Help for Single Mothers in MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi, MS

Mississippi is the poorest state in the country — with both the lowest median household income and highest poverty rate among states. Many rely on public assistance just to make ends meet, including cash, food stamps, and subsidized housing, among others.

Mississippi Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) #

Mississippi TANF, administered by the Mississippi DHS, provides temporary cash assistance for needy families with children up to age 18 who have little or no resources to meet their everyday needs.

The amount of benefits is based on the family’s income. In Mississippi, cash benefits are limited to no more than $260 a month for a family of three — the least generous in the country.

Mississippi requires applicants to complete a mandatory 30-day up-front job search and be screened for possible drug use. Failure to complete these requirements may result in an application denial.

How do I apply for TANF in Mississippi?

TANF application may now be made online through Mississippi's If you need help with your application, please call 800-948-3050.

Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

Mississippi SNAP provides monthly benefits that help low income households buy the food they need for for sound nutrition and well-balanced diet. The program issues electronic benefits that help stretch their food budget.

Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits but the program is designed to help those who need food assistance most — low-income families, the elderly and disabled, and Mississippians on public assistance.

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

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.

How do I apply for food stamps in Mississippi?

SNAP and TANF applications may now be made online through Mississippi's Once your application is received, the local county office will set up an interview to review your eligibility within the next 5 days.

Mississippi Medicaid #

Mississippi Medicaid is a health care program that helps pay for medical services for eligible, low-income Mississippians who meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

In order to qualify for Medicaid, you must be either pregnant, have a disability or be responsible for children under 19, or be 65 years of age or older.

What is the income limit for Mississippi Medicaid?

Mississippi has one of the strictest Medicaid requirements in the country, and will only cover parents earning up to about 28% of poverty, or about $6,960 a year for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $4,080
  • 2 $5,520
  • 3 $6,960
  • 4 $8,400
  • 5 $9,840
  • 6 $11,280
  • 7 $12,720
  • 8 $14,160

How do I apply for Mississippi Medicaid?

Applications for Medicaid may be filed online through and are assessed for potential eligibility. If not eligible for Medicaid, applications are automatically referred to the Marketplace.

Office of Eligibility

Mississippi Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) #

Mississippi provides health coverage for uninsured children through CHIP. It provides health, dental and vision coverage to children up to age 19 who do not qualify for Medicaid.

In Mississippi, children with family incomes up to 214% of poverty are eligible for CHIP. That's about $53,200 per year for a family of three.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $31,200
  • 2 $42,200
  • 3 $53,200
  • 4 $64,200
  • 5 $75,200
  • 6 $86,200
  • 7 $97,200
  • 8 $108,200

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

Mississippi CHIP is currently administered by two coordinated care organizations (CCOs):

  1. Molina Healthcare
  2. UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

There are no premiums or deductibles, although there may be a small co-payment for some services for higher-income families on CHIP.

CHIP Enrollment Contact

Mississippi Child Care Payment Program (CCPP) #

Mississippi Child Care Payment Program (CCPP) is a federally funded program designed to provide parents with assistance with child care tuition. Parents may choose any type of child care while participating in this program.

Parents who meet the income and work requirement will be responsible for paying their child care provider a monthly co-payment fee.

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

Families with gross income less than or equal to 85% of the State Median Income (SMI) are eligible to apply for subsidy. For example, income eligibility limit for a family of three is at or below $4,222 a month.

How do I apply for child care assistance in Mississippi?

Beginning January 2014, paper application will no longer be accepted. Families interested in applying for the Child Care Payment Program must complete the online application.

Mississippi Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

Mississippi LIHEAP provides a one-time financial assistance to eligible households to help pay the cost of home energy bills — up to $1,500 per household.

To qualify for the program, applicants must have an income that falls within the program guidelines. Priority is granted to households that pay a high proportion of their income for home energy.

For applicants who are not eligible for LIHEAP, MDHS works with utilities to provide energy assistance to low-income households across the state.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in Mississippi?

You may apply through which is available nationwide but services and funds are for residents of Mississippi only.

Mississippi Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Mississippi LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program designed to help low-income households and families who have fallen behind on their water and wastewater bills.

Mississippians eligible for LIHWAP benefits will have a one-time credit applied to their water utilities account — up to $1,500 based on the availability of funds.

How can I get help with my water bill in Mississippi?

If you are struggling to pay your water or wastewater bills, you can apply in-person at the local Community Action Agency nearest you or submit your application online through

Mississippi Unemployment Insurance #

Mississippi Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks.

Mississippi has the lowest maximum unemployment benefits in the nation. Benefit amounts range from a minimum of $30 to a maximum of $235 per week.

How do I file my weekly unemployment claim in Mississippi?

If you worked and earned wages in Mississippi, there are three ways to register and file your weekly claim:

  1. online through MDES’ Online Unemployment Services,
  2. in person at the WIN Job Center nearest you, or
  3. by phone by calling 601-493-9427.

As a condition of eligibility, you are required to register for work at WIN Job Center in your area and provide proof of work search each week that you are collecting benefits.

Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG) #

MATG is available for Mississippi’s financially needy students attending state approved public and nonprofit two-year and four-year eligible colleges and universities.

MTAG awards may be up to $500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores and $1,000 per academic year for juniors and seniors. Priority is for Pell Grant recipients with unmet need.

To apply for MTAG, you must first file your FAFSA and complete the Mississippi Office of Financial Aid Application along with a variety of supporting documents.

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG) #

MESG provides tuition assistance to high-achieving Mississippi residents pursuing undergraduate studies at eligible public and non-profit colleges and universities in the state.

The maximum award amount is $2,500 per year for a maximum of 8 semesters or degree completion, whichever comes first, but awards may not exceed annual tuition and fees.

For first time applicants, complete an initial application online on or before September 15 during the fall of the aid year for which the student is seeking assistance.

Higher Education Legislative Plan (HELP) #

HELP is designed to provide tuition assistance to Mississippi students whose financial need, as demonstrated by federal student aid eligibility, are not met from other sources.

Applicants must be attending an eligible Mississippi institution, must have a minimum ACT score of 20 and an average gross income of $39,500 or less over the prior two years.

To apply for HELP, you need to complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an online application along with the HELP Worksheet (also referred to as the Household Verification Worksheet).

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