Texas offers multiple programs that can help single parents. Although most aren't reserved exclusively to single mothers, they are designed to help low-income households with basic needs. Certain programs are only for families with children, while others are for any low-income households in the state.
The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households with their utility bills. Eligibility is based on income and household size. At the time of publication, a single mother with a child can't make more than $19,912 a year to qualify. The program also helps participants permanently reduce your energy consumption. Contract a CEAP provider near you to apply.
Single mothers can apply for general financial help through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. At the time of publication, a single mother with one child can't have an income greater than $163 a month. A mother with two children can't exceed $188 per month. If approved for the program, you must:
- Meet the work requirement.
- Take parenting class.
- Not quit your job.
- Comply with child support requirements.
- Keep your child current on her immunizations.
- Send your child to school if she's 6 or older.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
As a program requirement, single parents must work, or participate in a work activity, for at least 20 hours per week. If the child is school-age, the work requirement is 30 hours per week. The program offers help with child care costs and transportation. Visit the Your Texas Benefits website to apply.
Child Care Assistance
The Texas Workforce Commission provides financial assistance to help with child care costs for parents working or attending school. The assistance is in the form of child care subsidies which reduce your amount of out-of-pocket child care costs. You'll have the right to choose the right type of child care facility for your child, including:
- state-licensed child care centers
- in-home child care and care
- care provided by a relative or family member
Contact your local Workforce office for information on how to apply.
Financial Aid for College
Single or not, you will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for financial aid. The school you plan to attend gets the FAFSA and sets an award packet based on it and your expected financial contribution. State grants are also option. The TEXAS Grant, for one, is just for financially needy residents going to any in-state college.
If your financial aid exceeds the cost of tuition, you'll receive the excess funds. Although you can purchase books or other necessary school supplies, there aren't any restrictions on how the money is used.
Information and Referrals
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission administers the 2-1-1 Texas program to help connect residents in need with agencies and organizations. There's a search feature on 211Texas.org. For example, Texas Head Start provides various supportive services to promote school readiness for children age 5 and under, including educational, health and nutritional services.
Some programs that apply to all Texans include: