Help for Single Mothers in NEW JERSEY

New Jersey, NJ

Almost a third of single mothers in New Jersey live in poverty, most struggle to provide even the bare necessities. Through NJ’s state programs, anyone with a need is eligible to receive assistance, such as food, cash benefits, subsidized child care, and more.

New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit (NJEITC) #

New Jersey EITC is enacted to supplement the federal EITC, an income tax credit for low-income working residents that rewards work and boosts the pay of families across the country.

Not only it reduces the amount of tax you owe, it may also give you a refund, even if you owe no tax. Most residents are eligible for the NJEITC if they were eligible to receive a federal EITC.

How much is NJ earned income tax credit?

Working New Jersey residents are eligible to claim 40 percent of the federal benefit received through the state EITC. For example, if your federal EITC is $600, the amount of your NJEITC will be $240.

  • Family Size Maximum NJEITC
  • 0 $240
  • 1 $1,598
  • 2 $2,641
  • 3 or more $2,972

To receive the NJEITC, you must file a New Jersey Gross Income Tax Resident Return (Form NJ-1040) using information from your Federal 1040.

New Jersey SNAP #

New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, NJ SNAP, provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries.

Eligibility is set by several factors, such as income and resources. Most families with gross income up to 185% of the federal poverty level or about $3,833 a month for a family of three, qualify for SNAP benefits.

What is the income limit for SNAP in NJ?

Family Size 100% 185%
1 $1,215 $2,248
2 $1,643 $3,040
3 $2,072 $3,833
4 $2,500 $4,625
5 $2,928 $5,418
6 $3,357 $6,210
7 $3,785 $7,003
8 $4,213 $7,795

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 to apply for SNAP in NJ?

Go to MyNJHelps to pre-screen your eligibility. This is a quick and easy way to find out if you qualify. If eligible, you’ll receive your benefits through the “Families First” card.

WorkFirst New Jersey (NJ TANF) #

WorkFirst NJ, the state’s welfare program, is the time-limited cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.

The goal is to help families get off of welfare, secure employment and become self-sufficient through job training, education and work activities.

WorkFirst NJ limits assistance to a maximum of 5 years over a participant’s lifetime, with certain exceptions. The elderly, disabled persons, and children under age 18 are exempt from this limit.

How much cash assistance will I get in NJ?

A qualifying family of three may receive $559 a month in cash assistance for a total of 24 consecutive months and a lifetime total of five years, with certain exceptions

Recipients of WorkFirst NJ may also receive Emergency Assistance (EA) in certain situations, such as being at risk of becoming homeless or a substantial loss of housing, food, or clothing due to fire, flood or similar disaster.

How do I apply for WorkFirst NJ?

You can apply for WorkFirst NJ online at MyNJHelps or in person at the County Welfare Agency that serves your area. After your application is filed, an interview will be arranged to determine your eligibility.

New Jersey FamilyCare #

NJ FamilyCare is federal and state funded health insurance program that helps qualified New Jersey residents afford health insurance — which under the ACA, has been revised to include CHIP and Medicaid.

For most families, NJ FamilyCare will be free. For higher income families with children, there is a sliding scale for co-payments and monthly premiums

Who is eligible for NJ Family Care?

As New Jersey is expanding Medicaid coverage, NJ FamilyCare is now available to eligible adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level. For children age 0-18, NJ FamilyCare covers up to 355% of the poverty level.

What is the income limit for Family Care in NJ?

NJ FamilyCare 355% 205% 138%
1 $51,760 $29,890 $20,120
2 $70,010 $40,430 $27,210
3 $88,250 $50,960 $34,310
4 $106,500 $61,500 $41,400
5 $124,750 $72,040 $48,490
6 $142,990 $82,570 $55,590
7 $161,240 $93,110 $62,680
8 $179,490 $103,650 $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 NJ Family Care?

If you think you may be eligible for NJ FamilyCare based on your income, go to to apply online or call 1-800-701-0710 to track your application's status.

NJ Child Care Subsidy Program #

New Jersey's Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) helps income-eligible parents who are working, in school or in job training to pay a portion of their child care.

Through subsidy, CCSP will assist parents pay for child care for infants, toddlers, preschool-age children, school-age children up to age 13, and for children with special needs up to age 19, including children in homeless families.

Who is eligible for child care subsidy in New Jersey?

A family is considered “income eligible” when their gross monthly income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level at the time of initial application.

