The state of Texas has a large population of nearly 27 million people with a poverty rate over 16%. Nearly 1 in every 6 Texans live in poverty while poverty is more prevalent in Southern Texas, where nearly 1 out of every 3 Texan resident live in poverty. This means many Texans are living with financial difficulties in a variety of areas making life more difficult then it should be. Thankfully there are several financial assistant programs available for single parents, single families and any low income citizen.
Financial assistance is one of the biggest areas of concern for many families and single mothers throughout Texas. There are a few financial assistance programs available.
Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
This program is designed for financially struggling single parents and their children. The benefits are received in a monthly payment through a benefits card called the Lone Star card. This card functions just like a debit card as you just swipe it when at the register and you are a good to go. Each month the card is reloaded with your allotted cash assistance amounts. You could also be eligible for a one time $1000 payment to help those in an immediate crisis such as job loss, medical emergency, losing your home etc.
To be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Texas and be considered low income. To see the income guidelines and to learn more check out the Texas TANF webpage.
Texas Unemployment Insurance
Texas unemployment insurance provides financial assistance to those who lose their job through no fault of their own. The amounts you are entitled to depend on a percentage of the amount you made with your last employer. To qualify, you must have worked in Texas in the past 12 to 18 months and must be able, available, and actively looking for work when you are receiving benefits. To learn more and apply, please click here.
Simple expenses such as providing enough food for your children and family can be an issue for many low income families, especially single mothers. Fortunately, Texas has a few really helpful food assistance programs available.
Texas Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
Low income Texans can receive food assistance with the Texas SNAP program. If you qualify you will receive a monthly allowance to spend on food. The benefits are provided on the same Lone Star card mentioned in the Financial Assistance section of this article. The monthly income limits for the state of Texas are very specific. A family of 5 can have a monthly income of $3907 or lower and be eligible to receive up to $770 a month for SNAP benefits. For more information and to apply, please click here.
Texas Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
The WIC program offers free healthy food to pregnant mothers, and to women with children under 5 years of age. This program provides free food nutritional information, and even health care referrals. There are over 300 WIC offices in Texas, so finding a WIC clinic in your area should not be an issue. To be eligible for WIC your household income has to be at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Income level.
As for as single fathers are concerned, the father himself cannot receive any WIC benefits, however their children under the age of 5 will still be eligible for all the WIC benefits.
Texas Summer Food Service
This program provides free, nutritious meals to children in Texas who might otherwise go hungry once the school year ends. In order to qualify for this program you must meet monthly income limits that can be found by clicking here.
Texas Food Banks
The State of Texas also has several food banks that will provide free food for anybody in dire need of food for themselves in their children. To find a food bank near your location, simply type in your zip code, and your nearest food banks will be displayed.
Child Care Assistance
Child care can be a huge expense for any low income single mothers, and parents who are in the workforce. Many single mothers simply can’t even attempt to work because they cannot afford child care. Fortunately there are some childcare assistance programs available.
Texas Workforce Commission Child Care Assistance
Any parents who work or attend school and have children under the age of 13 can possibly receive child care assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission if they are of low income. Parents can even choose between:
- licensed child care centers
- licensed and registered family homes
- relative provided care
If you work 25 or more hours per week or go to school full time you can be eligible for this program. For a detailed charts on income limits for Texas, based on income limits click here. If you qualify, you will still pay a portion of the child care costs through co pay.
To find out if you are specifically eligible for the child care assistance, you will have to contact local Workforce Solutions Office.
Healthcare can be a huge issue for the low income including single mothers. Texas has very thorough healthcare assistance programs available.
Texas Medicaid for Children/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Texas Medicaid program and CHIP go hand in hand, with the primary differences being income limits and co pay. Under Medicaid there will be no co pay, while with CHIP there is a co pay involved.
The Texas Medicaid program and CHIP will cover the costs for a variety of children health care costs such as:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
As you can see by this list, pretty much any children’s health care expense will be covered under the Medicaid program and CHIP programs.The eligibility for these programs depends on your household income before taxes. For example, a family of two would have to have a monthly income of $1833 or less, or a yearly income of $21 992 or less to qualify for Medicaid, and $2000 per month or $24 250 or lower to qualify for the CHIP program. For more information including all the Texas income limits for Medicaid and CHIP click here.
