Help for Single Mothers in Georgia: The Definitive Guide
The state of Georgia has a 10.1% unemployment rate, higher than the national average of 9.1%. Life for single moms living on one income or those looking for work becomes especially difficult when they have kids to raise. Also with rising inflation, the minimum wage in Georgia is $7.25 which is not enough for most families. Fortunately, Georgia has various human services programs for low income families and single mothers including Georgia food stamps benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Child Care Assistance, Georgia Medicaid, etc. In this article, we will overview the most important information on these programs including their purpose, how to apply, eligibility requirements, etc.
i) Georgia Food Stamps Benefits
Georgia Food Stamps is an initiative of the Department of Human Services and is jointly funded by the State and Federal government. Food stamps provides monthly food benefits to low income families and single moms so they can afford to eat healthy nutritious meals. Once eligible for food stamps, your benefits are loaded on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that you can use to purchase food items from supermarkets around the State. Food items that can be purchased include fruits and vegetables, meat, fish & poultry, plants/seeds to grow food, etc. Food stamps benefits cannot be used to purchase non-essential food items like tobacco, wine, personal hygiene products. As a general rule of thumb, food stamps benefits are available to low income families whose incomes are 200% below the federal poverty level. Want to learn if you are eligible for food stamp benefits in Georgia? Visit https://compass.ga.gov and select the “Am I Eligible” option. This questionnaire takes 15 minutes of your time and will ask about your current income, housing costs including rent & utilities, childcare costs, etc. Once completed, this tool will guide you through eligibility not only for food stamps but also for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Georgia Childcare assistance, etc.
ii) Georgia Medicaid
Maintained by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Medicaid provides medical assistance to single moms and low income families who would otherwise not have access to affordable healthcare. Medicaid is funded by the federal government and provides for essential services such as doctor visits, emergency care, dental & vision health, prescriptions, etc. Eligibility for Medicaid is the beneficiary must be living in Georgia, should be a citizen of the United States or a recognized alien as well as income requirements. In the low income family scenario, the maximum allowable income in a family of 2 is $2,268 per month ($26,964 per year) to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Full income and eligibility requirements can be viewed by visiting the link below. Application forms can be downloaded online in English or Spanish by visiting this URL http://dch.georgia.gov/applying-medicaid Application processing generally takes 10 to 60 business days depending on what grounds you are applying under (i.e. newborn baby, pregnant woman, disabled people, etc).
iii) Subsidized Child Care Assistance
Child care assistance is subsidized by the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program that aims to help low income families and single moms provide quality care for their children. Eligibility requirements include families must live in Georgia, be citizens of the United States and meet income requirements. For instance in a family of 2, the maximum allowable income cannot exceed $22,400. Applications for subsidized child care assistance in Georgia can be made through https://compass.ga.gov This is the same website where you can apply for food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), etc. Eligible families and single moms can choose their own care providers for their children provided they meet requirements and are professionally trained. Eligible parents must also meet activity requirements which can be at least 30 hours of employment every week, college attendance or both averaging at least 24 hours a week.