There are many reasons why living in North Dakota is great. The state rates in the top ten ‘most liveable states’ list (taking into account quality of life, income, educational attainment, low crime and more important factors) and also in the top ten safest states. Still, if you happen to be a single mother who is only earning a low wage, perhaps you aren’t able to enjoy the benefits of North Dakota as much as you might like to. Single moms have a tough job to do, having to bring in the money and look after the kids and the house.
But, single moms who live in North Dakota can have access to a lot of state help, if they know where to look for it. Don’t miss out on benefits you could be entitled to!
There is also a great program called TANF that you really need to know about. TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and it has the ability to help you with areas such as nutrition, cash, childcare and more. TANF is awarded to eligible people for up to 60 months (lifetime limit) and can be just what you need to get you back into work and able to support yourself and your family the way you want to. Check it out here:
The above link gives you all the information you need about TANF, including how to apply and how to find out who is eligible.
Many single moms have a hard time getting bills paid if they arrive unexpectedly at the end of the month, before the wage check or benefits money arrives. If this is you, you may be considering a payday Loan. A payday Loan is a short term loan designed to bridge the gap between the extra expenses and payday…but good as this may sound, be very wary. Many of these loans are extremely costly, having high interest rates and big fines for late repayments. If you can avoid them and find a grant that helps you out instead, do so…but if you do take out a loan make sure you check it out thoroughly. Always use a reputable lender such as an established bank too, don’t get involved with loan sharks as it just leads to more problems.
Assistance with food
Good nutrition is likely to be high on your agenda if you have young kids, or if you yourself are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not only do you not want your family to go hungry, you want to feed them on the sort of food that will help them grow into healthy, strong and happy individuals. The problem is that fresh foods of high quality can cost just more than the budget allows.
There’s no need to worry. Single moms in North Dakota who need help to feed their families can get it through the state’s SNAP system. This program (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) has replaced the old Food Stamps programs that used to issue paper vouchers. You will now (if you are eligible) receive an electronic swipe card which is passed through machines in participating grocery stores throughout North Dakota. The card makes a payment or part payment for food and essential nutritional supplies. You can’t buy cigarettes or alcohol with it, but you are able to use it to buy seeds to grow your own fruit, vegetables or herbs…so even if you just have a window box think about growing your own!
If you have kids under the age of 5, or if you are breastfeeding, post partum or pregnant, you should also be able to obtain help through the North Dakota WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it here:
You might also like to think about asking for help with nutrition from North Dakota’s Food Pantries scheme.
Assistance with childcare
It is almost certain that unless you are very lucky and have a family member of good friend living nearby who is able to look after your children while you go to work that you will also be worried about finding and paying for good quality childcare. After all, you don’t want to entrust your precious kids to just anyone…but somehow you have to find a way of paying for a good nursery or crèche. This is where, if you have a low income and fit the eligibility criteria, North Dakota can help out. Check out the state’s Child Care Assistance Program here:
If you can’t meet the eligibility criteria for the above program, there are still things you can do. Churches or other religious groups sometimes offer child care for the children of their members, while there may also be other community groups in your neighborhood that can help. Maybe even your employer might offer subsidies towards child care for his employees’ children? Perhaps there is a crèche in the town that has assisted places for single moms’ children?
If you are still struggling to find affordable childcare, why not get together with other single parents and set up your own group? You can share the childcare if you work different shifts, or pay a little each to one mom to stay home and look after all the kids. There is usually something that can be done if you keep trying.
Assistance with healthcare
Yet another on your list of worries is likely to be health care. All moms with young kids need access to health care on a regular basis, and that isn’t even counting those times when the kids become ill or have an accident. If you are pregnant or have just given birth, or if any of your family have long term illnesses or disabilities you will have even more medical needs to meet.
The first thing to do is to see if you qualify for Medicaid. It’s a very well known program of healthcare for people on low incomes, and North Dakota’s Medicaid program is accessed on this link:
If you have kids with special health care requirements, North Dakota has a special program to help. It’s called the Children’s Special health Service, and you can find out about it here:
Finally, for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid yet need access to health care assistance for the children, there is CHIP.
Assistance with housing
Is housing an issue for you? North Dakota has help with housing covered too. They can help you to find affordable, suitable accommodation, so check it all out on this link:
Heating in winter and cooling in summer can use a lot of electricity, and the bills can get pretty scary especially when you are trying to keep a lot of kids warm and comfortable. If you are worried that you may not be able to meet the cost of your utility bills this year, you should get in touch with LIHEAP.
Assistance with education
Kids grow up and need to go to college so they can get the education they need to settle their futures. You too may find that you want to return to studying so that you can improve your prospects. Either way, the expenses have to be met somehow and you may be finding it all a bit of a worry. The good news is that education attracts lot of grants, awards and scholarships. If you think carefully and make a through search, the chances of finding help to pay education costs are excellent.
First, find out if you are eligible for FAFSA. FAFSA stands for ‘Free Application for Federal Student Aid’, and this is what you need to apply for to get started. The link below gives you information, lets you download the forms you need to apply and gives you the school codes for North Dakota. Help is also available (if you need it) to fill in the forms correctly, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you are taking a professional course like nursing, find out if there is special funding to support you. Many of these types of courses do offer special funding.
There are plenty of other ways of getting help with the expense of education as well, ranging from individual or specific to college scholarships to sponsorship from an employer.
If you or your children suffer from disabilities or long term illnesses, grants for education costs may be found. Cancer sufferers can get extra help in most cases. Check it out on the internet, as many special needs awards in cases like these are made across the US every year. Maybe your church or other religious group might offer help in the form of a grant or a loan?
Then, if your kids are talented in sports, academic subjects or even have been particularly notable for their help in the community there may be scholarships on offer for them too.
Assistance with transportation
Cars can be costly to maintain and to run, but if you can find a group of other single moms in your area maybe you can get a car sharing scheme running.
If you live in one of North Dakota’s urban areas you should have no difficulty using public transportation. Public transport is affordable and reliable.
So there’s no need to feel alone and frightened if you are a single mom in North Dakota. Just follow the links given above and get the help you are entitled to.