The state Arkansas has a population of 3 million with a poverty rate of 18.9%, which is one of the highest poverty rates in the country. The poverty rate among children is at a whopping 26%. There are over 500 000 citizens of Arkansas living in a state of poverty. Many single parents, families and individuals struggle with basic expenses to provide everything their family needs to live a normal lifestyle. If you are struggling there are many assistance programs available in Arkansas. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available throughout Arkansas.

Financial Assistance in Arkansas

Many single parents and families struggle with basic expenses and bills in Arkansas. If this is you, there are some financial assistance programs available that will improve your situation.

Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA)

The Arkansas TEA program assists low income single parents and families with everyday expenses and bills by providing financial assistance. The amount you will receive depends family size in relation to income. This program also provides job training and helps parents seek better employment opportunities which provide quality income.

To be eligible for this program you must have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. You must also be considered low income. To learn more about the TEA program and to apply check out the Arkansas TEA webpage.

Arkansas Work Pays Program

The Arkansas Work Pays Program is a post employment program for prior participants of the TEA program. This program will provide mostly cash assistance payments. To learn more about the Arkansas Work Pays Program check out the Arkansas Work Pays webpage.

Arkansas Unemployment Insurance (UI)

The Arkansas UI program provides financial relief payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount of weekly/biweekly financial assistance you will receive depends on the amounts you made with your most previous employer.

To learn more and to apply check out the Arkansas UI webpage.

Food Assistance in Arkansas

If you are struggling with providing adequate food for your family there are some food assistance programs that will be very useful.

Arkansas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Arkansas SNAP program assists low income food with providing nutritional food for their family. The food benefits are administered onto a card called the Arkansas EBT card which functions similar to a debit card. When you ready to check out with your groceries, simply swipe your EBT card just like a debit card.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more about SNAP and to apply check to the Arkansas SNAP webpage.

Arkansas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The Arkansas WIC program provides nutrition assistance, nutrition education, as well as health care and social service referrals to pregnant, postpartum women, and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible for this program you must be considered low income, meeting the income requirements.

To apply for WIC you must contact the WIC office nearest your location of the state. You can use this Arkansas WIC locator to find the office nearest you. To learn more about WIC in Arkansas you can visit the Arkansas WIC webpage.

Arkansas Food Banks

If you are very desperate for food for you and your family, remember there are always food banks available that provide free food to the needy. The Arkansas food bank website features a list of all the food banks located throughout the state of Arkansas. You can visit the Arkansas Food Bank Locator to find the food bank nearest your location.

Medical Assistance in Arkansas

Medical costs are very high, making it essential for everyone to have some sort of medical coverage. If you do not have medical coverage you can qualify under Medicaid.

Arkansas Medicaid

Arkansas Medicaid provides pays for medically necessary expenses that you might need. It covers a wide variety of issues such as:

  • doctor’s visits
  • prescription drugs
  • lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
  • hospital care
  • eye care
  • dental care
  • treatments
  • vaccination
  • MRI’s

Medicaid eligibility in Arkansas is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. You must be considered of low income, or very low income. Depending on you and your family’s specific situation, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require you to pay a portion of the costs with copay. To learn more about Medicaid in Arkansas and apply, feel free to visit the Arkansas Medicaid webpage.

Arkansas ARKids First! Program

The Arkansas ARKids First! program is the health insurance plan for the children of Arkansas who have not qualified under any other plan. This program is divided into two parts: ARKids A, which offers low income families a comprehensive package of benefits, and ARKinds B, which provides coverage to the higher income families. All of the services that are covered will be covered under this program depending on whether you qualify under the A or B section of the program.

Generally , it is a lot easy to qualify for the  ARKids First Program as the income levels required are a lot lower. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the ARKids First website.

Child Care Assistance in Arkansas

Child care costs are very expensive making it difficult for low income single parents and families to work full time because they cannot afford child care. Fortunately, there some program available that provide child care assistance.

Child Care Assistance Vouchers – Better Beginnings 

This program provides financial assistance for child care expenses to eligible, low income families throughout the state of Arkansas. To qualify for this program you must meet specific income requirements. To learn more about the program and how to apply, check out the Arkansas Child Care website.