Texas Medicaid For Adults
Texas Medicaid for adults covers everything that the children’s Medicaid covers with there also being income limits as well. If you are a Texas resident and qualify under the income guidelines, then you will qualify for Medicaid without any waiting lists to worry about. This official up to date United States government website will allow you to enter the amount of people in your family to see the different income limited required to qualify.
Unfortunately, the state of Texas has not chosen to expand Medicaid, also known as Obamacare, thus the income limits are higher then the stats that have expanded Medicaid.
Texas Women’s Health Program
This program is specifically designed for women between the ages of 18 to 44 who are in dire financial need. This program will offer many benefits such as:
- numerous screenings for diseases and conditions such as, Diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and cervical cancers and more.
- family planning counselling and education
- treatment for certain diseases
The monthly income limits depend on your family size, for example a family of 3 would be allowed to have a maximum monthly income limit of $3098. For more information on this program, please click here.
The state of Texas offers various programs that will offer assistance for rent payments, mortgage payments, help with finding affordable safe living spaces, as well as financial assistance with energy costs. This useful link will allow you to select the type of housing assistance you need, and will provide all the information you need on that program.
Texas Low Income Public Housing Program
This program will allow Texans to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state, whether it be an apartment, single houses or condos. The State of Texas provides funding to local housing agencies (HAs).The local housing agencies then provide funds to low income families to ensure they have rent payments that they can afford to pay. The eligibility depends by income limits determined not only by the state of Texas, but the specific county or city that you live in.
This Texas Housing Agency link provides a list of all the Housing Agencies located across the state of Texas. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the income guidelines as well as any details regarding the Texas Low Income housing Program.
Texas Housing Choice Voucher Program
This program is somewhat similar to the Low Income Public Housing Program, as the recipients look for a suitable apartment through the voucher program, in which the recipient pays only 30% to 40% of the rent while the rest is paid by the government. This program is also administered through local Housing Agencies.
Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
This program is available to low income households to assist in meeting their home’s energy needs such as air conditioning, heating and more. It is usually 90 degrees fahrenheit with some months averaging a temperature of over 95 degrees which can really put a strain on air conditioning bills. This program will pay up to four of your highest energy bills of the year.
This program will educate Texans on controlling heating and cooling energy costs which will result lower energy bills, resulting in a good amount of saving over time. To be eligible you must be of low income and meet the income requirements. Check out the Texas CEAP webpage to learn more.
Texas Weatherization Assistance Program
The Texas Weatherization Assistance Program allows to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Doing this to your house results in a savings of approximately $450 per year. In order to be eligible for this program, you must be a legal resident of Texas and meet annual household income requirements. A family of three would be able to have an annual income of $25 000 or lower. For a couple listing of income requirements and more details, please click this link.
My First Texas Home Program
This is a useful Taxable Mortgage Program that offers mortgage loans competitive, low interest, interest rates on mortgages, that also provides down payment assistance for first time home buyers in Texas. For more information on this program, please click here.
Transportation in Texas can be difficult for single mothers and the low income, especially if you do not own a vehicle or live in a big city.
Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Transportation department provides a lot of useful information on any transportation issues you might have, which contains a section that will help you find rides and methods of transportation by clicking here.
If you need a ride to any location that you receive Medicaid assistance you can call 1-877- MEDTRIP to receive info on receiving free rides.
Medical Transportation Program
This program allows you to get a free ride to any location that you receive Medicaid Assistance such as doctor’s offices, dentist offices, drugstores etc. You can call 1-877-MEDTRIP for more information or click this link.
Keep In Mind
Legal Services Assistance
Legal services can be extremely expensive and confusing, so as a result the state of Texas has a few good options to look into.
Texas Office of Legal Services
The Office of Legal Services will provide free advice and resources on any various legal issues and questions that you might have. For more information on this, please click here. You can also visit texaslawhelp.org for more free services listed by your area.
Lone Star Legal Aid
This program provides non criminal legal services to low income individuals in Houston and across the state of Texas. Visit lonestarlegal.org for more information.
The State of Texas does a great job providing assistance for single mothers, and the low income. There are numerous programs available in a variety of areas as seen in this article. When tough times hit, remember there is always a program that can help.
Links and Resources
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