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

In addition to meeting the strict income requirement, you are required to be employed full time for a minimum of 30 hours per week or be enrolled in a school/training program for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

How do I apply for child care assistance in New Jersey?

To get started, you must first complete, sign and submit an application with the required documents to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency in your county.

For a list of CCR&Rs, visit

To learn more about NJ CCAP, or for help in finding quality child care, call
NJ Child Care Helpline

Transitional Child Care #

If you participated in Work First New Jersey, you may be eligible for extended child care benefits for up to 24 months after you leave welfare.

Under Transitional Child Care, you are responsible for paying part of the cost of child care (a “co-pay” or fee), the amount of which may vary depending on your income.

For more information, call

NJ Hospital Care Payment Assistance Program (Charity Care) #

NJ Charity Care is the state program for low-income people in New Jersey who do not have full health care coverage and who are not eligible for programs like Medicaid or NJ FamilyCare.

Who is eligible for Charity Care in NJ?

Families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level and assets not exceeding $15,000 may qualify for free hospital care. Those above the limit may receive reduced cost care where you only have to pay a portion of your hospital bill.

Household Size 200% 300%
1 $29,160 $43,740
2 $39,440 $59,160
3 $49,720 $74,580
4 $60,000 $90,000
5 $70,280 $105,420
6 $80,560 $120,840
7 $90,840 $136,260
8 $101,120 $151,680

If you’re income eligible for this program, you should apply for Charity Care at the hospital where you receive the service, usually in the hospital’s business office.

For more information, please call
Health Care for the Uninsured Program

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

New Jersey WIC serves New Jersey’s youngest residents and their families at risk for poor nutrition and medically related health problems as well as families experiencing unemployment and other interim family financial hardships.

It provides special checks or vouchers for buying healthy foods to supplement their diet. Other benefits include nutrition education, breastfeeding support, free screening and referral to health care.

What is the income limit for WIC in New Jersey?

WIC is open to New Jersey 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

Can I apply for WIC online in NJ?

No. You may only apply for New Jersey WIC by contacting your local WIC agency or WIC clinic office and scheduling an appointment.

For information about your local WIC agency and how to apply
Call 1-866-44 NJ WIC or 1-866-446-5942

New Jersey Housing Choice Voucher Program #

Is Section 8 open in NJ?

No. New Jersey's federally subsidized Section 8 voucher program is currently closed.

New Jersey Housing Choice Voucher Program or NJ Section 8 subsidizes rent for low-income New Jersey residents. Families spend about a third of their paychecks on housing, and the DCA pays the rest directly to landlords.

A total of 20,000 households will be selected through a random lottery system and be placed on the waiting list, prioritizing Armed Forces veterans, homeless individuals, domestic violence survivors and those with disabilities.

How do I get on Section 8 waiting list in NJ?

To get on the waiting list in NJ, you may submit your pre-applications online at during the open enrollment period.

All applicants must meet the income limits of the county where they live and must be able to provide proof of residency.

DCA Customer Service Unit

NJ State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) #

The SRAP pre-application period is now closed. Please continue to check DCA’s website to see when new waiting lists will be opened in the future.

The State of New Jersey Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) is a state funded program that provides housing subsidies on behalf of extremely low-income residents — elderly, family with children, and the disabled.

Applicants must meet the income limits of the county where they want to live and provide proof of residency. Applicants must have resided in New Jersey for at least six months prior to applying for SRAP.

To apply for SRAP, go to during the open enrollment period and follow the given instructions to submit a pre-application. If selected, you’ll be placed on the waiting list.

New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Applicant Services Unit (ASU)

New Jersey Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

New Jersey LIHEAP is designed to help very low-income households with their utility bills — helping them stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, the applicant household must

  1. be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent; and
  2. have gross income not exceeding 200% of the federal poverty level, about $4,143 per month for a family of three.

What is the income limit for LIHEAP NJ?

  • 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 much does LIHEAP pay in NJ?

Eligible households may receive a one-time credit of up to $1,278. Households with the elderly or disabled or a young child under age 5 are given priority consideration.

How do I apply for energy assistance online in NJ?

If you are eligible, download, print and complete the Home Energy/USF/Weatherization Program Application and submit the completed application to your local Community Action Agency or go to DCAid Service Portal to apply online.

For further information on LIHEAP or to locate the nearest application agency, call 1-800-510-3102. Additional information about LIHEAP, including an application, is also available at

New Jersey Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

New Jersey LIHWAP provides emergency assistance to low-income households who are disconnected or are in imminent threat of disconnection. Priority is given to households with the elderly, disabled or a young child under age 6.

