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Single Parent Resources

Updated on August 3, 2014

Single Parent Resources

Parenting isn't easy. It is extremely difficult when you are a single parent. It is a 48 hour per day job. There are days when you wish you had six arms...

This lens will provide you, the single parent, numerous resources to help you learn how to parent, tips on getting through each days, finding state funding, housing assistance, and many other resources you may need help with during your stint as a single parent.

Don't get down on yourself, pick your butt up and make it work. Smile. That is what I do every day too.

Housing Programs

Putting a roof over your child(ren)s head can be the most nerve-wrecking and expensive thing out there for a single parent. There are many government programs and subsidies to help alleviate the cost of housing whilst you get yourself on your own two feet. Here are some of the best resources:

Check out hud.gov

If you are looking to buy a home, then you should check into the federal loan programs:

FIRST MORTGAGE LOAN PROGRAMS

These are home loans with a 30-year term and an interest rate that remains fixed.

Government Loan Programs:

CalHFA FHA (Targeted Areas) Loan Program

This FHA first mortgage is insured/guaranteed by FHA to enhance affordability and homeownership opportunities in the form of a 30-year, fixed rate loan. This loan is available in Federally Designated Targeted Areas only.

DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

The money you put "down" or the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers. That's why CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance. This type of assistance is often called a second or subordinate loan. CalHFA's subordinate loans are "silent seconds", meaning payments on this loan are deferred so you do not have to make a payment on this assistance until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. This helps to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.

Most CalHFA down payment assistance programs do require, however, that you make a minimum contribution from your own funds. This borrower contribution is typically either 1% of the sales price of the home or $1,000, whichever is greater.

California Homebuyer's Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP)

Offers a deferred-payment subordinate loan in the amount of (3%) of the purchase price or appraised value, which ever is less to be used for down payment and/or closing costs.

School Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance Program (SFF)

A conditional grant program that provides assistance for down payment and/or closing costs to buyers of newly constructed homes throughout California. If conditions of this program are met, you may not have to repay this assistance.

OTHER PARTNERSHIP & PROGRAM OPTIONS:

Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP)

A joint effort by CalHFA and cities, counties, redevelopment agencies and housing authorities whereby assistance from a locality is utilized by the first-time homebuyer to help them with down payment and/or closing costs.

Individual Development Accounts

IDA's are special savings accounts designed to assist low income borrowers on their path toward ownership of a long-term asset, such as a home, through matched contributions by nonprofit organizations and eligible banks. These organizations may offer up to a 3:1 savings match (i.e., if you save $1,000, you will receive an additional $3,000). To find an organization that offers an IDA program please follow the link above, or refer to our Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP) list and look for "IDA" or "AHP/IDEA/WISH" Programs.

HUD - Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may enable qualified first-time

homebuyers to receive monthly assistance for homeownership expenses in lieu of monthly rent aid. Pursuant to Congressional authority, HUD has authorized states and Public Housing Authorities (PHA's) to provide this assistance using funds available through the Section 8 rental voucher program.

The PHA's may choose to participate in offering the Section 8 for homeownership but are not required to do so. Under the Program at least 30% of the eligible homebuyers' income will go to pay the homeownership expenses with Section 8 covering the remainder.

Single Parenting: Dating

There are single moms out there who are afraid to take the chance to love again. It is because they are still in the stage where they are still confused and are not ready to enter into a new relationship because they are afraid that the relationship might fail again.

Actually, single moms should not let their world put to an end. Although single parent dating can entail a lot of adjustment and compromise but still, you must have to enjoy your life while you still can. However, you must have to make sure that you are ready to take the risk once you will enter into dating again. You must be comfortable and not feel pressured by other people. You can stay as a single mom as long as you like. You must remember that success in dating depends upon you.

For sure as a single mom, you do not have enough time to date because of the pressures and tasks that you are going to deal in your everyday routines. Actually, for those single moms who want to try dating again, here are some tips that will help you have a great time ahead not only for you but as well as for your kids too.

