The state of Utah has a population of just under 3 million people with an overall poverty rate of 11.7%, with a poverty rate in children of 13%. This is quite lower then many states however it still doesn’t change the fact there are still many people living in poverty. The state of Utah has a wide variety of assistance programs available to help out single parents, families and individuals throughout the state. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available in Utah.
Financial Assistance in Utah
Many people struggle financially with providing basic necessities such as food and shelter for their families. Utah has one main financial assistance program available for the needy in Utah.
Utah Family Employment Program (FEP)
The Utah Family Employment program is Utah’s version of the Temporary Assistance for the Needy(TANF). This program provides financial relief to unemployed, or underemployed single parents and families. This program also places a lot of focus on helping the unemployed or under employed find higher paying jobs, as well as workplace preparation and training. The financial benefits for this program are used through a card called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, as funds are transferred onto this card for you to use.
To be eligible for this program you must either be in the third trimester of pregnancy or be have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. You must also be of low income and be either under employed, unemployed or about to become unemployed.
Click here for more information on on this program including the income guidelines. You must apply for this program online, if you have any questions about this program you can also call1-866-435-7414.
Family Employment – Two Parent Program (FEP-TO)
This program is very similar to the above program, however this is considered a pay after performance program. Basically, both parents work with an employment counsellor to develop an employment plan, and must participate in specific activities before any payment is made. This program helps families increase their income by improving their chances at better employment opportunities. To learn more please click here.
Utah Employment Insurance Program
This program provides financial payments for those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount you will receive depends on the amount of money you made from your previous employer. To receive the financial assistance for this program you must be able and actively looking for new work.
To be eligible for this program you must have worked during 4 of the last 5 quarters and have made a minimum of $3200 through your employment. Check out this Utah Employment link to learn more and to apply online.
Food Assistance In Utah
Sometimes providing your family and children with proper, healthy food can be a challenge. Fortunately there are a few good food assistance programs available for the low income residents of Utah.
Utah Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This program allows the low income people of Utah to purchase free nutritious foods with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, called the Horizon card in Utah. You simply swipe your EBT Horizon card when you are checking out your groceries at authorized retailers. The funded are reloaded onto your card on a monthly basis.
To be eligible for this program you must be a legal resident of Utah, and be considered low income. You must have a checking and savings account balance of $2000 or below, or $3000 and lower if some aged 60 or someone with a disability live in your household. You must also meet the annual income requirements. Click here to take a look at the income charts and to apply online.
Utah Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants and children (WIC)
This program provides free nutritious foods, nutrition education and even health care referrals to pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding women and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Utah and be considered low income. The foods provided are rich in ingredients that are important for postpartum women and young growing children.
Utah School Breakfast And Lunch Program
This program provides children of low income single parents and families, with free or low cost meals before the school day starts and at lunch. In order to be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Utah, have a child in school and be considered of low income.
To apply for this program you must contact the school that your child or children attend. To look at the income guidelines, please click here. To learn more about this program,Utah School Program Page
Utah Summer Food Service
This program provides free nutritious foods to children who might not have as much access to food during the summer then they would during school. This program serves children aged 18 and under. To be eligible for this program you must be a resident of Utah and of low income. The income guidelines are the exact same as the above program. Check out the Utah Department of Education’s page on this program to learn more.
Medical Assistance In Utah
Medical care as we all know can be very expensive making it difficult for the low income to afford the care they need. Fortunately Utah has a solid Medicaid program.
Utah Medicaid is a medical assistance program for low income residents across the state of Utah. This program provides free health care and services to qualifying Utah residents in a variety of areas such as:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Not all services are completely covered as it depends on your family’s specific financial situation. Some services might require you to pay a portion with co-pay. The eligibility for this program depends on your household income along with which age group is receiving the medical care, as the limits are different based on age. Refer to these income charts and and scroll down to see all the income limits for all age groups. Use the Utah Medicaid website for all the info you need and to begin the application process.
Utah Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Chip program is basically the Medicaid program for children if you do not qualify for Medicaid. The program provides all the same health care services as seen above with the main difference being, it is easier to qualify for CHIP as the income guidelines are lower.
