Help for Single Mothers in IOWA

Iowa, IA

It’s not easy being a mom, but single moms have it tougher as they must bear the weight of parental responsibilities entirely on their own. This dual role of “combining full-time work and parenting alone” is no easy task. This is a reality the state of Iowa aims to address.

Iowa Earned Income Tax Credit #

Iowa is one of 31 states (and the District of Columbia) that offer a fully refundable credit. This means that families who have no tax liability can receive the entire amount of the EITC as a refund.

Iowa’s EITC is modeled after the federal credit directly, offering a state credit that is equal to 15 percent of the federal credit. That's an additional $1,114 for a family with three or more children.

How much is Iowa Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $90
  • 1 $599
  • 2 $990
  • 3 or more $1,114

All Iowa taxpayers who qualify for the federal credit are automatically eligible. To find out if you qualify for federal EITC, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Iowa Family Investment Program (FIP) #

Family Investment Program (FIP) is Iowa’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. The FIP provides time-limited cash assistance to support low income families with children in Iowa.

Beside cash benefits, the FIP provides employment and training services for most participants through the PROMISE JOBS — a work and training program that will help them become self-sufficient through participation in work-ready activities.

Financial assistance with transportation, housing and child care expenses is also available to FIP recipients while they participate in any PROMISE JOBS activities.

How do I apply for FIP in Iowa?

Applications for Family Investment Program (FIP) can be done online via OASIS — the state of Iowa’s application portal for the Family Investment Program (FIP), Food Assistance (FA), and Child Care Assistance (CCA).

Iowa Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

Iowa SNAP provides healthy food to low-income families with children and vulnerable adults. Its main purpose is to help Iowans buy an adequate supply of nutritious food.

Eligibility and benefits are based on federal rules that consider size of household, income, household expenses, and other variables. Only households with very little or no income may get the maximum benefit amount.

What is the income limit for SNAP in Iowa?

Most families with gross incomes up to 160% of the federal poverty level or about $3,315 a month for a family of three, qualify for food assistance.

Family Size 100% 160%
1 $1,215 $1,944
2 $1,643 $2,629
3 $2,072 $3,315
4 $2,500 $4,000
5 $2,928 $4,685
6 $3,357 $5,371
7 $3,785 $6,056
8 $4,213 $6,742

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.

How do I get food stamps in Iowa?

Applications for SNAP can also be done via OASIS. Once your application is received, an interview will then be arranged to determine your eligibility.

Iowa Child Care Assistance (CCA) #

Iowa Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to children of income-eligible parents who are employed or participate in academic or vocational training or PROMISE JOBS activities.

To be considered for Child Care Assistance, you must qualify for Family Investment Program (FIP) and be responsible for a child who is under the age of 13.

If you're not a FIP participant, you may qualify for the program if you have income under the program's limits and work an average of 28 hours per week.

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

Effective July 1, 2023, initial income eligibility is set at 160% of the federal poverty level, or about $3,315 per month for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $2,629
  • 3 $3,315
  • 4 $4,000
  • 5 $4,685
  • 6 $5,371
  • 7 $6,056
  • 8 $6,742

How do I apply for child care assistance in Iowa?

You can apply for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program online at Iowa’s Family Portal where you can apply, access forms and rules, and search for a child care provider.

If you are seeking child care openings due to a COVID-19 closure, please visit or call 1-855-244-5301.

Iowa Health and Wellness Plan #

As Iowa is expanding Medicaid coverage, Iowa Health and Wellness Plan — an Iowa Medicaid program, is now available to eligible Iowa adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Iowa's Medicaid program extends coverage to pregnant women up to 380% of the federal poverty. That's about $94,470 a year for a family of three.

There are no out-of-pocket costs for the first year and depending on your family income, a very small monthly premium might be required on the subsequent years.

To continue receiving free coverage after the first year, you must complete one of two wellness exams — either a health or dental exam — and complete a health-risk assessment, collectively known as Healthy Behaviors.

What is the income limit for Medicaid in Iowa?

Iowa Medicaid 172% 380% 138%
1 $25,080 $55,400 $20,120
2 $33,920 $74,940 $27,210
3 $42,760 $94,470 $34,310
4 $51,600 $114,000 $41,400
5 $60,440 $133,530 $48,490
6 $69,280 $153,060 $55,590
7 $78,120 $172,600 $62,680
8 $86,960 $192,130 $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.

How do I apply for Medicaid in Iowa?