You are interested at him – In the dating game, the main goal is to find a partner that you like and he likes you too. It is important that you must be comfortable in dealing with your partner with the fact that you are a single mom. You must have to tell him that parental responsibilities matter most to you so that he will understand you fully.

Off with the guilt – There are a lot of single moms who are guilty whenever they start dating. Although this is quite normal but you must not feel the same way for your entire life. It is important that you can have someone to talk and listen to your thoughts and opinions. You need to have a break in your life.

Tell the kids – Actually, this is the most difficult part for single moms as to when is the best time to tell it to your kids about your partner. This part here is entirely all up to you. If you feel that your partner knows already your priorities and you are already sure about your partner, then you can introduce him to your kids. It is best that you have to make it slow. Introduce him as a friend and not as boyfriend is the better option for you to choose so that the kids will not be shocked.

Listen to your Kids – If your kids are old enough to understand your current situation, it is best that you have an open communication to your kids. This way, they can open up to you what they think about your partner and whether they like him or not. You must maintain communication to your kids so that if issues arise, it can be solved immediately. You must bear in mind that you must still continue to have the quality time with your kids.

Single moms should consider single parent dating. Who knows? You might find the right guy for you and for your kids. Give your love life a second chance because love is sweeter the second time around.

Childcare Assistance

I need help paying for child care. Where can I get assistance?

State child care assistance programs are funded through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF is a Federal program that assists low-income families, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and those transitioning from TANF in getting child care so they can work or attend training/education. Each State has its own eligibility guidelines. You may apply for child care assistance (sometimes called a "subsidy" or "voucher") at a State or local agency. You may receive assistance if you show that the following is true:

- You need child care to work, attend school, or receive training;

- Your income is not greater than the income limit set by your State;

-Your child is younger than 13 years; and/or

- Your child has a special need or is under court supervision and is younger than 19 years.

States have different ways to apply for help, including different forms to fill out and steps to follow. The following are some examples of State requirements:

- Some States require in-person applications, and others offer off-site application services, such as online, telephone, or mail options.

- All States require families to pay a co-payment fee based on their family income. Some States waive the fee under special circumstances.

- Some States require single parents to cooperate with child support enforcement regulations to be eligible for services.

-Some States give assistance to grandparents and other relatives if they meet program requirements.

-All States allow families to chose from a broad range of child care providers, including relatives, friends, or neighbors.

-States require providers to meet basic health and safety requirements, but States vary in exactly what providers must do. Some require all child care providers to be licensed, while others exempt some providers, such as those serving children of relatives or those serving a very small number of children.

- States pay providers based on a set rate that can vary by age of child, type of care, location, and other factors.

- States have different systems for paying providers. Some States use paper checks, others use direct deposit, and others give parents debit cards that can be used to transfer the payment to the provider electronically.

- States may require providers to sign a contract agreement before they can participate in the child care assistance program.

To learn more about your child care assistance program, contact your State child care agency. The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC), a service of the Child Care Bureau, hosts a Web site that provides the contact information for all State CCDF agencies at http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/statedata/dirs/display.cf...

Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies sometimes have information about child care programs that have scholarships, special funding options, or sliding fee scales that are based on household income. To learn how to locate a CCR&R agency in your area, visit the NCCIC Web site at http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/statedata/dirs/display.cf...

Health Insurance Help

Prescription Services Resources

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

This program enables patients who qualify but do not have prescription drug coverage to access the medicines they require through the right program for them, whether public or private. Many patients get free medications or pay very little for them. http://www.pparx.org/.

The partners in this program to which single mothers have access are –

Doctors

Pharmaceutical companies

Other health care providers,

Patient advocacy organizations

Community groups.

