Assistance Programs in the State of Maryland
The state of Maryland has a population of 5.9 million with a poverty rate of only 10% which is one of the lowest in the country. The poverty rate is higher in children at 12.7%. Despite these good numbers, there are still over 589 000 Maryland residents living in a state of poverty. There are still many single parents, families, and individuals struggling with basic expenses and bills, leading to an unhappy life. Fortunately, there are numerous assistance programs available that can help the needy in big ways. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available in Maryland.
Financial Assistance in Maryland
Many people struggle with basic expenses as they try to provide for their family. If you are struggling there is some cash assistance available.
Maryland Temporary Cash Assistance Program
The Maryland Temporary Cash Assistance program provides cash assistance to needy families to help them with their bills and expenses. The amount you receive all depends on your income and your specific situation. Some families receive something called a Welfare Avoidance Grant, which is one one time lump sum payment to help with expenses. This program also provides job training and education, as well as helping parents find better employment opportunities with high rates of pay.
To be eligible for this program, you must be a legal resident of Maryland, be of financial need, and have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. To learn more about this program and to apply, check out the Maryland TANF webpage.
Maryland Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Maryland UI provides cash relief payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount you will receive depends on the amounts made with your most previous employer. To learn more bout UI in Maryland and to apply check out the Maryland UI webpage.
Food Assistance in Maryland
If you are struggling providing your family with the necessary food, there are some useful food assistance programs available that can really help your family get the healthy food they need.
Maryland Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Maryland SNAP program provides food assistance to low income single parents and families across Maryland. The food benefits are received on a card similar to a debit card, called the Maryland EBT card or the Independence Card. When you are ready to pay for your groceries, simply swipe the Independence Card just like a debit card and you are all set. Each month the card is reloaded with additional funds.
In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements.To learn more about the Maryland SNAP program including how to apply, check out the Maryland SNAP webpage.
Maryland Special Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Maryland WIC program provides nutrition/food assistance, nutrition education, as well as health care and social service referrals to pregnant, postpartum, and their children up to age 5. You must be deemed at a nutritional risk by a health care professional to get the free food assistance with WIC.
In order to be eligible for this program you must be considered low income, meeting the income requirements. To apply for WIC, you must find the WIC office in your area of Maryland. You can use this WIC locator to find the office nearest your. To learn more about this program, check out the Maryland WIC webpage.
Maryland School Breakfast and Lunch Program
The Maryland School Breakfast and Lunch Program offers reduced cost or even free breakfasts’ and lunches to school children of low income families. Your income will factor into whether your child receives free or reduced cost meals.
To be eligible you must meet the income limits. To apply for this program you must directly contact the school that your child currently attends. To learn more about this program, check out the Maryland Schools Nutrition webpage.
Medical Assistance in Maryland
If you do not have a health insurance plan, it is very difficult to get any health care that is needed. If you are of low income you can qualify for Medicaid in Maryland.
Maryland Medical Assistance Program
The Maryland Medical Assistance Program is the name for the Medicaid program in Maryland. The Maryland Medical Assistance Program provides free health care services to qualifying low income families across the state of Maryland. It covers the cost of a variety of health related expenses including:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Your income in correlation to your household is the primary deciding factor to determine eligibility for Medicaid. The specific individuals age group in relation to the household income also factors into the eligibility. Some of the health care services might require a partial payments similar to co-pay. To learn more about eligibility and to apply check out the Maryland Medicaid website.
Maryland Children’s Health Program (SCHIP)
The Maryland SCHIP program is Maryland’s health insurance program for children. If any children do not qualify under Medicaid, or do not have any other health insurance plan they will most likely qualify under SCHIP. Pregnant women can also be eligible for SCHIP in Maryland This program covers all the same health services as Medicaid. It is a lot easier to qualify for SCHIP as the income guidelines required are lower. To learn more about the this program and to apply, check out the Maryland SCHIP webpage.
Child Care Assistance in Maryland
Child care costs are very high making it difficult for low income single parents and families to pay for child care or work full time. There are some child care assistance programs available in Maryland.