In order to be eligible for this program you must have a child under the age of 19 living in your household, or be the primary caregiver of a child, and be considered low income. Click here for a look at the income requirements. Check out the UTAH CHIP website for more information and to apply for CHIP.
Medicaid Expansion Affordable Care Act
Unfortunately the state of Utah has not adopted the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. Medicaid expansion allows people that are above the income limits to receive regular Medicaid, which eliminates the gap of people not qualifying for medical coverage in Utah. However, there is a good chance Utah will adopt the Affordable Care Act in the near future.
Housing Assistance In Utah
It can be very difficult for low income single parents and families to be able to make their rent payments and pay for everything else to ensure their family has everything they need. Fortunately there are some great rent and housing assistance programs available to Utah residents.
Utah Public Housing Program
The Utah Public Housing program allows low income single parents and families across the state of Utah 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 Utah provides funding to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).These agencies will then use the funds to provide the low income families or single parents safe and sanitary housing with greatly reduced rent payments that they can afford to pay. The eligibility for these programs is based on your income limits.
In order to apply you must contact your local Housing Agency. This list of Utah Public Housing Agencies, provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across the state of Utah. 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.
Utah Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Utah Section 8 program makes it easier for low income single parents and families to be able to afford their housing of choice on the housing market. This program is somewhat similar to the Public Housing program except with this program you get to choose your home. Once you have chosen your home or if you already have a home you would like assistance for, 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. Of course you have to be considered low income to qualify for this program which is done through the Public Housing agency. Just like the Public Housing Program,, you must apply through your local Housing Agency to get started.
Utah Home Energy Assistance Training Program (HEAT)
This program assists low income Utah residents with their heating bills. Your income, as well as personal situation determines how much of your heating bill will be covered. To be eligible you must be a resident of Utah, and be considered low income. To take a look at the income guidelines please click here. To apply you must contact a local heat office near you. To locate your nearest HEAT office and to learn more check out the UTAH HEAT webpage.
Utah Home Weatherization Assistance Program
This program aims to help low income residents of Utah reduce their homes energy consumption by making the home more energy efficient, which will in turn reduce the cost of energy bills. To see this income guidelines and to apply, take a look at the Utah Weatheriation Assistance Program webpage.
Down Payment/Home Ownership Assistance Programs
These programs help eligible first time homebuyers to purchase their first home. Recipients can receive funds to use to decrease their down payment which makes it easier to get a mortgage. These programs also offer lower competitive interest rates for first time home buyers. Click here for a look at all the first time home ownership programs available.
Child Care Assistance in Utah
Child care costs are usually very high making it very difficult for low income parents and families to afford proper child care. If this is you there is child care assistance available.
Utah Head Start Program
This program will provide a learning environment for children ages 0-5 to help enhance their emotional, cognitive, and social development. This program is only available to low income families. You are eligible based on your household income compared to how many people live in your household. To look at the income limits and to learn more check out the Utah Head Start website.
Job Search Child Care Assistance
This program will pay for a good portion of child care costs while a parent looks for a new job if they have recently lost employment. This is a newer program offered by the State of Utah that has various eligibility requirements. You must be a single parent to qualify for this program. For more information check out the Utah Job Search Child Care page.
Transportation Assistance In Utah
Free Medical Transportation
If you are part of any health insurance program in Utah, you can receive free rides to and from any doctors appointments, tests and treatments you might have. Check out this Medical Transportation page for more information including who to contact to set up the rides.
There are a few very popular driving services called Uber, and Lyft. These services have normal people pick you in in their own personal vehicle and take you where you want to go. It is a lot cheaper then taking a cab, and will save you a good amount of money.
Legal Assistance in Utah
Legal service can be very expensive making it difficult for many people to afford the legal advice they need. Fortunately there are a few good sources for free legal advice in Utah.
Utah Law Help Organization
This organization features several different areas of legal advice someone might need. It has a lot of information on how and where to find legal advice based your issue. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as, domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. Check out UtahLegalServices.org for a great database of information and resources for free legal services available at locations near you.
Links And Resources
State Assistance Map
Click on any one of the states below to go to our assistance article for that state