.

The amount of subsidy varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay a portion of child care costs on a sliding scale.

How do I apply for child care assistance in District of Columbia?

If you’re applying for the first time, you must visit to the Child Care Services Division in person. As slots are limited, walk-in visits for new applicants are on a “first come, first serve” basis.

Child Care Services Division
4001 South Capitol Street SW
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 727-0284

D.C. Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) #

In District of Columbia, DCHA administers Housing Choice Voucher Program to help low income residents find affordable housing by providing vouchers to help participants pay rent in privately owned properties across the city.

Participants pay a portion of the rent that is based on a percentage of the family’s income — usually not more than 30%, and DCHA pays the rest of the rent directly to the landlord.

How do I get a DC housing voucher?

The waitlist is currently closed to new applicants. There is no scheduled time to re-open the waitlist.

Interested applicants may apply from DCHA website at or call (202) 435-3245.

Be prepared for a long wait, as thousands of applicants are already on the waiting list. Priority is given to the homeless families, but even they might wait two to three years.

District of Columbia LIHEAP #

District's LIHEAP, which stands for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, offers assistance for income-eligible District households with the costs for heating during the winter months and cooling during the summer months.

Eligible households may receive energy bill assistance between $250 and $1,800 as a one-time regular energy assistance benefit. Priority is granted to lower income families on public assistance, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in District of Columbia?

You may apply for LIHEAP in two ways:

  1. Online: Go to ECOS to submit your application online along with a copy of your most recent energy bill. Applications are available year-round.
  2. By Phone: Call 311 and ask for an application to be mailed to you. In-person appointments are not being accepted at this time.

District residents who qualify may also apply for the Utility Discount Program in order to receive a reduced rate on their utility costs.

D.C. Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) #

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is no longer accepting new applications. Residents who have submitted an ERAP application can check the status of their application at

District's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps low-income District residents facing housing emergencies. The program provides rental assistance, including security deposits and arrearages, in the form of a one-time payment.

ERAP serves low-income families with children, the elderly (age 60 or older) and people with disabilities who are at imminent risk of homelessness.

Generally, ERAP pays no more than 5 months of overdue rents, and usually no more than a total of $4,250. For security deposits and the first month’s rent, ERAP can pay up to a maximum of $900.

District of Columbia Paid Family Leave #

District has one of the most generous paid leave programs in the nation — guaranteeing certain periods of paid family and medical leave to eligible employees.

The law promises to cover employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 8 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 additional weeks of paid personal medical leave. Those who are receiving unemployment insurance or long-term disability payments are not eligible.

Eligible individuals who earn 150% of the D.C. minimum wage or less will receive 90% of their average weekly wage, up to a $1,049 weekly cap.

How do I apply for PFL in DC?

Go to or call the contact center at (202) 899-3700. After you apply, the Office of Paid Family Leave will contact you within ten (10) business days.

District of Columbia Unemployment Insurance #

District's Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own, and who are ready, willing, and able to work.

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must meet the following wage requirements:

  1. Have wages in at least two quarters of the base period;
  2. Have at least $1,300 in wages in one quarter of the base period or
  3. Have earned at least $1,950 in wages for the entire base period and earned total base period earnings of at least 1.5 times the high quarter earnings.

How much unemployment will I get in DC?

The maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount in the District of Columbia is $444, and the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits is 26.

How do I file for unemployment in DC online?

UI benefits can be filed online or if you do not have access to the internet, you may call the UI call center at (202) 724-7000 to file your claim by phone.

As of September 5, 2021, under District law, there is a one-week waiting period before benefits are paid. No payment is made during the waiting period.

DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) #

DC Tuition Assistance Grant is a need-based grant that allows college-bound D.C. residents to attend any public institution in the country as if they are a resident of the school’s state.

DCTAG provides up to $10,000 per academic year toward the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public four-year colleges and universities anywhere the country.

How do I apply for DCTAG?

To be considered for DCTAG, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the DC OneApp Online Application no later than August 1 for priority consideration.

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