Arkansas Head Start Program

The Arkansas Head Start Program provides child care assistance in a learning environment to help prepare the children for school. To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more about the program and to apply check out the Arkansas Head Start Program website.

Housing Assistance in Arkansas

Housing and rental costs con be expensive making it difficult for single parents and families keep up wit their rent payments. There are multiple programs available that can help with lowering your rent costs.

Arkansas Low Income Public Housing Program

The Arkansas Low Income Public Housing Program allows for residents of Arkansas to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state. Usually you will be placed in an apartment, however it can also be single houses or condos. The housing authorities receive funding from the state, who then use the funds to provide the low income with very low rent payments in safe and sanitary living conditions.

You must contact your local Housing Agency to start the application process. This list of Arkansas Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Arkansas. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the specific income guidelines required, as well as any details or questions you might have about the program. Usually an appointment is set up as well.

Arkansas Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Arkansas Housing Choice Voucher Program is some what similar to the Low Income Housing Program, as this program is also administered by the Housing Agencies. However this program allows you to choose your own housing to receive the reduced rent costs. Once you choose your home, or if you already have a home you would like to receive the rent assistance, the Housing Agencies provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.

You also have to contact the Local Housing Agencies to set up an apartment and get started. You can use this list of Arkansas Housing Agencies to find the Agency nearest you.

Affordable Apartment Search

This useful tool will allow you to search for high quality, yet affordable apartments in your area of Arkansas. Simply type in your location and the type of apartment you are looking for and results will be displayed. Check out the Affordable Apartment Locator.

Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Arkansas LIHEAP program assists low income household with their energy bills, primarily cooling bools. This program will pay of portion of your cooling bills directly to your energy supplier. The amount of your bills that are covered depends on your income in relation to household size.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the Arkansas Human Resources webpage and scroll to Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Arkansas Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Arkansas WAP program is an energy efficiency program aimed towards the low income families. This program will make your home more energy efficient, which will result in lower energy bills, saving the homeowners money on their bills. The program will fix and replace A/C units, check for air leaks and more.

To be eligible for this program you must meet the income requirements. To learn about this program and to apply check out the Arkansas WAP website.

Arkansas First Time Home Buyers Programs

The state of Arkansas offers many programs designed towards those who are looking to buy their first house/mortgage. The programs offer down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and help with finding low interest rate mortgages. Some of the programs, such as the USDA 100% Financing Program, make it possible for a 0% down payment if you qualify. To take a look at all these programs, you can visit the Arkansas First Time Buyer webpage.

Transportation Assistance in Arkansas

Transportation costs can be very high making it difficult for those who do not own a vehicle. Instead of using a taxi, there are cheaper alternatives available and you can also receive free transportation for medical reasons.

Arkansas NEMT Program

The Arkansas NEMT program can give you free rides to any doctors appointments, test or any medical reason. To receive these free rides, you must either be enrolled under Medicaid or the ARKids First Program. To lean more and to find rides available in your area check out the Arkansas NEMT webpage.


There are two driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. This results in prices that are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out and

Legal assistance in Arkansas

Legal costs can be very expenses, especially for the low income, which limits their options when  they need legal advice. Fortunately there is an organization that provides information on how to get free and discounted legal advice.

Arkansas Legal Services Organization

The Arkansas Legal Services Organization features several different areas of legal advice someone might need. It has a large database of where to find legal advice based on what your situation and by your location. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. To find a legal service that can be of help to you and to learn more, you can check out the Arkansas Legal Organization website.

The state of Arkansas has a variety of programs designed for many different problems low income residents might have. If you are struggling to do be ashamed receiving assistance as it can really get you though some tough times. Refer to this guide as often as needed for guidance.

Links and Resources 

Arkansas Benefits Page

Arkansas Housing and Rental Assistance Resource


Find Local State Assistance Financial Help Programs for Single Mothers

Click on any one of the states below on the map (or via the table) to go to our local state assistance guide for that specific state