Government Assistance Programs for Single Mothers: Grants and Help for Moms

The information in this article is current as of February 1, 2022.

Are you a single mom needing assistance paying for things like food, clothing, utility bills, and housing? Unfortunately, as prices continue to increase, many people find it harder to afford the everyday items they need.

The good news is there’s plenty of help available. There are government assistance programs available for single mothers. This resource guide will provide you with information on applying for government assistance programs designed to help you and your family.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

No matter where you live, energy bills can become overwhelming. If you find it challenging to make these payments, LIHEAP can help. Also known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP has been around since 1981 and helps keep families safe and healthy by assisting with energy costs.

LIHEAP assists families who heat their homes with:

  • Electricity
  • Oil
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Coal
  • Wood/Wood Pellets
  • Kerosene
  • Corn

LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance with managing home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs. This program can help keep your family cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

LIHEAP offers programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems from unsafe heating and cooling practices.

Eligibility and benefits are based on:

  • Income
  • Household size
  • Primary heating source
  • If a household member is under age 6, age 60 or older, or permanently disabled

For more information or to find your local Low-Income Energy Office, you can contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) toll-free number at 1-866-674-6327 or email them at

The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Program

Launched in 2011, the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program provides services to families looking to break the generational cycle of poverty. The program is designed to create a path or way out of hard times, such as a lack of job opportunities or unstable housing.

The Pathway of Hope approach includes:

  • Working with the community to create resources
  • Providing targeted services to families who are looking to make a positive change
  • Leading vulnerable families to more stability, self-sufficient way of life
  • Focusing on hope and positive outcomes  

The Salvation Army can provide you with connections to:

  • Job training
  • Health services
  • Childcare and education
  • Housing options
  • Legal services

Child Care and Development Fund

The Child Care and Development Fund helps low-income families in need of childcare because of work, work-related training, and school and is ideal for single moms.

To qualify, you must be a parent or primary caregiver to children under 13 or under 19 if incapable of self-care or under court supervision who needs assistance paying for childcare. You must also characterize your financial situation as low income or meager income.

Depending on which state you live in, you must be employed or enrolled in training or an education program. Contact your state, territorial, or tribal child care and development fund subsidy agency to see if you’re eligible to receive childcare financial assistance.

Child Care Resource and Referral Services

Local Child Care Resource and Referral Organizations are available to help you locate quality care for your children.

This resource provides:

  • Referrals to local childcare providers
  • Information on state licensing requirements
  • Information on where to get help paying for childcare

Visit  or call 1-800-424-2246 to find childcare help near you.

Health Insurance Marketplace

If you’re looking for affordable health insurance coverage for you and your children, the Health Insurance Marketplace can help. Marketplace lets you compare plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other essential features.

Each health plan in the Marketplace provides the same essential set of benefits, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Preventive care
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescriptions, and more.

To qualify, you:

  • Must live in the United States
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)
  • Cannot be in prison

Depending on which state you live in, some states operate their Marketplace. In other states, the Marketplace is managed by the federal government.

To learn more, visit or call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596; TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. The call center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The TANF program stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. TANF helps families with children when the parents or other caregivers cannot provide for the family’s basic needs. This program is funded by state grants provided by the federal government.

State TANF programs:

  • Aid needy families so that children can be cared for either in their homes or in the homes of relatives
  • Work to end the dependency on government benefits by promoting job training
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

To be eligible for TANF, you must be a resident of the state in which you apply, and a U.S. citizen, legal alien or qualified alien. You must also be one of the following:

  • Have a child 18 years of age or younger, or
  • Be pregnant, or
  • Be 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household.

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

Funded by federal grants to states, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as (WIC), serves about half of all infants born in the United States.

The goal of the WIC program is to protect the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who need nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

WIC helps:

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Non-breastfeeding postpartum women
  • Infants
  • Toddlers and children up to age 5

Head Start Program

Head Start programs provide services to more than a million children in the U.S. every year. Head Start programs help infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children who qualify as low-income families prepare for school.

This government program focus on family wellbeing. By working closely with parents or other critical family members, the program helps support children’s growth in a positive learning environment.

Head Start offers a variety of services, including:

  • Early learning and development
  • Health
  • Family wellbeing

Head Start services can be provided in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Schools
  • Community action agencies
  • Childcare centers
  • The child or family’s home

Head Start consists of several different program types that focus on the needs of specific populations within your community, such as:

  • Head Start – promotes school readiness of children ages 3 to 5
  • Early Head Start (EHS) – serves infants, toddlers, and pregnant women  
  • American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start – dedicated to the cultural heritage of AIAN children, families, and communities
  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) – provides specific services to children working in agricultural labor, such as migrant farmworker families and seasonal farmworkers

Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service

If you’re a single mom who qualifies for government assistance, you most likely qualify for Lifeline service. This federal benefits program gives low-income consumers free or massively discounted communication services.

Lifeline helps subsidize the cost of wireless cell phones and internet services. More than 35 million people qualify for free monthly wireless service. You may qualify for Lifeline through income level or participation in other federal programs. It might be a good idea to look into this to help you save on the cost of your phone and internet service.

Get a Tablet for $10.01

Access to the internet is essential for families. Now for a limited time, get an 8” tablet for just $10.01 when you qualify and sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Once you’re approved for the program, you’ll receive a separate email to unlock your one-time discount on a brand-new tablet.

Click here to get started!