Financial Grants For Single Parents With A Disabled Child

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Lori Pace

In this article, we take a look at what grants and financial assistance are available for single parents with a disabled child.

Even under ideal conditions, single moms have a rough time. Everyone knows about the big issues, but what about minor things? For example, the act of holding the car door open with your foot while trying to strap your baby into a car seat and not dropping your handbag. Let’s face it, doing everything on your own is a challenge. 

Adding a disabled child to this single mother scenario is just plain hard – to put it mildly.

This article will explore eligibility requirements and types of grants out there for single mothers with disabled and special needs children. The term “disabled” is distinct from “special needs.” Hence, the type of care and financial assistance required for children with these conditions is vastly different.

What Is “Disabled”?

“Disabled” generally refers to physical and mental inabilities, whereas “special needs” refers typically to learning disabilities.

For example, a child with Downs Syndrome might also have developmental delays. In contrast, a child with a chronic physical disability like Multiple Sclerosis may need care that does not concentrate on learning difficulties. Disabled children (and adults) might have one or both of these challenges. (It is also important to note that the disabled child continues to need help as an adult (see more information about SSDI below.)

Some special needs can be dealt with relatively quickly, whereas some children’s disabilities are a challenge for life.

Emotional Toll On Single Parents Of A Disabled Child

It is well known that families in general and single mothers mourn the loss of the perceived potential of a special needs or disabled child.

It is a universal challenge for individuals and families to get to grips because nothing is perfect. Single moms of disabled children feel this very keenly in a world where perfection is celebrated. It is essential to realize that families with “normal” kids are not always better off. 

Some high-achieving able children feel so much pressure, and they might end up suffering from severe depression. Money and ability do not always make things rosy. However, it can be highly challenging financially to raise a disabled child.

Cost For Parents Raising An Able vs A Disabled Child

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs an estimated $233 610 to raise an average child to 17. In contrast, raising a child with an intellectual or physical disability is estimated (by Autism Speaks) to be between $1. 4 to $2.4 million

Single-parent moms are (in most cases) in dire need of financial assistance when raising a disabled child.

Websites Detailing Grants For Single Mothers, Or Parents, Of A Disabled Child:

Supplemental Security Income for Special Needs (SSI)

  • Geared towards disadvantaged and low-income families
  • You need to earn less than $3209 as a single mom.
  • A disabled child receives between $647 and $794 per month
  • Moms need to prove that the child suffers “marked and severe functional limitations.”
  • Examples of these limitations include Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability, and blindness.

Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI

  • The eligibility requirements include adults who have worked in jobs that Social Security covered.
  • Your child must have a disability that meets Social Security’s requirements
  • The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool will help you see if your child will qualify.

   Medicaid: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • As a low-income family, you are financially eligible even if you are above the poverty line
  • Private insurance does not cover many of the medical expenses covered by Medicaid for children with disabilities and special needs
  • Provides long-term health care services like nursing.
  • Medical costs such as doctor’s visits, x-rays, lab tests, prescription drugs, and hospitalizations are covered.

Tax credits for Special Needs Families:

  • If you have medical expenses that your medical aid did not pay, you may qualify for a tax credit.
  • This may include medically required foods, mileage to and from the health center, and therapy supplies.
  • The financial aid credit can be up to $3000 per dependent.

529A account is a state-sponsored account that allows disabled people to save money. People can contribute $14 000 a year without putting their federal benefits at risk. 

Grants For Parents With A Disabled Child

  1. Autism Cares Today SOS Program provides financial aid and grants for children with autism.
  2. Parker’s Purpose Foundation Assistance provides up to $1000 in financial aid for any family with a life-altering illness or disability in an immediate financial crisis.
  3. First Hand Foundation gives financial help for items (not covered by private insurance)  that will improve the quality of life for disabled people.
  4. Ben’s Fund provides up to $1000 in financial support to families (in Washington State) to treat children with an autism spectrum disorder.
  5. Autism Support Network has an extensive list of grants for autism-related expenses of special needs children.

Education Grants For Children With Disabilities

  1. Rise Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance of $2500 annually for children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  2. Organization for Autism Research offers financial aid in the form of $3000 scholarships for students on the autism spectrum who are studying full time.
  3. Anne Ford Scholarship
  • Give grants for children with learning and cognitive disabilities
  • Provides grants of $2500 per year for four years
  • Eligibility requirements are that students will be entering a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
  1. Landmark College Scholarships
  • Specifically targeted at students with learning disabilities from low-income families.
  • Scholarships range from $5000 to $34 000
  1. Lighthouse Guild
  • Provides grants and funding for children with visual challenges
  • It gives up to 10 merit-based scholarships for legally blind high school students wanting to attend college.
  1. Microsoft Disability Scholarship
  • Provides grants of $5000 up to $20 000 for disabled high school students entering college
  • Eligibility requirements are that the disabled or learning disability students need to pursue a career in the technological industry.
  1. Temporary Assistance for needy Families TANF
  • Great for financial assistance and support services for your child’s basic needs
  • Programs may include child care assistance, job preparation, and career assistance.

There is help out there, Mom! Get your best friend over for a cup of coffee and start researching and applying. However, check out our loans for single mothers page if this article did not answer your questions.

Best of luck to all parents with a disabled child looking for grants to support their lives!

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!