Government Grants Available for a Single Mother

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Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Lori Pace

Government grants for a low-income family or single mother come mainly in the form of cash assistance that you can use to pay for just about anything. 

From outstanding utility bills, mortgage payments and rent, to education, food, and health insurance, there is help available to you. 

In this article, you will find ten programs administered by various sectors of the United States government that will assist single mothers in need

Government Grants For Single Mothers

Please note that several of the programs mentioned below do not provide direct funding to individuals but assist them in other ways. They have been included here because they are still forms of government grants that you can apply for as a single mother.

Let’s have a look at these programs in more detail.

Federal Pell Grant Program

Single mothers looking to further their education with the help of federal student aid can apply to the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Pell Grant Program. 

These grants are open to anyone and will help cover the costs of college tuition.  

Pell Grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students, but postgraduate students may, under certain circumstances, also be awarded this grant.

To apply for funding from this grant, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You must continue to submit this form every year you attend school to stay eligible for federal student aid. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, SNAP is a federal grant program that helps low- to no-income families buy food monthly. Single mothers who struggle to make ends meet can also apply for assistance from this program. 

The way it works is, SNAP awards you benefits depending on the size of your household, income, and expenses. Next, you are provided with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The card is linked to an account where SNAP benefits are directly deposited every month. You can then use the card to buy groceries at selected supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food retailers.

To qualify for assistance from SNAP, you must meet all the eligibility criteria. These include income and resource requirements and specific requirements for immigrants, elderly persons, and persons with disabilities. 

To apply for SNAP benefits, you need to fill out an application and return it to a SNAP office within your state. Each state has a different application, which is usually available online. 

More information about the various application processes for each state, as well as where to find your local SNAP office, is available on the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) website. 

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC aims to promote the general well-being of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and infants and children up to the age of five by giving them access to healthy foods. It also provides healthcare referrals and basic food education to women and children considered to be at nutritional risk.

This program works similarly to SNAP in that recipients receive an EBT card that they can use to purchase WIC-approved items.

Individuals, including single mothers, with a total household income below 185% of the federal poverty level are eligible for this program. In addition, individuals or families who already participate in other benefits programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, may also automatically meet the income eligibility requirements for WIC. 

Child Nutrition Programs

These programs provide food assistance to low-income families and single mothers with children of school-going age. They help to provide for a child’s basic needs by ensuring that they receive at least one healthy meal while they are at school.

Some of the programs include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) serves daily meals to children who are enrolled in daycare or afterschool care programs. It also caters to adults who have specific needs.

In addition, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) distributes free healthy meals and snacks to underprivileged children and teens. 

SNAP, WIC, and the Child Nutrition Programs are all administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Public Housing Programs

Single mothers can get housing assistance from the government through its Public Housing Programs. 

The goal of these programs is to ensure that everyone has access to a roof over their heads. This is done by providing low-income individuals with affordable private- or state-owned rental housing. 

Assistance from these programs is usually given in the form of housing subsidies or housing vouchers. The subsidies limit the amount of rent that recipients have to pay to no more than 30% of their income, while the housing vouchers can sometimes be used to purchase modest homes.


Medicaid is administered by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It gives people access to medical and other health-related services when they are otherwise unable to afford them. In fact, it is the largest public health insurance program in the U.S. that helps low-income families and individuals, including single mothers, get access to free and affordable healthcare.

Each state is currently allowed to determine its own eligibility requirements for this program. In general, however, applicants must be U.S. citizens or qualified non-citizens.

Child’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

This program is another great option for single mothers since it provides free medical and dental care to uninsured children up to 19 years of age. 

Children eligible for the program include those whose family income is above Medicaid’s limit but below their state’s CHIP limit. 

It covers hospital care, medical supplies, and tests. It also provides preventive care, such as eye exams, dental care, and regular check-ups. 

CHIP is also administered through the CMS.

Head Start 

Head Start is another program administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can help low-income single mothers by ensuring that their children receive the best possible start in life.

It offers a variety of free services to children from needy families, which include:

  • Comprehensive early learning and development programs. These promote the school-readiness of children from birth to age five.
  • Healthcare and nutrition. Every child participating in the program receives a free health screening. The program also provides nutritious meals to each child to promote healthy growth and development.
  • Parent involvement services. These aim to promote family well-being by offering support to the parents of the children enrolled in the program. They also aim to strengthen parent-child relationships by involving parents in the learning and development of their child. 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

This program can assist single mothers by helping them pay for their home energy bills and cover the costs of minor energy-related home repairs.

The program’s main concern is the health and safety of families and individuals exposed to unsafe heating and cooling practices. Its goal is, therefore, to eliminate the inherent dangers that can arise from these situations. 

For this reason, LIHEAP’s crisis program provides emergency assistance to households experiencing an energy crisis. Such emergencies include:

  • Broken heating equipment or leaking lines
  • Lack of fuel (less than a 15 day supply)
  • The main heating source or alternate heating source (i.e., a second heating source used to operate the main heating source or used as a backup) has been completely shut off. 
  • The danger of having a utility service terminated within the next 60 days

Federal Government Pro Bono Program

Single mothers in need of legal assistance but who cannot afford to pay for it can seek help from the Federal Government Pro Bono Program. 

Through this program, federal government attorneys volunteer to provide free legal services to low-income clients. The services they offer include giving advice and referrals, litigating civil cases, staffing clinics, drafting wills, and conducting mediation.

There you have it: ten federal grant programs that offer free aid to low-income single mothers in the U.S. 

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!