Help for Single Mothers in FLORIDA

Florida, FL

Raising a child on your own is hard enough, let alone trying to support a family on one income. Through the state’s programs and initiatives, Florida actively reaches out to these families — providing the much needed financial safety net.

Florida Disaster Unemployment Assistance #

The deadline to submit a claim for DUA benefits on Oct. 2, 2023, at 23:59.

FloridaCommerce announced that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Idalia.

DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning September 3, 2023 until March 2, 2024, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster in a designated-disaster areas.

Eligible Floridians whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Idalia are encouraged to submit a claim at RECONNECT.

FloridaCommerce is accepting applications for DUA from residents in the following counties:

  • Citrus
  • Columbia
  • Dixie
  • Gilchrist
  • Hamilton
  • Hernando
  • Jefferson
  • Lafayette
  • Levy
  • Madison
  • Pasco
  • Suwannee
  • Taylor

If you have questions regarding eligibility for DUA benefits in Florida, please call 1-800-385-3920.

Florida Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) #

The purpose of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program is to provide temporary financial assistance to very low-income families with children under age 18.

Pregnant women may also receive TCA, either in the third trimester of pregnancy if unable to work, or in the 9th month of pregnancy.

Eligibility is determined through the ACCESS Florida which has automated eligibility processes for Temporary Cash Assistance, Food Assistance and Medicaid.

How much is cash assistance in Florida?

For a family of three in Florida, the current maximum TCA payment is $303 a month and may vary based upon the household’s net countable income.

How do I apply for cash assistance in Florida?

Application for cash assistance can be made online through ACCESS Florida or in person at the local Department of Children and Families office. Once your application is received, you will be contacted for an eligibility interview, usually within 5 days.

Florida Food Assistance Program #

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced two additional flexibilities for SNAP recipients impacted by Hurricane Idalia.

Florida's Food Assistance Program (SNAP) helps improve the diets of low-income Floridians, regardless of age, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.

SNAP benefits are somewhat modest. The amount of benefits received is based on household income, other financial resources, and family size.

For example, a family of three with no other income may receive up to $740 in monthly SNAP benefits or $440 each month if the family has a net monthly income of $1,000.

Unless otherwise exempt, all work-eligible participants will be required to participate in the SNAP Employment and Training program, operated by Local Workforce Development Areas across the state of Florida.

How do I sign up for food stamps in Florida?

If you wish to apply for food assistance, call the Department of Children and Families (DCF) at 1-866-762-2237 or apply online at ACCESS Florida — the official portal for Floridians to apply for public assistance.

SNAP benefits in Florida and elsewhere also come with perks that go beyond purchasing food — including discounts on certain products and services like Amazon Prime discount where you can save 50% off their Prime memberships.

Florida Medicaid #

Medicaid is the medical assistance program that provides access to health care for low-income families and individuals with limited income and resources.

In Florida, most Medicaid recipients are enrolled in at least one of the three components under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program.

  1. Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) covers services such as doctor visits, hospital care, prescribed drugs, mental health care, and transportation.
  2. Long-Term Care (LTC) provides services like care in a nursing facility, assisted living, or at home.
  3. Dental Program that provides all Medicaid dental services for children and adults.

Who is not eligible for Medicaid in Florida?

As Florida is not expanding Medicaid coverage, non-disabled adults under age 65 who don't have dependents are not eligible for Medicaid in Florida, regardless of how low their income is.

Eligibility for non-disabled adults is only limited to parents with incomes below 28% of the poverty level. That's about $6,960 a year for a single mother of two to qualify.

What is the highest income to qualify for Medicaid in Florida?

Florida Medicaid 145% 138% 196% 28%
1 $21,140 $20,120 $28,580 $4,080
2 $28,590 $27,210 $38,650 $5,520
3 $36,050 $34,310 $48,730 $6,960
4 $43,500 $41,400 $58,800 $8,400
5 $50,950 $48,490 $68,870 $9,840
6 $58,410 $55,590 $78,950 $11,280
7 $65,860 $62,680 $89,020 $12,720
8 $73,310 $69,770 $99,100 $14,160

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

How do I apply for Florida Medicaid?

Applications for Medicaid are made through ACCESS Florida or the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families who only want to apply for Medicaid for their children may submit a Florida KidCare application.

Florida KidCare (SCHIP) #

Florida KidCare offers affordable, low-cost health insurance for the uninsured children of Florida. The program covers children from birth through age 18.

Florida KidCare covers children from birth through the end of age 18 through four (4) health insurance programs:

  1. Medicaid — Birth through 18 years.
  2. MediKids — Ages 1 year to 4 years.
  3. Florida Healthy Kids — Ages 5 years to 18 years who are not Medicaid eligible.
  4. Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan — Birth through 18 years with special needs.

What is the income limit for Healthy Kids in Florida?

Children in families with income between 138% and 215% of the federal poverty level are eligible for subsidized coverage through Florida Healthy Kids.

No interview required, just fill out and mail the easy, one-page application. Many families pay $15 or $20 per month, but most families pay nothing at all.

Florida Healthy Kids 138% 215%
1 $20,120 $31,350
2 $27,210 $42,400
3 $34,310 $53,450
4 $41,400 $64,500
5 $48,490 $75,550
6 $55,590 $86,600
7 $62,680 $97,650
8 $69,770 $108,700

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

Healthy Kids and KidCare now has year round open enrollment!

All Florida KidCare programs are applied for with one application. You can apply online or call 1-888-540-KIDS (5437) to have an application mailed to you.

Florida School Readiness Program #

Families in Florida who are trying to work or get training to work may be eligible for child care assistance through the School Readiness Program. These services range from extended day care to after-school, and school-age care for children.

Depending on the family income, parents are expected to pay a designated fee directly to the child care provider for each child for whom they receive financial assistance.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in Florida?

Families are eligible for child care assistance if their household income is less than or equal to 150% of the federal poverty level or $3,108 per month for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $2,465
  • 3 $3,108
  • 4 $3,750
  • 5 $4,393
  • 6 $5,035
  • 7 $5,678
  • 8 $6,320

How can I get free child care in Florida?

Families need to apply through Florida's Early Learning Family Portal. If you are potentially eligible, you will be placed on the waitlist until enrollment occurs, depending on funding availability.

Florida Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) #

Florida's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) is a free pre-kindergarten program for 4 and 5-year-olds who reside in Florida. Enrollment is based on the county in which you want to attend, NOT on which county you live.

There is no income eligibility requirement for families to participate in this FREE Pre-K program. To be eligible, children must be Florida residents and turn 4 years old by September 1 of the program year.

The VPK program provides 540 hours of instructional time FREE to families. Additional child care services provided outside of the VPK hours will be at a cost to families.

How do I enroll my child in VPK Florida?

To apply for Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), please visit the Florida's Early Learning Family Portal. Families with eligible children will receive a certificate of eligibility.

Child & Family Resources
(904) 208-2040

Florida Head Start #

Florida Head Start is a national school readiness program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services for low-income pre-school children.

Early Head Start is open to children under 3 years old in low-income families, including pregnant women, while children ages 3 to 5 participate in Head Start.

What is the income limit for Head Start in Florida?

Children from birth to age five who are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start. For a family of three, that's about $24,860 or less.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $1,215
  • 2 $1,643
  • 3 $2,072
  • 4 $2,500
  • 5 $2,928
  • 6 $3,357
  • 7 $3,785
  • 8 $4,213

How do I apply for Head Start in Florida?

For detailed information regarding enrollment, eligibility, and available services, please locate a Head Start program in your county.

Florida School Breakfast and Lunch Program #

Florida's National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) provide nutritious, well-balanced meals, including lunch and breakfast, at no cost or reasonable prices to children whose families meet income requirements.

For example, a child in a family of three with a monthly income of $2,693 or less would qualify for free meals. If you are a SNAP recipient, your child automatically qualifies for free school meals.

Family 130% 185%
1 $1,579 $2,248
2 $2,137 $3,040
3 $2,693 $3,833
4 $3,250 $4,625
5 $3,807 $5,418
6 $4,363 $6,210
7 $4,921 $7,003
8 $5,478 $7,795

How do I apply for free lunch in Florida?

You may apply for school meals at any time throughout the school year by submitting a Free and Reduced Price Application directly to your school.

If you are receiving SNAP benefits, please contact your school to determine if you need to complete an application.

Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

Florida LIHEAP assist eligible low-income Florida households in meeting the costs of home heating during winter and cooling during summer.

Eligibility is determined by the local agency providing LIHEAP services in the county in which you live. In most cases, if you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a total income no more than 60% of the Florida State Median Income;
  2. Be responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills;
  3. Be a resident of Florida; and
  4. Be a U.S. Citizen, qualified alien or permanent resident of the U.S.

LIHEAP assistance is not a monthly benefit. Depending on the availability of fund in your county, you may receive assistance once a year or up to three times a year.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in Florida?

You must contact your local LIHEAP provider to find out if money is available, how to apply, and how to get an application. No web-based application available at this time.

Florida's LIHEAP office
(850) 717-8450

Florida Weatherization Assistance Program #

Florida's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) offers grants to low-income households in all counties to help qualified households reduce their energy consumption.

Types of assistance available through the program include:

  • Address air infiltration with weather stripping, caulking, thresholds, minor repairs to walls, ceilings and floors, and window and door replacement
  • Install attic and floor insulation
  • Install attic ventilation
  • Apply solar reflective coating to manufactured homes
  • Install solar screens
  • Repair or replace inefficient heating and cooling units
  • Repair or replace water heaters

Families with an income up to 200% of the national poverty level, about $4,143 per month for a family of three, are eligible for WAP assistance.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,430
  • 2 $3,287
  • 3 $4,143
  • 4 $5,000
  • 5 $5,857
  • 6 $6,713
  • 7 $7,570
  • 8 $8,427

WAP are available to both income-eligible homeowners and renters, with priority given to senior citizens, families with children and persons with disabilities.

How to apply for WAP in Florida?

Applications are available through your local weatherization office. You need to complete a Client Intake Form and submit it to your local agency.

Florida Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Florida LIHWAP provides much-needed relief to low-income families in Florida that spend a high proportion of their household income on water utility services.

This program offers income-eligible households a one-time payment to help pay outstanding bills for residential water and wastewater services. Eligible households can receive up to $1,000 within a 12-month period.

How do I get help paying my water bill in Florida?

If your water has been disconnected or face disconnection, please contact your local agency directly for information on how to apply. Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcomed.

Florida Reemployment Assistance Program #

Reemployment Assistance Program helps qualified workers who are out of work through no fault of their own by temporarily replacing part of their wages.

Florida ranks among the lowest in the nation for unemployment benefits, offering a maximum weekly benefit of no less than $32 and no more than $275.

Florida also allows the fewest maximum weeks of unemployment benefits, which is set at 12 weeks — tied with North Carolina for the shortest duration.

Where do I file for unemployment in Florida?

There are no unemployment offices in the state of Florida. All reemployment claims must be filed online using RECONNECT — Florida’s Reemployment Assistance claims system.

Unless otherwise exempt, all claimants filing a new claim are required by law to register for work through Employ Florida Marketplace before claiming benefits.

Reemployment Assistance Hotline

Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) #

Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) is Florida’s largest need-based grant program that provides financial aid to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate “exceptional” financial need and meet other eligibility criteria.

The annual award amount may vary each academic year. The minimum annual award amount is $200 and up to a maximum of $2,610 for those with the lowest EPC.

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1st each year but no later than May 15.

Funds are limited and awards are made based on the priority consideration deadline.

Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) #

Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG), on the other hand, is a need-based grant that offers eligible students up to $3,000 per academic year, subject to state budget appropriations. Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered.

As these funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, it is recommended that the application be completed as early as possible after October 1st.

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