Help For Single Mothers In Tennessee

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Lori Pace

Due to their dual roles as mothers and bill-payers, single mothers suffer the most when economic troubles occur. The government of Tennessee, having acknowledged this fact, has created some special programs to help those single mothers who are struggling with low-income earnings.

These programs ensure that children living in single-parent households do not suffer from economic instability.

Family First

The Family First Program provides temporary financial benefits to those who qualify. Those who are eligible include low-income parents with children. You must read and accept a Personal Responsibility plan (PRP) before they allow you to join the program. The PRP states that participants must engage in work-related activities for 30 hours a week, or they will be excluded from the program. Contact the nearest Department of Human Service office or the Family Assistance Center can be contacted at 1-866-311-4287 or on their website.

Food Stamp Program

Other states in the United States also offer this program. This is a nutrition and food assistance program that helps the elderly, disabled people, children, and families who are facing unemployment. They will issue EBT cards to those who are eligible for the program. This card allows them access to the benefits associated with the Food Stamp Program. 

The program that began on February 1, 2008, was redesigned so that all adults who are able to work 20 hours per day would be eligible to receive the benefits of the SNAP program. For more information and to apply for the program, please visit Tennessee Food Stamps Online Portal.

Child Care Certificate Program

The program is for families that find it difficult to meet their financial obligations. This includes paying for the healthcare of their children. Families who aim to join the program must meet the FamilyFirstprogram’s income guidelines. However, families earning less than 160% of FLP may also qualify. 

The program also has a subsection called the TeenChildcareAssistance, specially designed to help eligible high school or high school single mothers in Tennessee, but unlike the ChildcareCertificate program, the families of those young mothers will have to pay a copay fee which is measured with a sliding income scale. Call 1-866-827-3372 for more information or to apply. You can also visit the Tennessee Government portal.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

This program aims to help low-income households in Tennessee pay for their heating and cooling needs. The program is not only for families with low income but also those with the lowest. The eligible applicants will receive either $325 in benefits per year for the summer cooling program, or $250 for emergency heating assistance. For more information or to apply, interested applicants should contact the nearest LIHEAP agency.

Unemployment Insurance

This program aims to help Tennessee residents who have lost their jobs or are still looking for work. This program will provide them with some financial assistance to help them find a new job. Tennessee residents who are eligible will receive their benefit via the Tennessee Automated Payment Card (TAP) or can request a direct deposit into their bank account. A participant who is eligible will receive up to $275 per week. Interested applicants can apply through the Dept of Labour and Workforce portal or call (800)689-9799, (800) 262-8094.

Student Assistance Award (TSAA)

This program aims to help undergraduate students in need of financial aid. This non-refundable financial aid is only available to Tennessee residents attending a public or non-public post-secondary school in the state. This program’s eligibility requirements are based on Expected Family Contribution. 

The amount that is meant to be awarded to an eligible candidate varies. It can range from $1000-$4000. This money is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply for this program, applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, after October each year.

Tennessee TennCare

TennCare, the Medicaid program of the State of Tennessee, helps low-income families and individuals with children to pay some or all of the medical costs. This includes pregnant women and single mothers who meet income eligibility requirements.

Tennessee is one of the two non-expansion States that provides coverage to parents with incomes near or at poverty. TennCare is only available to parents who earn up to 88% of the poverty level. Participants will be eligible to receive free medical care such as dental care, eyeglasses, and other health services. Call 855-259-0701 or visit TennCare Connect for online applications. The paper application is available in English and Spanish.

Tennessee CoverKids

CoverKids, Tennessee’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, is a program funded by the state as well as the federal government. This program covers children under 18 years of age who are not insured.

To qualify, families need to earn less than 255% of the federal poverty line or $56,000 per year for a mother with two children. CoverKids offers maternity insurance to pregnant women who are too rich for TennCare. To apply, go to and create an account if you don’t already have one. Click “YES” if it asks you if Katie Beckett is the person for whom you are applying.

Bottom Line About Help For Single Mothers In Tennessee

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 Tennessee, 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!