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Programs offering financial assistance for single mothers in Minnesota run the gamut. Most do not come with specific labels for moms who must raise children by themselves.
Instead, you have to take the situation and apply it to private and government programs designed for specific needs and low-income populations. Single moms frequently find it difficult to earn a sufficient income while simultaneously caring for her children all alone.
Break down your search for monetary help into three main categories.
- Emergency and hardship grant programs
- Assistance during pregnancy and maternity leave
- Help renting an apartment or buying a home
Hardship & Emergency Programs for Single Mothers
A private form of hardship grants and emergency loan programs provide the financial assistance to the largest number of single mothers in Minnesota. We list these options first because they appeal to the broadest set of needs.
Request a personal loan to provide temporary aid for emergency cash shortages such as car repairs, or unexpected medical bills. The fast approval process can get the money you need very quickly in order to deal with your crisis.
As a single mom, you should avoid borrowing additional money if you already have bad credit, or if you are unemployed or disabled. Taking out an emergency loan without a solid repayment plan and steady income will only make your situation worse. Take this step only as a last resort.
A debt consolidation or settlement program can work like a hardship grant for single mothers who are disabled, unemployed or having difficulty paying regular bills on time. If late payments cause a bad credit history, then this option could be a fit. Moms owing more than $10,000 in unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, personal loan) often qualify.
A company licensed to operate in Minnesota will negotiate with creditors on your behalf in an effort to reduce your obligations. Only those experiencing real financial hardship are eligible to participate in this program. Otherwise, your creditors have no reason to grant your request for them to accept less than full payment.
State government benefit programs offer financial help in the form of income replacement. Single disabled mothers in Minnesota have more options than moms do in most other states. The alternatives expand somewhat when she needs to care for a disabled child and cannot work.
- MN does not offer state-mandated temporary disability insurance.
- MN supports unemployment compensation for workers who terminate employment for good cause – which includes an employee’s own disability, and care of a seriously ill family member.
- Social Security Disability (SSD) provides income support for workers with permanent disabilities.
Financial Assistance for Expectant Single Mothers
Expectant single mothers in Minnesota can sometimes find financial assistance. She often must cobble together available options during her pregnancy, maternity leave, and when she returns to work and must begin paying for childcare.
Short-term disability in Minnesota provides maternity leave pay for expectant women who purchased a private policy prior to conception. This option requires forethought and prompt action. Unfortunately, most expectant mothers wait until it is too late. A private policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.
Minnesota does not offer a state-mandated program. You must enroll in a private policy before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant.
Minnesota maternity leave laws provide valuable job protections for all working women. Any worker may be able to collect unemployment benefits if she terminates employment because of her own medical condition, or to care for a sick family member or infant at home.
Pregnant single mothers often find that they qualify for income-based government subsidies (make too much for Medicaid). These subsidies help lower monthly premium costs and often lower the level of unreimbursed expenses not covered by the plan.
You can begin an individual plan during the annual open enrollment period, which begins in November of each year and concludes in January. You can enroll any time of year if you experience a qualifying life event such as a job loss. Becoming pregnant is not a qualifying life event.
Minnesota Medicaid provides medical assistance services for all pregnant women meeting income criteria. You can enroll any time of year without having to experience a qualifying life event. Young teen mothers often find this government entitlement critically important, as their parent’s plan may not cover dependent pregnancies.
Financial assistance for premature babies is especially critical for single mothers. Having one or more infants confined to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can lead to significant medical bills combined with lost income. This trying circumstance cripples the budget of two-income families.
When you must shoulder the burden alone, the monetary needs are most severe. Time constraints are also far more taxing. These are the options worth exploring.
- Debt settlement for medical bills
- Changes to health insurance to cover newborn
- Optimize tax savings on your extra medical expenses
- File claims on supplemental health insurance – if enrolled
Single mothers in Minnesota frequently qualify for financial assistance in a number of different childcare entitlements. Once you are able to return to work, you may find that daycare for your child is prohibitively expensive.
Two tax strategies make childcare more affordable. Choose between two vehicles that lower your tax bill each year that you place your child in a qualifying day care facility.
- The Childcare Tax Credit refunds a percentage of your expenses for $3,000 per child
- A Flexible Spending Account saves income and FICA taxes on $5,000 of expenses
The Minnesota Child Care Assistance Program makes childcare more affordable for income-eligible families. The benefits apply to children under the age of 12 or 14 for children with special needs. The parent must be engaged in authorized activities such as working or looking for employment.
Financial Help with Housing for Single Parents
Single parents in Minnesota frequently need financial help with housing. Raising children alone while also holding down a job is very difficult. It is often very challenging to afford a decent place to live in a safe neighborhood. Housing is often the largest expense you must face every month.
Renting an Apartment
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency publishes a list of government-based resources that can direct single parents to find financial help with apartment rental housing.
- Section 8 or housing choice vouchers provide very low-income families with financial assistance to help them pay for decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Contact the local public housing agency in your county.
- The Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program helps parents with no place to live, or who are in imminent danger of losing their home.
Buying a House
Single mothers often need extra financial help when buying a home. In order to qualify for a mortgage, you first need to save up enough money for a sizable down payment. Second, you also need to demonstrate sufficient income to cover the monthly payments for principal, interest, insurance, and real estate taxes. Third, you must have a respectable credit score.
It is very difficult to perform well on all three metrics when you are working and raising children by yourself. Below are some resources that could help with any one of the three main criteria.
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency also provides financial help for first-time homebuyers. This state-based agency helps with education services, credit counseling, and specific home loan services. The agency could help you buy a home using some of these services.
- Affordable fixed-rate mortgages
- Small down payments as little as 3%
- Loans for down payments and closing costs
- Low mortgage insurance options
- Tax credits via the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program