Being a parent is difficult; being a single parent is even harder. Single mothers have enough stress on them as it is, and that’s even without the social stigma that often comes with it.
This, along with the state of the economy as is, makes it hard for single mothers to make enough money to thrive on their own. Luckily, there are free resources for single mothers of all ages in the United States.
Join a Support Group
One of the best things a single mother can do is build a support network. Oftentimes, these networks consist of family members and friends.
Then again, not everyone is lucky enough to have supportive family members and friends. That’s where joining a support group comes in.
What benefits a woman will get from joining a support group will depend on which support group she joins.
Some common benefits include sharing babysitting responsibilities, trading lightly used children’s clothes, and planning playdates.
Many of these support groups are free to join and have no other qualifiers other than being a single mother with a child aged 18 or younger.
Apply for Free Phone Services
There are many free services the government provides for people who make below a certain amount of money. One of these services is the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program.
This program provides benefits that can reach up to unlimited talk, unlimited text, and up to 7GBs of data each month. If there was a single mother guide, this service would be near the top of the list.
This service is not strictly for single mothers, but single mothers will be able to get a lot of benefits out of it if they qualify.
Because this is a government service, mothers will need to apply to see if they qualify. If they do qualify, they may also be able to get a free smartphone.
Apply for WIC
WIC often calls itself one of the country’s “best-kept secrets” when it comes to providing free food. This service is strictly for mothers with young children ages five and under OR pregnant women.
The woman does not need to be a single mother. However, this service is not available to single fathers.
This is another government program. The benefits are based on how many children a woman has and how much household income the family has.
Because of this, a single mother with several children will likely get more assistance than a married woman with one child.
Since this is a government program, women will need to apply on the WIC website to find out if they qualify to receive benefits.
It should be noted that Food Stamps and WIC are not the same things.
In fact, a person can qualify to use both services at once! However, while people can buy more or less whatever foods they want with Food Stamps, WIC is specific about what kinds of foods it can be used for.
These usually include milk, juice, eggs, cereal, oatmeal, and similar foods.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits
The United States government has implemented tax credits for low-income families, including families headed by single mothers or low-income couples (married or not).
While this is technically a government benefit, mothers do not need to “apply” for it. Instead, it is included in regular income tax forms that most people need to fill out each spring.
There are two major tax credits for low-income families. The first is the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means that it reduces the amount of money a person owes on their taxes.
If a person earns more credits from this than they owe, then they can get it paid back as a refund. The maximum amount a parent can earn from this is about $6,500 if they have three or more children.
The second most popular tax credit for mothers is the Child Tax Credit. This tax credit is not as refundable as the EITC. Parents can earn up to a $2,000 tax deduction per child.
However, this mostly covers owed taxes. If a parent has more in deductions than they owe– no matter how much more– they can only get $1,400 as a refund.
All in all, the US government knows how to watch out for their mothers, both single and married. All services listed in this article are free to apply for.
Single mothers should make sure to take advantage of these benefits to ease their financial and social burdens.
Jean Smith is a fitness enthusiast and blogger who focuses on fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about assisting people in living healthier lifestyles and is constantly on the lookout for new and creative methods to stay fit and healthy. Her articles are excellent resources for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness.