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Single mothers in Texas often need to find financial assistance for a variety of reasons. It is tough to feed, clothe, and provide shelter for children with one part-time income.

The federal and state government, private industry, and non-profit, faith-based ministries all offer resources that help women to cut costs, replace lost income, or go back to college to get an education.

The challenge is knowing where to look, and how to find the monetary support. Follow the outline to identify 44 places to turn.

Private Help for Texas Single Moms

Many private companies in Texas provide resources that can help single parents with their everyday financial challenges. You might need extra money or support to deal with unexpected repairs, medical events, and lost income.

Emergency Cash

Request a personal loan (Affiliate Link) to obtain emergency cash. The extra money can allow single mothers deal with urgent needs. If approved, a private lender licensed in Texas will deposit funds directly into your checking account.

Make sure the benefit of having emergency cash on hand outweighs the cost (origination fees and interest charges). Some of these reasons could make sense.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a crucial benefit that every single mom should have. One medical event could wipe out what little savings you have and leave you in debt. Fortunately, solo parents can tap into multiple resources for help paying the premiums for this vital coverage.

Medicaid

Texas Medicaid offers no or low-cost health insurance for specific groups of residents who meet income eligibility criteria. Solo fathers and mothers with one household income often meet the qualifications.[1]

  1. Regular Medicaid for adults who care for children
  2. Pregnancy Medicaid for expectant women
  3. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for kids without other coverage
  4. Medical Transportation Program offers free rides to doctor appointments

Marketplace

Single moms and dads who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid can still get assistance with health insurance when purchasing silver plans in the online marketplace. Once again, having only one source of income can work in your favor.

Your household income determines eligibility for two possible subsidies.[2]

  1. Premium tax credits lower your out-of-pocket costs to pay for coverage
  2. Cost-sharing reductions limit your exposure to deductible and copayments

Disability Insurance

Applying for disability benefits in Texas can help single moms who are unable to work because of an accident or illness. Several resources offer partial income replacement during the time you are unable to work – if you have the coverage.

  1. Short-term disability would cover temporary work absences (up to 2 years) if you purchased a policy from a private company before your need
  2. Long-term disability includes permanent impairments (up to age 65) for people who obtained private coverage before their medical event
  3. Social Security is a government-run plan (covering most people) that pays benefits for permanent medical conditions (lasting one year or longer)
    1. SSDI for individuals who paid FICA taxes
    2. SSI for low-income adults and children with few assets

Texas Government Help for Single Moms

Texas single parents can also tap into financial assistance available through state and federal government agencies. These taxpayer-funded supports can cut the cost of college education, childcare, and necessities like nutrition.

Student Aid

The federal government offers multiple resources that Texas single mothers can tap into to defray the costs of a college education. Begin by completing the appropriate form to establish your “expected family contribution.”

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for US citizens and documented non-citizens
  • Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) for residents ineligible to complete the federal FAFSA

Having a small expected family contribution helps you qualify for need-based financial aid, which includes grants, work-study, and loan subsidies.[3] Having only one income and few assets lowers this all-important metric.

Grants

College grants are the first form of need-based financial aid where the poor monetary standing of a single father or mother improves qualifications.

Nationwide
  1. Federal Pell Grants go to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need – run by the US Department of Education.
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) serve the same population. Participating colleges administer FSEOG.
Statewide
  1. Education and Training Vouchers for Foster Care
  2. Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)
  3. Texas Public Educational Grant Program (TPEG)
  4. Toward Excellence Access and Success (TEXAS)
  5. Tuition Equalization Grant Program (TEG)

This College for Texans website provides further details about the opportunities listed above and below.

Scholarships

College scholarships for single moms and dads in Texas are often merit-based rather than needs-based as with federal student aid. Below is a partial list of the most prominent opportunities.

