Help With Utility Bills For Single Parents

Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Lori Pace

There is a lot of support and advice for single moms in the U.S. such as food, housing, medical care, and even career advice. Moreover, I’m sure every single parent has been offered advice on how to get help with bills, finances, and more. But, how do you start to dig yourself out of a hole when you can’t pay your utility bills and are being threatened with having your services cut off?

It always strikes me that those who give advice to those without money, generally have money and more importantly: time. 

Time to work out what to do next, time and space to just breathe and stop feeling the debilitating fight or flight rush that is constantly with you when you have money worries.

For single moms, it’s a kind of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: first air, then food and shelter.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

The Maslow pyramid illustrates human needs from our most basic needs right up until our highest actualizations, in a pyramid from base to tip. Let’s look at the foundational needs, right at the bottom. 

Humans, first and foremost need air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, and reproduction in order to survive. Utilities fall under shelter as they are part of the most basic of human needs. In the same way, you can’t look for work on an empty stomach, you can’t start researching for help with your bills if you and your kids are sitting in the dark without electricity due to your utilities being cut off.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

I would like to add “time” to our list of needs. If you are the primary caregiver, especially of a disabled child, you don’t have the resource of time to research, investigate and solve issues like utility bill payments.

Air, Water, and Shelter:

These are all irreplaceable human needs. After breathing we need water and after water, we need food and shelter. Shelter includes heat, light, and clothing. Utility bills pay for our most basic needs.

What Are Utility Bills?

Utility bills are mainly for services such as water, gas, electricity, sewers, home phones, mobile phones, and broadband. For the purposes of this article, let’s concentrate on water, gas, and electricity.

 Some interesting facts:

  • The average U.S. household spends $2000 a year on utilities.
  • From 2007 to 2011 there was a steady decrease in dual-income households. (Dual income is defined as one parent working full-time, the other part-time.)
  • The average salary in the U.S. for men is: $38461 per year according to the United States Census Bureau (USB) 2019
  • The average salary in the U.S. for women is $25 307 per year according to the United States Census Bureau (USB) 2019
  • The average rent in the U.S. is $784 per month according to National Rent Data
  • Single Mom portion of the U.S. population of a total of 331 million people in 2019 is 14.84 million (Statista Data)

How to ask for help with bills as a single parent?

  • Try not to compare yourself with everyone around you. We all have different challenges
  • Remember that money or lack of it does not define you.
  • Start a gratitude journal and a “things I am great at” journal.
  • Face the financial facts with courage and humor and take action.

What Help Can A Single Parent Get With Bills?

What Help Can Single Parent Get With Bills?

While this is not specifically money in hand for utilities, food assistance takes care of one of our basic needs. You can also get medical aid, housing assistance, child care assistance, and study grants as a single mom. So where can you actually find help with utility bills?

That is where these programs come in. Take a look.

Single Parent Help With Utility Bills 

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

This federal program helps individuals and families in low-income groups to pay their energy bills, and in some cases offers home repairs related to energy issues.

WAP – Weatherization Assistance Program 

This program helps you keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. The US Department of Energy provides WAP assistance to low-income communities by helping them make their homes more energy-efficient.

 American Water H20 Help To Others Program

This is an assistance program provided by the Pennsylvania American Water Company. It offers one-time grants of up to $500 per household, as well as an 80% discount on monthly services. They also provide smart water devices and education on smarter water consumption.

PEO Program for Continuing Education

They offer single moms, or single parents, a one-time grant of up to $3000 which can be a big help for childcare, utility bills, or whatever you need most, but you must be enrolled in a certification or degree program that you will be able to complete within the next 24 months. Another eligibility requirement is that you had or have taken at least 2 years off from completing your degree because you had or were having children.

Religious organizations and charities like YWCA and United Way can also provide assistance to single mothers struggling to pay their utility bills.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

They give housing vouchers to qualifying disabled families to help pay their rent. 

Community Action Organizations

CAO offers various types of assistance from paying utility bills to job training. Case managers are assigned to families to help them reduce debt, find jobs, and teach them about self-sufficiency.

Catholic Charity

Regardless of your religious background, the Catholic Charity will help by paying utility bills and providing short-term loans to low-income families including single mom families across the U.S.

The Salvation Army assists 23 million Americans yearly, in a myriad of ways.

It might also help to do the survey on the American Hope Resource to see if you qualify for utility benefits.

Do Other Money Apps Help A Single Parent With Bills?

When searching for utility bill assistance one can be bombarded with various money apps that help you track income and expenses, and also calculate what you can afford. As useful as these apps are, they don’t help if you don’t actually have the money in hand to pay your bills. 

Nevertheless, it is still worth it to take a look at apps like Do Not Pay 

Do not Pay is an app that will write a letter (for you) to your creditors explaining your payment difficulties. You can ask for extension dates for your bills with this app… as I said before…sometimes we just need a bit of time.

In Conclusion About Help For Single Parent With Bills

Remember these tips:

  • Research and apply
  • Remember that everything is negotiable
  • Don’t be ashamed when asking for help
  • Don’t over-consume – reuse and recycle
  • Don’t panic. Everything will be OK. 

Finally, we hope you found what you were looking for in this article. However, if you still feel like you need some financial help, check out our articles on loans for single mothers or budgeting advice for single moms.

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!