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How to Get a Free Child Car Seat If You're a Low Income Parent
Having a child is expensive. Fortunately there are many agencies in the United States that can help low income parents or expecting moms and dads get a free car seat for their child. This article provides links to specific non-profit agencies and government organizations in 36 states to help you secure one of these car seats. Depending upon the program, free booster seats might also be available.
What do you have to do to get the car seat from one of the 36 state sources listed below? It depends on who is sponsoring the give-away. Here are some common requirements.
- Government Agencies: Generally require the household to be enrolled in SNAP food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or TANF, and enroll in a short car seat safety course.
- Healthcare Plan Agencies: Usually require the child gets all immunizations and well baby checks, or that the expecting mother go to a certain number of pre-natal visits. Often this giveaway program is bundled with a points program that some managed Medicaid plans offer.
- Non-profit Agencies: This type of sponsor also usually requires the household be enrolled in a public assistance program. However, some agencies simply have straight low income guideline requirements. The parent might also need to attend a safety seat course.
In a few cases noted in the state list below, car seats are offered for a deeply reduced fee, usually $10 to $30. You will also need to live in the serving area of the sponsored program.
What expense do you need help with the most?
USA Children's and Women's Hospital
Phoenix Day Child & Family Agency
Pacific Safety Center "Keep 'Em Safe Program"
Provides a free car seat to program enrollees with a household income below 200% of poverty
District of Columbia
Reduced price of $20 for a car seat
Delaware Opportunities Inc. Car Seat Safety Program
Automatic eligibility with proof of WIC, SNAP, or Medicaid
Florida Farm Bureau
Reduced price COSCO car seat for $25 (1/3 the retail cost)
Department of Public Health North Central Health District
For enrolled members of WIC, Medicaid or TANF
Canyon County Paramedics Organization
Vouchers for a new child safety seat may be provided if deemed necessary, to parents/caregivers who participate in any public assistance program and are residents of Indiana.
Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Stork's Nest and Family Nest Program
Provides participants the opportunity to earn points for healthy behaviors, which can be redeemed for items such as a car seat.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid
Free car seat for prental enrollees who see their PCP or OB/GYN at least seven times when pregnant
Department of Public Safety Bureau of Highway Safety
Reduced price of $30 for a car seat
For members of the Fallon Community Health Plan who enroll the the Oh Baby! Program
Office of Traffic Safety
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Has a reduced price car seat for $25 for farm bureau members.
City of Great Falls Montana Health Department
At times offers free car seats
Renown Children's Hospital
Offers eligibility to receive a car seat for $10 if income guidelines are met
Well Sense Health Plan
Members with children weighing between 5 and 65 lbs. can receive a free car seat or booster seat. Women having twins can receive two seats.
Lovelace Health Plan
Parents can receive a free car seat after a child receives all required immunizations and well child visits up to 6 months of age.
A car seat is offered free to low income parents and legal guardians of children from birth until the child is ready to ride safely without a seat.
Welcome Baby Program
Car seats offered as low as $10, based on a sliding income scale
City of Bismarck
A limited number of car seats might be available to families with low incomes.
The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) Program
Infant Crisis Services, Inc.
Children or parents on government assistance can get a car seat for $10
Kohl's Car Seat Clinic
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Must have a referral from a healthcare provider, a green EBT Access card, and photo identification.
South Dakota Department of Social Services
Shelby County Health Department
Car seats offered for $10 for parents on certain government assistance programs
Texas Department of State Health Services
Salt Lake County Health Department
Offers booster seats as low as $13 and car seats as low as $30, based on income
Virginia Department of Health Low Income Safety Seat Program
Free safety seats and booster seats for income eligible children. parents, foster parents and legal guardians.
Coordinated Care Health Plan Start Smart Program
Kenosha County Car Seat Program
Lower cost car seats and boosters available on a sliding fee scale.
Kohl’s Car Seat Distribution Program
If your state is not listed above and you require a car seat, check the following sources ...
- Contact the social worker of the hospital you plan to give birth at. They might be able to help you secure a car seat or refer you to the maternity division for further help.
- Call the toll-free information line on the back of your health plan ID card. Sometimes the health plan might have this unadvertised benefit.
- Check your healthcare plan's full member manual and try a search for this benefit.
- Contact your state traffic or highway safety organization.
- Call your city's health department to find out if they have any current programs for free or reduced price car seats.
The safety of children is of the utmost importance. Thankfully there are programs that help low-income parents make this a little easier!
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