  1. Federal Teacher Quality Enhancement
  2. Fifth Year Accounting Student Program
  3. Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship Program
  4. Marine Corps Foundation
  5. National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
  6. Texas Armed Services Program

Also, local universities, private foundations, and charitable organizations provide scholarships to exceptional students with specialized skills or a great personal story.

  1. Scholarships go to young adults with elite talents in athletics (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, rowing, gymnastics, wrestling, etc.), music (piano, singing, guitar, violin, etc.), or academics.
  2. Scholarships can also reward young adults who overcame adversity such as raising a child by themselves without the support of another parent

Work-Study

College work-study programs are the second form of need-based financial aid available to single-parent students with low income and few assets. The opportunity encourages community service and works related to the attendee’s course of study.

The on-campus jobs enable you to earn money to pay educational expenses.

Loan Subsidies

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are the final type of need-based financial aid where the weak economic standing of a single father or mother boosts eligibility.

Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better borrowing terms. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest:

  • While you are in college at least part-time
  • For the first six months after graduation (grace period)
  • During a period of deferment (postpone of payments)

Daycare

The government offers single mothers three forms of financial help with daycare expenses. Most solo parents need childcare during work hours so they can earn enough money to support their families.

  1. The Texas Workforce Commission subsidizes daycare for low-income families, enabling parents to work or attend job skills training.[4]
  2. The IRS Childcare Tax Credit offers the maximum tax savings for low-income families. Make sure to deduct these charges on your return before filing on April 15 of each year.
  3. The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account provides an alternative to the tax credit. It favors families with more than two children in daycare and those with higher incomes.

Welfare

The government also provides needs-based welfare supports that single mothers often qualify for because of their lower-than-average incomes. It is challenging to earn money when you must care for a child by yourself.

  1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps)
  2. Free or Reduced Price School Lunch
  3. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  4. Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for pregnant mothers

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services administers many of these welfare benefits.[5] Visit their website for eligibility guidelines and applications.

Housing Assistance Texas Single Moms

Housing assistance is perhaps the most pressing need for single parents in Texas. The monthly mortgage or lease payment is often the heftiest item in any budget. Having a clean, safe, decent place to live is crucial.

Rental

Single mothers in Texas frequently need financial support with rental housing. You and your children should not have to live on the street without shelter.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers two resources that help low-income families find an affordable place to rent.[6]

  1. Subsidized apartments make it economically feasible for property owners to offer reduced rent to low-income tenants. Contact the leasing office of the building for details.
  2. Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) helps low-income families afford decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing in the private market. Contact your local public agency for details.
    1. Austin
    2. Dallas
    3. El Paso
    4. Fort Worth
    5. San Antonio

Home Buying

Home buying assistance for single mothers begins at the national level, while local state-based agencies and non-profit organizations complete the final steps and facilitate the real estate transaction.

Federal

The federal government oversees multiple departments that offer varying forms of home buying assistance for single mothers and fathers. In many cases, a local entity can show you how to take advantage of these resources.

  1. The Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides grant money to local governments and non-profit organizations that make financial assistance and counseling available to potential homebuyers in their local regions (see below).[7]
  2. The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers two types of grants for active and former service members
    1. Disability Housing
    2. Specially Adapted Housing
  3. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides mortgage guarantees for loans up to 90% LTV in rural areas
  4. Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses if a property owner defaults on their loan.

State

Several statewide agencies and non-profit organizations receive the HUD grant money and disperse the funding to prospective home buyers. They also can point single dads and moms other suitable opportunities. The local entities feature three main benefits.

  1. Down payment grants or forgivable liens
  2. Real estate closing cost reductions
  3. First time home buyer tax credit of $2,000 annually

Research the offerings of these three local entities.

  1. Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC)
  2. Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA)
  3. South East Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH)

Footnoted Sources:

[1] TX Health and Human Services

[2] Healthcare.gov Lower Costs

[3] Federal Student Aid

[4] TX Workforce Commission Childcare

[5] Your Texas Benefits

[6] US Department Housing and Urban Development

[7] HUD