Maryland Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP)
The Maryland CCSP program helps low income families to pay for their child care costs while the parents look for work or engage in job training or schooling. To receive the child care financial assistance you must be actively looking for work, working, or be enrolled in school. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the Maryland CCSP webpage.
Maryland Head Start Program
The Maryland Head Start program provides child care and assists young children from the ages of 0-5 to enhance the social and behavioural skills in preparation for school. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income guidelines. Check out the Maryland Head Start website to learn more and to apply.
Housing Assistance in Maryland
Housing and rental costs in Maryland are expensive making it difficult for low income single parents and families to manage their rent payments. Fortunately, there are numerous housing and rental programs in Maryland.
Maryland Low Income Public Housing Program
The Maryland Low Income Public Housing Program offers living arrangements with reduced rent payments in apartments, condos and single houses, (usually apartments) that are owned by Local Housing Agencies. These agencies receive funding from the government which allow them to offer low rent costs to qualify low income residents of Maryland. The living arrangements are always safe and sanitary.
To apply, you must get in contact with local Housing Agency in your area of the state and set up an appointment. This list of Maryland Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Maryland. 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, and to set up an in person appointment. To learn more about Low Income Housing in Maryland, check out this Maryland Low Income Housing website.
Maryland Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Maryland Housing Choice Voucher Program allows low income single parents and families to be able to receive reduced rent payments for safe and sanitary housing in housing of their own choice. Unlike the Low Income Housing Program, this program allows you to search for your own suitable housing which can be a lot more convenient then living in pre arranged housing. Once you have chosen your home, 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.
To be eligible for this program you must also be of very low income, which is discussed with your local Housing Agency. To apply you must contact the Housing Agency in your area of Maryland and set up a meeting.
Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)
The Maryland MEAP program provides assistance by paying for a portion of the energy bills, primarily heating bills. The payments are made directly to the energy company on your behalf. Your income, as well as the funding the MEAP program has available determines how much of your bill will be paid.
Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Maryland WAP program helps households become more energy efficient, which will result in lower energy bills. The program will perform a variety of services that the house needs such as checking for air leaks, replace furnaces and more. To be eligible for this program you must meet the low income requirements. To learn more check out the Maryland WAP webpage.
Maryland Electrical Universal Service Program (EUSP)
The Maryland EUSP program provides financial assistance by paying a portion of the households electrical costs. The program will pay of portion of electrical bills to low income families. To be eligible or this program, you must be of low income. Check out the Maryland EUSP program webpage to see the income limits and to apply.
Maryland First Time Home Buyers Programs
The state of Maryland offers a variety of programs for those who need help purchasing their first home. The state of Maryland offers many programs that provide down payment assistance up to 5% of the mortgage amount, closing costs assistance as well as helping you lock down the best interest rates possible.
The State of Maryland offers the Maryland Mortgage Program which includes all the programs in one. For a look at all the First Time Home Buyers Programs in Maryland check out the Maryland Mortgage Programs website.
Transportation Assistance in Maryland
Transportation costs can be difficult for the low income especially if they do not own a vehicle. There are cheap alternatives to taxis and you can even receive free medical transportation.
Maryland Medical Transportation Services
You can receive free rides to any doctors appointments, tests, and medical treatments you might have. There are a variety of these programs available that operate through funding they receive from the state of Maryland. These programs are available to anyone receiving Medicaid or SCHIP services. Check out this list of Medical Transportation Services to find the services available in your area of Maryland.
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. The prices are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out uber.com and lyft.com.
Legal Assistance in Maryland
Legal advice and services are very expensive making it difficult for the low income to get the legal help the need. Fortunately, you can find free/discounted legal help in Maryland.
Maryland Legal Aid Organization
The Maryland Legal Aid Organization features several different avenues of legal advice someone might need. It has a large database of where to find legal advice based on what your situation is. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues that include domestic violence, 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 Maryland Legal Organization website.
The state of Maryland has many useful programs designed for the needy people of Maryland. If you are struggling with food, housing, or money there is an assistance program that can really help you out. Do not hesitate to apply for any of these useful programs.
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