Households who are at or below 60% of New Jersey's median income are eligible to receive a one-time credit of up to $5,000 towards the payment of outstanding bills and associated fees.

Participants in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are automatically eligible for LIHWAP assistance as long as they are water/wastewater bill holders.

How do I get help with my water bill in NJ?

If you are struggling to pay your water or wastewater bills, you can submit your application through DCAid application portal or call 1-800-510-3102 to be directed to one of the community action agencies.

New Jersey SHARES #

New Jersey SHARES is another energy assistance program that assists NJ households and families who do not qualify for LIHEAP.

Eligibility is determined by income and household size. Applicants must have income over the limit for LIHEAP, but does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $58,320
  • 2 $78,880
  • 3 $99,440
  • 4 $120,000
  • 5 $140,560
  • 6 $161,120
  • 7 $181,680
  • 8 $202,240

Applicants must also demonstrate a temporary financial need and make a good-faith payment of $100 or more within 90 days of applying for NJ SHARES.

Upon approval, you may receive grants up to $700 for gas and $500 for electric service. To apply for the New Jersey SHARES program, please call toll-free 1-866-657-4273.

New Jersey Unemployment Insurance #

NJ Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides a temporary safety net for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own — providing weekly cash benefits of up to $830 to those who qualify.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work during each week in which you are claiming benefits.

How do I claim my NJ unemployment benefits online?

Before benefits can be paid to you, you must first file an initial claim. You may file a claim either online at or by phone at any of three Reemployment Call Centers listed below:

  • North New Jersey (201)-601-4100
  • Central New Jersey (732)-761-2020
  • South New Jersey (856)-507-2340

How much do I get for unemployment in New Jersey?

If you are eligible to receive unemployment, your weekly benefit rate (WBR) will be 60% of your average weekly earnings during the base period, up to a maximum of $830.

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI) Program #

New Jersey is one of the first states that provides paid leave benefits for employees who need to “take time off” to bond with a newborn baby or provide care for a seriously ill family member.

Under NJ’s Family Leave Insurance program, cash benefits equaling to as much as two-thirds of their earned wages may be payable for up to 12 weeks during a 12-month period.

Claimants are paid 85% of their average weekly wage, up to the maximum weekly benefit rate set for that calendar year. The current maximum weekly benefit rate is $1,025.

How do I apply for Family Leave Insurance benefits?

Once you're ready to claim, the easiest way to apply for benefits is online. Payments are usually issued every two weeks after the initial payment.

NJ Earned Sick Leave #

New Jersey has among the most comprehensive Earned Sick Leave, Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance laws in the country, which cover all employees — full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal.

If you are sick, need time to care for others, or are unable to work due to the public health emergency, you may eligible for New Jersey Earned Sick Leave, up to 40 hours of earned sick leave each year.

The State of New Jersey has created a benefits eligibility tool to help you understand what benefits programs and job protections are available to you during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Can I use my NJ Earned Sick Leave to get my vaccine?

Yes, you can use their NJ Earned Sick Leave to get their COVID-19 vaccine, including for travel to and from your appointment and recovery from side effects, if any.

Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) #

Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) Program is one of largest and most generous financial aid programs, with nearly one in every three full-time New Jersey undergraduates receiving awards.

TAG awards are renewable annually and range from $2,924 up to $13,590. Students with an NJ Eligibility Index below 1,500 qualify for the maximum awards.

Part-time TAG is also available for students who are enrolled for 6-11 credits in approved county colleges. The amount of the grant varies depending on student need, cost of attendance and available funding.

How do I get a TAG grant in NJ?

To be considered for a TAG award, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year within established NJ deadlines and meet all other program requirements.


NJ STARS is an initiative created by the State of New Jersey that provides New Jersey’s highest achieving students with free tuition at their home county college.

Students who rank in the top 15% of their class at the end of either junior or senior year of high school may be eligible to receive an NJ STARS award.

NJ STARS students must attain with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher to meet the academic requirement for renewal or graduate with GPA of 3.50 or higher to qualify academically for the NJ STARS II program.

How do I apply for the NJ Star program?

Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application within established state deadlines and meet all eligibility requirements.

New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJ Dreamers)

In May 2018, NJ became the 10th state to expand access to state financial aid to Dreamers and undocumented students who meet certain criteria.

The New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application allows NJ Dreamers enrolled in eligible New Jersey colleges and universities to apply for state financial aid.

If this is not your state, please select yours here.
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