Patient Assistance Programs

http://www.rxassist.org/faqs/default.cfm

This is another prescription assistance program established by drug companies which offers low-cost or free medications to patients. Companies voluntarily deliver the programs, as they are not required to do so, and most brand name drugs are made available. To be eligible for these programs, individuals are required to –

Be US citizens or legal residents

Have no prescription insurance coverage

Have an income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

NeedyMeds

NeedyMeds is a non-profit information resource that is dedicated to helping low-income patients find the assistance programs available to them, free of cost. Under Patient Assistance Programs on its website, http://www.needymeds.org/drug_list.taf there is a list of brand name drugs, listed alphabetically. Some of the drugs offer coupons for which single moms can sign up, to help reduce the cost of the drugs. Drugs are also listed by their generic names, but the coupon offers only appear beside the brand names. Assistance programs and the companies which offer them are also listed.

RxAssist

RxAssist http://www.rxassist.org/ is a website offering information on how and where affordable or free medications can be accessed. Information is given on pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs, or other programs from which low-income patients can access free medication.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program

This program, operated by the CDC, is a federally funded program providing free vaccines, so that children who are unable to pay can be vaccinated. Children who are eligible to receive VFC vaccines, are also entitled to get the pediatric vaccines which the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends. Information about where to access vaccines is made available to parents. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/default.h...

WISEWOMAN – Heart Health for Uninsured and Under-Insured Women

This program is also operated by the CDC through its Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. It provides low-income, uninsured, or under-insured women between the ages of 40 and 64 with screening for heart disease and stroke risk factors, as well as lifestyle interventions. The program’s website provides information on heart health and where the programs are located.

http://www.cdc.gov/wisewoman/.

There are 21 WISEWOMAN programs which are funded by the CDC and operated in local states. The benefits of the program include –

Blood pressure and cholesterol testing

Testing for diabetes

Lifestyle programs targeting poor nutrition and physical inactivity

Classes on healthy cooking

Walking clubs

Lifestyle counseling

Proactive quit lines or quit-smoking classes for women who smoke.

Interventions vary among programs, but all of them aim to promote lasting and healthy lifestyle changes.

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/adult-s...

ACIP provides written recommendations for administration of vaccines, routinely. It also prepares schedules relating to the most suitable timing, dosage, and contraindications. ACIP has also developed vaccination schedules for adults because –

Some adults were not vaccinated as children

Newer vaccines were not around when some adults were children

Immunity fades with time

Aging causes more susceptibility to serious diseases caused by common infections.

Prescription Discount Resources

SunAssociation

SunAssociation http://www.sunassociation.org/prescriptioncards.ht... is the company which offers the Sun Patient Card, which is a prescription discount card program for persons who do not have insurance, or who take medications that their insurance plans do not cover. The program covers all medicines that are frequently prescribed. Savings may be realized for all prescriptions, although the amount varies depending on the drug prescribed and the pharmacy used. A call to the company’s toll free number at 866-662-1351 will link a customer care representative. After receiving some basic information from the applicant, the representative will mail the applicant an activated Sun Patient Card.

Basic membership in the association is free and it includes the prescription discount program. More than 120,000 patients have received help through the use of the card.

In addition to their prescription discount program, SunAssociation offers an optional program called Sun Benefits, which can be purchased in various packages.

Package A

For a $5.50 application fee, and a $5.50 monthly fee, this bundle offers –

Dental services, where

Members save 15% to 50% on general dentistry, cleanings, root canals, crown, and orthodontia.

Over 81,000 dental practice locations are available.

Savings realized on x-rays and fillings.

Savings on specialty care like orthodontics and periodontics where available.

Vision services, where members

Save 20% to 60% on prescription eyewear.

Save 10% to 20% on contact lenses (excluding disposables) at certain locations.

Save 10% to 30% on eye examinations.

Save 40% to 50% off the national average on LASIK surgery.

Save on most frames, lenses and specialty items like tints, coatings and UV protection.

Receive two guarantees; (a) a 30-day unconditional money-back satisfaction guarantee and (b) a low-price guarantee on eyeglasses.

