If you are a resident of South Carolina, you’ll know it’s a lovely state. Coast, mountains, culture…it’s got the lot. But there is also the chance that if you are a single mother, you will have many concerns that are more pressing.
Single moms have to take on the world alone. You have to go to work, bring in the cash, get the shopping, do the cooking, cleaning and raise the kids, single handedly. And, it’s not easy to manage the finances, especially if your income isn’t as great as you would like.
So, it has to come as good news that South Carolina has a good few programs in place to hep you out financially.
South Carolina has a TANF (temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program, which can be a real lifesaver. If you are eligible, you can get up to 60 months of help with various aspects of your life, like child care, healthcare and nutrition. And, TANF helps you get a job if you need one and get back on your financial feet on course for a better future.
Sometimes, single moms who are on a low wage find that there are some bills or unexpected other expenses that arrive at the end of the month and there isn’t enough cash left to pay them. So, you might be tempted to take out a Payday Loan. It could be just what you need, but take care before you sign. Go to a reputable bank or trusted lender only. And, be sure you’ve read all the small print as you don’t want to be hit with high repayment charges or fines for late repayment. There are some short term or Payday Loans out there that charge very high fees and they can end up making your situation worse, not better.
Assistance with food
Food is an essential of life. And, good nutrition is vital for growing kids and for pregnant or breastfeeding moms too. Junk food may be cheap, but it doesn’t supply the goodness kids and moms require to be healthy and happy, so you need fresh vegetables, dairy products, nuts, grains, fresh fish and all the other health giving foods. The problem, of course, is that foods like this in sufficient quantities can cost more than you can afford on a tight budget.
If you have registered for help through TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there. Or, you might try looking at South Carolina’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program). SNAP issues you with an electronic card that’s swiped through a machine in designated grocery stores in payment for or part payment for foodstuffs. Details are on this link:
If you have kids under the age of 5, or if you are breastfeeding, post partum or pregnant, you should be able to obtain help through the South Carolina WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it here:
Another possible source of help with your family’s nutrition is the Food bank program in South Carolina. Donated foods are allocated to those in need, and there are several outlets in the state. You can get the information here:
You may not know, but SNAP offers the chance to use your swipe card in exchange for seeds too, so if you have any outside space you can start a vegetable patch of your own and have really fresh food for a fraction of the cost! If you live in an apartment and don’t have any yard space you can still grow herbs or maybe tomatoes in a window box.
Assistance with childcare
Child care is another aspect of life as a single mom that may be giving you an almighty headache. You need to get out to work so you can bring in money to raise the family right, but child care can be both hard to find and too expensive. You need help, and luckily, South Carolina has help to offer.
Here’s what to do. Once more, if you are receiving help from TANF, they can also assist you with subsidized child care. If you are not involved with a TANF program, check this link out. It takes you to a web page for South Carolina’s ABC program.
There are other ways to find child care too, if for some reason you can’t get accepted onto these programs. Just getting to know other single moms in your neighbourhood can help, as you could get together to start a babysitting circle, or maybe club together to pay another mom to stay at home and look after a group of kids. Some churches or community groups offer child care at affordable rates too. Even some enlightened employers might be prepared to set up a crèche or offer a little help to pay the costs of child care. You’ll get nothing if you don’t ask!
Assistance with healthcare
Health care is another area that can be a big problem for single moms without a lot of cash. Policies are expensive, but if you are in your child bearing years and have young children at home you need almost constant access to medical care. If you or your kids suffer from any long standing, serious health problems or disabilities your need is even greater.
If you have a low income, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Check it out before you look at other programs. Medicaid can cover all your needs, routine and emergency.
If you don’t qualify, don’t panic! There are other options in South Carolina. Check out the Healthy Kids program which can offer health care for all kids up to the age of 19.
Assistance with housing
It goes without saying that single moms with kids have specific housing needs. You need a suitable and safe place to raise your family, and you shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to afford the rent or mortgage payments. In South Carolina, help with housing is obtained through HUD.
Getting a house or apartment isn’t the end of the problem, of course. Once winter kicks in you will need heating, and you may need cooling too if the summer is hot. The good news is that there is assistance available with the utility bills through LIHEAP.
Assistance with education
One thing you can be sure of in this world: That you won’t get a better job without a good education. So, it’s really important for you to be able to get back to school if you need more qualifications…and it’s important for your kid too. What’s great about education though, is that although it can cost a lot, there is a whole load of help with those costs of offer, not just in South Carolina but right across America.
First, check 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 about how to apply for FAFSA in South Carolina.
Some professional courses, like nursing, carry their own special funding for students. If you want to do something like this, search on the internet to see what help is available, or ask at the college you are attending.
There are many more ways of getting help with the expense of education as well, ranging from individual or ‘specific to college’ scholarships to sponsorship from an employer. Medical conditions can also attract help, should any of your family suffer from them. Cancer sufferers or those with long term disabilities can get extra help in most cases. Again, look on the internet, as many special needs awards in cases like these are made across the US every year and if you are entitled to help you don’t want to miss out. And, some churches or other religious groups have education scholarships or grants for their members and members’ children.
Don’t forget that 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
State transportation is a very useful and affordable choice if you happen to live in one of South Carolina’s cities or urban areas. You can get more information about how it all works on this link:
Cars can cost a lot to maintain and run, but if you can find a group of other single moms in your area maybe you can get a car sharing scheme running. You can split the costs and also share the driving…so everybody wins. There may be someone nearby who is happy to exchange lifts to work for a little help with their kids, or with the cooking, cleaning or gardening. There is usually an answer to most problems if you keep looking.
Don’t feel isolated if you are a struggling single mom in South Carolina. Make the most of your state and the assistance it can give you.