Help for Single Mothers in Rhode Island

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Lori Pace

Rhode Island is the smallest state in terms of population. Rhode Island, like all other states in the United States, has its fair share of single mothers that cannot afford to help care for their families and children. 

This issue has been addressed by the state through a variety of support programs that are designed to provide a safety net for both single mothers and children. These programs are designed to protect families with single mothers who struggle to provide for their children.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Rhode Island EITC was designed after the Federal Government Credit Program to reduce poverty among working families. The current law allows low-income taxpayers with jobs to receive a credit grant equal to 15% of the EITC federal government. Rhode Island families that qualify for EITC will receive an additional tax credit of around $940. 

This is a substantial amount to help struggling families. This program is not as generous, but it’s still refundable. It works the same way as Massachusetts and Connecticut. Their EITC rates are 23% and 27.5%.

Rhode Island Works

This program was designed to assist children up to the age of 18 and pregnant women struggling with financial problems. This program offers benefits such as child health care, adult healthcare coverage, and a package of work readiness for parents. 

The amount of money a family gets is largely determined by their household size and income. Families with three children who have not yet found a job are eligible to receive a $554 monthly benefit for the next two years. Single parents enrolled in the program should work an average of 20-30 hours per week.

Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is a program that aims to help Rhode Island families, individuals, as well as single mothers who have jobs but are still struggling to meet their financial obligations. You must earn less than 185% of the FPL guidelines to qualify. The Food Access Pilot program (FAP), a subprogram of SNAP, is there to help the elderly, disabled, and homeless. Participants in this program may use their EBT cards to buy meals at participating restaurants. Visit their website to apply for the program.

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAOP)

This program aims to assist working families in Rhode Island with the cost of their children’s health care. This program is open to all eligible families that are working at least 20 hours per week and fall within the FPL guidelines of 180%. The program is not free. Families who qualify may be a requirement to pay a copayment, which is typically no more than 8 per cent of their monthly income. Call the Department of Human Services at 1-855-697-4347 or visit their site for more information about how to apply.


The state and federal fund RiteCare (Rhode Island Medicaid). This program helps families pay for medical services and related expenses for families that qualify for Rhode Island Works Program. The Rhode Island RiteCare program (Medicaid), unlike other Medicaid programs, is now available to adults aged 19-64 who meet the 133% FPL guidelines. 

“Medicaid” under the Rite Care Program will also continue to be available to low-income parents, children, and pregnant women. Interested applicants may visit the Health and Human Services website of Rhode Island to register online or request an application through their DHS office by calling 1-855-697-4347 or applying online.

Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Rhode Island Housing Department administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It helps families who qualify to rent or lease any home of their choosing that belongs to any of the participating landlords. The Housing Choice Voucher program provides vouchers for low-income families, including those with disabilities and elderly people. Their rent portion will be covered. You must reside in Rhode Island and belong to a 50% FPL league. You can apply by contacting the local housing agency or online.

RoadHome Emergency Housing Assistance (RHEHA)

The RHEHA Program aims to assist Rhode Island families who are in need of assistance with housing. The program provides cash assistance to individuals and families who may be at risk of homelessness due to a temporary housing crisis.

The RHEHA offers up to $1200 to eligible applicants to help pay their first month’s rent. The RHEHA also provides assistance with mortgage payments or security deposits. Contact us if you are in a housing crisis and need help finding a place to live.

Lisa Sanchez or Jocelyn Mata
(401) 457-1197

Child Support Program

The Office of Child Support Services charges a fee of $20 to help a parent who is the custodial one pursue legal action in order to establish paternity or obtain orders of medical support and child support.

The Child Support Voice-Response System is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (401) 458-4400.

Hospital Charity Care Program

In Rhode Island, each hospital has a “charity program” that covers all or part of the cost of medical care for low-income Rhode Islanders without insurance. The full coverage is only available to those patients with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. Sliding scale discounts are available for those with incomes between 200% and 30% FPL.

Call or visit the Financial Services Office of any Rhode Island hospital or call 1-800-942-7434 to find out if you are eligible.

RI Free Clinics

Two (2) free clinics are available in Rhode Island to help those who do not have health insurance and need care. Both clinics offer free primary health care, medications, and some special services to those with an income below 200% of poverty.

Rhode Island Free Clinic
655 Broad St.,
Providence, RI 02907
(401) 274-6347

Clinica Esperanza Hope Clinic
60 Valley St.,
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 347-9093

To schedule an appointment to see if you qualify please call 401-274-6347.

Head Start/Early Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start aim to help children from low-income households become more school ready. Early Head Start is for children under the age of three, and Head Start is for children aged 5 to 5.

Most RI programs will accept families who earn less than or equal to 100% of the federal poverty line. Some programs may accept families with incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty level if they have capacity. Income eligibility is automatically granted to those receiving cash assistance through RI Works.

Contact The Rhode Island Head Start Association (401) 351-2750 for more information, or if you need help finding a provider. Due to funding restrictions, applicants may find themselves on a waiting list.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which is available to families with low income, helps them pay their heating bills. The RIHEAP program usually begins in October and lasts until April.

The household must earn 60% of the Rhode Island Median income levels, which are determined each year. Crisis assistance may be available in some situations to assist households that are at immediate risk of losing heat.

There is no online application. Each of the nine community action agencies listed Rhode Island Community Action Association accepts applications in person.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment benefits are temporary wage replacements for eligible Rhode Islanders that have lost their jobs through no fault on their part. Rhode Island offers “generous unemployment compensation” in comparison to other states. The maximum weekly benefit is $661, excluding $300 of supplemental relief until September 2021.

You can file your claim for weekly benefits online up to 7 days after your last day at work. If you prefer to do it over the phone please call (401 243-9100). NEW claimants have the requirement to post their resumes on EmployRI before the 6th week in a row that they receive UI benefits. If you fail to comply, your benefits may be delayed or lost.

Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) Program

Rhode Island is now the third state that mandates paid leave, joining California and New Jersey. The new law allows RI employees up to four (4) weeks of paid leave for bonding with a newborn or caring for a seriously ill relative.

The new Temporary Caregiver Insurance in Rhode Island (TCI) allows eligible employees to receive up to $795 per week — without including the dependency allowance for every child under 18 years old. The weekly “dependency” allowance is equal to the higher of $10 or 7.5% of the standard benefit rates. You can apply online using TDI/TCI Web, or you can download and complete a paper form to return to

Temporary Disability Insurance
P.O. Box 20100,
Cranston, RI

You must also give your employer written notice at least 30 working days in advance of the start of your leave.

Rhode Island State Grant Program 

The Rhode Island State Grant Program, Rhode Island’s main need-based grant program, provides non-repayable grants for students who reside in Rhode Island and whose incomes do not meet the cost of higher education.

A student must demonstrate a financial need calculated at $1000 or more to qualify for a RI State Award. The award amounts range between $250 and $900. Students can apply for RI State Grants each academic year by submitting a Free Application For Federal Student Aid.

Bottom Line About Help For Single Mothers In Rhode Island

There is a big variety to choose from when it comes to asking for assistance. The federal government and nonprofits work hard to support the community they are in the best that they can. To learn more about other assistance offered to help single mothers in the state of Rhode Island, visit these articles:

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!