Voluntary employee benefits and other government programs often provide financial assistance for single-parent families struggling to make ends meet. Program labels and names are not always obvious. You have to learn how to take ordinary tools and adapt them to your household needs.

We did most of the heavy lifting for you. As a single parent, you may be stressed for both time and money. Half the income and double the responsibility is a very heavy load to bear.

Single parent families share many concerns, and many resources providing financial aid apply equally to both genders. Other times, the exact opposite is true.

Financial Assistance for Single Mothers

Single mothers often find more avenues for financial assistance, simply because they ask for help more readily. By making your needs known, and asking the right questions, site owners like us can assemble documents addressing your most pressing needs.

Find help with funding when you have bad credit, cancer, children in daycare, maternity leave concerns, or you lost your job.

With Bad Credit

Request a personal loan for emergency financial assistance. If you are a single mother with bad credit, you may find a handful of expensive options. A network of subprime lenders will review your qualifications, and if approved will quickly transfer money into your bank account electronically.

Be very careful about borrowing money when you already have bad credit and only one source of income. If you lose your job or become disabled you may quickly fall further behind. Take out loans only as a last resort.

With Cancer

Being a single mother is challenging enough. If your doctor diagnoses you with breast cancer or identifies a malignancy elsewhere in your body, your need for financial assistance grows sharply. You may face additional medical bills, travel expenses, and lost income while treating this dreaded disease.

  • State-mandated short-term disability might replace a portion of your income if you work in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island.
  • Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts can make your money go further by allowing you to utilize pre-tax dollars to pay for ongoing unreimbursed medical expenses associated with your treatments.
  • Personal Cancer Insurance makes fixed payments based on the type of treatment you receive. However, you must purchase the policy prior to diagnosis, and not after.
  • Charitable organizations actively raise funding to assist cancer patients. However, resources are often very limited. You can find several helpful links below.

Child Care

The federal government provides two alternative forms of financial aid for childcare. Both the Childcare Tax Credit (CTC) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA) provide help with daycare expenses via tax savings.

The CTC works best for single mothers with low incomes and more than one child in daycare. The credit is progressive; lower income households see bigger savings. The limit for qualified expenses is $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more children.

The DCFSA works best for single mothers with one child in daycare and an annual income above $43,000. The limit for qualified expenses is $5,000 annually, regardless of the number of children. Tax savings increase.


Deciding to keep your baby is a life-giving choice. Pregnant single mothers often need extra financial assistance to make having a baby more affordable. Several federal and state government programs may help in several areas.

Maternity insurance programs help pay for doctor visits, prenatal care, and your labor and delivery in the hospital. Premium and cost-sharing subsidies make it more affordable to have this coverage whether a Medicaid program or a policy you purchase through your state marketplace.

Maternity leave laws mostly provide unpaid job-protected time away from work. You will need to stop working when you have your baby. Know your rights and legal protections.


The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 may provide financial help for unemployed single mothers who need to stop working to care for a sick child, were the victim of domestic violence, or suffered a disability.

The federal government provided incentives to the states to modernize their unemployment compensation programs to include benefits for employees who leave work voluntarily for a “compelling family reason.” Twenty–two states accepted these incentives, but each defines compelling family reason differently.

Only six permit collecting benefits for an employee’s own disability. These states are Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington. Twenty-two allows employees to collect benefits while caring for a sick family member.

Financial Assistance for Single Fathers

Financial assistance for single fathers is extremely rare. The legal system works against men in most instances. The courts make dads second-class citizens in alimony, child custody, and child support cases.

Many government agencies take every opportunity to track down single fathers in order to take money from them and transfer it in the form of child support. They may deny you the right to drive a car, enjoy sporting activities, and even to earn an income in the occupation of your choice by declining your license application if you are behind on payments.

  • Driving license
  • Electrician’s license
  • Fishing license
  • Gun permits
  • Hunting license
  • Insurance license
  • Pilot’s license
  • Plumber’s license
  • Real estate license

Legal Assistance

Many law firms specialize in legal rights for single fathers. Some do pro bono work, but in most cases, they do not practice law free of charge. You will need to pay them for help in resolving your case.

Many men need to drive in order to work. Certain occupations require licensing. If a government agency denied a work-related license application because you were unable to pay child support, your attorney fees may be tax deductible. The general rule of thumb is that attorney fees are tax deductible when trying to produce taxable income. The tax savings can help you fight for your rights.

Government Financial Help

Federal and state governments provide a measure of financial aid to single fathers who pay alimony or marital support. Alimony payments may be tax deductible. Child support payments are never tax deductible. Review your divorce or separation agreement with your tax advisor.