A free Bonus Pack offering discounts on –

Durable medical equipment – relating to walkers, blood pressure devices, knee braces, arm slings, back supports, carpal tunnel supports, etc.

Hearing aids and hearing equipment – providing discounts of 15% to 58% in retail locations and 40% to 60% by mail order.

Labs and imaging – regarding discounts on blood tests and all other laboratory testing. http://www.sunassociation.org/sunbenefitslabsimag....

Vitamins and diabetic supplies – up to 80% off top brand vitamins, supplements, herbs, organics, and natural health care products through Vitacost.com. Also diabetic supplies of Glucose Meter, control solution, test strips, lancets and lancing device, through the VIP Health & Wellness program. http://www.sunassociation.org/sunbenefitsvitanddia...

Package B

Information on this and the other packages at http://www.sunassociation.org/dentalvisionmore.htm... .

Package C

Package D

Package E

Package F

SunAssociation’s healthcare professionals include –

Physician Offices

Hospitals

Clinics

Dialysis Units

Ambulatory Surgery Units

Patient Assistance Programs.

FreeDrugCard

FreeDrugCard.us is another non-profit company offering a Free Drug Card program designed to assist all Americans in lowering the costs of their prescription drugs. The free Prescription Drug Card is simply downloaded, and up to 75% savings received at over 54,000 national and regional pharmacies. Applicants simply enter their names and email addresses in a box provided on the website, http://freedrugcard.us/, and a printable, pre-activated membership card is generated and can be used immediately.

PSCard

PSCard negotiates with pharmacies for volume cash discounts. This results in a 50% saving for the consumer on all prescription drugs. PScard is a free card which works for almost all prescriptions of brand name and generic drugs at almost all pharmacies. It, too, is of the printable personalized variety. http://www.pscard.com/.

YourRxCard

YourRxCard is another free prescription drug card program aimed at helping all Americans to cut prescription drug costs. It is also a downloadable card that is offered free of cost to the consumer. All that is needed is the applicant’s full name and email address. Up to 75% savings can be realized at over 57,000 pharmacies nationally, regionally, and locally. http://www.yourrxcard.com/. The benefits of this card are:

No deductibles

No waiting periods

No pre-existing exclusions

Everyone qualifies

Instant activation

Free membership

Health Insurance Resources

The federal government, in conjunction with the States, facilitates health insurance coverage for children. This is done through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, which targets families who cannot afford, or may be ineligible for private health insurance coverage. The programs are state-specific, but the general income level for eligibility appears to be $44,100 annually for a family of four.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

This program was developed in 1997 to provide low-cost or free health insurance coverage for children in families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to be able to afford private health insurance coverage. CHIP benefits are extended to 19 year olds and younger, with some services requiring participation in cost-sharing and payment of low premiums.

CHIP varies among states in terms of its –

Eligibility guidelines

Benefit packages offered

Payment levels required for coverage, and

Administrative processes.

The benefit packages are also flexible, but all tend to include –

Routine check-ups

Immunizations

Dental care

Inpatient and outpatient hospital care

Laboratory and x-ray services

No-cost preventive care

It is both easy and free to apply for CHIP health coverage. A toll-free call can be placed to 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669).

Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The new SNAP Retailer Locator finds stores that welcome SNAP benefits. It is easy to use. Click on Retailer Locator link. Enter a street address, city and State, or zip code. A map of the closest approved stores will appear. Pick a store and use SNAP benefits there to put healthy food on the table.

WIC

WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

School Lunches

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/

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    • FirstClassDenta profile image

      FirstClassDenta 3 years ago

      Great guide for single parents. I think saving money is particularly important in these tough economic times. I personally recommend dental plans as opposed to insurance as you can get significant discounts on treatments.

    • profile image

      Dimipoly 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. Your details about TANF are very helpful. You can also check out www.singlemomgrant.info for other details to help single mothers cope financially with the economic stress of single parenthood.