Call the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1-855-889-7985 for more information. If you’re ready to enroll, you may do so at the DHS Services Portal.

Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (Hawk-i) #

Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa ( Hawk-i ) is a program that provides free or low-cost health care coverage for Iowa children in families with income not exceeding 380% of the federal poverty level.

Basic covered Hawk-i services include, but not limited to:

  • Doctor visits.
  • Immunizations.
  • Dental care.
  • Hospital care.
  • Surgery.
  • Eye exams, eye glasses and contact lenses.
  • Hearing services.
  • Prescriptions.
  • Mental health and substance abuse care
  • Specialist care
  • Chiropractic care

What is the income limit for Hawk-i in Iowa?

Chidren from families with income up to 380% of the federal poverty level can qualify for CHIP through Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa ( Hawk-i ).

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $55,400
  • 2 $74,940
  • 3 $94,470
  • 4 $114,000
  • 5 $133,530
  • 6 $153,060
  • 7 $172,600
  • 8 $192,130

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

For many families, hawk-i is free. Others may pay a small premium, depending on the child’s family income but no family pays more than $40 per month.

Enrollment for Hawki and Medicaid is open year-round via the DHS Services Portal. For assistance with filling out the application, find the Hawki Outreach Coordinator in your area.

Hawk-i Member Services

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

Iowa WIC serves Iowa’s pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children up to age 5 who meet WIC eligibility guidelines and are considered to be “at nutritional risk”.

WIC services include nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, checks to buy nutritious foods, immunization screening and referrals, and health and social services referrals.

What is the income limit for WIC in Iowa?

WIC is open to Iowa families with a household income less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level.

  • 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 Iowa?

If you think you may qualify for WIC, please call the local WIC agency serving your area and schedule your first certification appointment.

For more information about WIC, call

Iowa Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) #

Iowa LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps qualifying households with heating and cooling costs, particularly those with the lowest incomes.

The assistance amount is based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel, and type of housing — up to $800 per household.

Eligibility is limited to homeowners and renters in Iowa with income up to 200% of the poverty level — about $4,143 a month for a family of three.

What is the income limit for energy assistance in Iowa?

  • 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

How do I apply for LIHEAP in Iowa?

LIHEAP in Iowa is run by a network of agencies across the state that have offices in each of Iowa's 99 counties. Please contact the closest county office to you.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis at your local community action agency from November 1 through April 30. For households with elderly/disabled member, applications begin as early as October 1.

For more information regarding program eligibility, call

Division of Community Action Agencies
(515) 281-3861

If the household is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Family Investment Program (FIP) Assistance, the household is eligible to receive Weatherization services, regardless of income.

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

Iowa LIHWAP helps low-income households in Iowa pay overdue water or wastewater bills. Households facing the threat of disconnection, or those that have already been disconnected, may be eligible for LIHWAP.

The application period is open year-round. LIHWAP will run through September 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted.

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

LIHWAP is available for all 99 counties in Iowa. Iowans may apply by contacting their local Community Action Agency or call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at (515)-281-3861.

Iowa Unemployment Insurance #

Iowa Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a state-administered insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work through no fault of your own.

As a condition of eligibility, you are required to register for work at your local IowaWORKS Center, unless work search is waived.

Failure to register for work can result in a disqualification for benefits.

How much do I get in unemployment in Iowa?

The current maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Iowa is $582 with no dependents and claimable for up to 16 weeks only, unless otherwise extended.

In Iowa, the weekly benefit amount (WBA) is determined by two things:

  1. the wages earned in the highest quarter of the base period and
  2. the number of dependents on your claim.

To calculate the WBA, the wages in the highest quarter of the base period are divided by:

  • No. of Dependents Maximum WBA
  • 23 for 0 dependent $582
  • 22 for 1 dependent $604
  • 21 for 2 dependents $626
  • 20 for 3 dependents $659
  • 19 for 4 dependents $714

How do I file for unemployment online in Iowa?

The UI benefits application may be filed online or at any IowaWORKS Center near you, the same week you are unemployed. If you need assistance with your claim, call UI Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843.

Iowa Tuition Grant #

Iowa Tuition Grant is available to assist Iowa residents enrolled at one of Iowa’s eligible private colleges and universities. Priority is given to students with the greatest financial need.

The maximum grant is $7,500 per year for up to four years of full-time, undergraduate study. Part-time students may be eligible for adjusted amounts.

To be considered for Iowa Tuition Grant, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on time and demonstrate financial need.

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