Raising a child as a single mom can be a stressful experience, especially when it comes to finances. Thankfully, there are several programs that can help. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top programs for assistance and grants in Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
- Financial Aid / Cash Assistance
- Childcare Assistance
- Food Assistance
- Housing Assistance
- Healthcare Grants
- College Grants
- Final Words
Financial Aid / Cash Assistance
Wisconsin Works (W-2)
The Wisconsin Works program, also known as the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF), provides cash assistance to low-income families who are working, seeking work, or in a work-training program. In addition to providing cash payments, the program can also help applicants find work.
Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program
The Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial support for child care. Parents must be working or seeking work in order to qualify for the subsidy. Recipients of the program will receive a MyWIChildCare EBT card, which can be used to pay for tuition and expenses at approved childcare centers.
Wisconsin’s FoodShare program, also known Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), helps low-income families pay for food and groceries. To be eligible for the FoodShare program, families must fall within 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. As of 2022, a family of 2 with earnings under $2,904 per month can qualify for up to $459 a month in benefits. The subsidy can be used at most stores that sell food, as well as farmer’s markets.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
Students who are enrolled in public schools or non-profit private schools may be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program. In order for students to qualify for free lunch, the family’s income must be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Students with families who make between 130% and 185% of the Federal Poverty Level can qualify for reduced-price lunches. Families who are eligible for SNAP will automatically qualify for the National School Lunch Program.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a program that provides supplemental food benefits to nursing mothers, expecting mothers, and their children. Recipients of the program will receive a cash benefit that can be used to purchase milk, eggs, cereal, baby food, and more. In addition, the program also provides counseling and breastfeeding services to new mothers.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) provides assistance to low-income families by paying a portion of their rent. Families can choose where to live (as long as they accept Section 8 payments) and must pay for the portion of the rent that isn’t covered by the program.
Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)
The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) helps families pay for their utility bills, including heat, electricity, and gas. In order to qualify for the program, families’ incomes most fall within 60% of the state median income. As of 2022, the income threshold is approximately $3,389 per month for a family of two.
Wisconsin’s Medicaid program provides healthcare coverage to low-income families. Badgercare covers a variety of medical costs including doctor visits, prescription drugs, x-rays, dental and vision care, and more.
BadgerCare Plus (CHIP)
The BadgerCare Plus Program, also known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), provides health coverage to children and pregnant women. Like Medicaid, this program helps pay for medical costs including doctor’s visits and prescriptions.
Wisconsin’s ForwardHealth is a state program with a network of free and low-cost health and dental clinics. They are intended to serve low-income individuals and people with little or no health coverage. You can see a list of participating clinics on the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s website.
Over 15,000 children are currently enrolled in childcare services through Wisconsin’s Head Start program. The program offers free daycare and childcare services to low-income families in the state. Participating childcare centers provide students with early learning activities as well as breakfast and lunch.
Talent Incentive Program Grants (TIP)
The Talent Incentive Program (TIP) Grant is a state-funded college grant for residents of Wisconsin. In order to qualify for the program, students must demonstrate financial need and must be attending a Wisconsin college or university, at least part-time.
The Pell Grant is a federally-funded college grant for low-income undergraduate students. The grant does not have to be repaid. The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2022 to 2023 school year is $6,895.
Raising a child as a single mom can take a toll on your mental and financial well-being. The good news is that there is always help. The programs listed in this article can help ease some of the burden of a struggling single mother.