Alabama’s financial assistance program (AFDC) has become less generous since the federal government gave total autonomy to each state for setting guidelines. Alabama already had the lowest payout and higher eligibility requirements of any state. Now in the state of Alabama a family of three who $254.00 a month will not be eligible for benefits. The cash assistance for a family of 3 is only $164.00 per month. More over the state lifetime limit for receiving benefits is only 60 months (5 years). This seemed like a good idea when welfare reform first came into existence and the AFDC program became TANF but now with massive job loss and most people having reached their benefit limit before the economic crisis Alabama has seen an increase in homelessness of women and children. Below you will find agencies, some outside of the government, which will provide assistance for single parents in the state of Alabama.
To be eligible, both financial and non-financial requirements must be met as established by state law. Generally eligible families must include a child (or a pregnant woman) and must prove residency in Alabama. Children younger than 5 must be up to date with all childhood immunizations and children age 6 to 18 must be in school and the parents must be taking an active role in school conferences.
Applicant cannot have assets totaling more than $2000.00 and any vehicle owned cannot be worth more than $8500.00
Adults in families receiving cash assistance must work. If not gainfully employed they must participate in work related activities that are approved by the state for a specified number of hours per week. This number varies depending on the number of work-eligible adults in the family and the age of children.
For information or to apply for Alabama TANF follow this link http://dhr.alabama.gov/documents/FAD-690.pdf or go to http://www.dhr.state.al.us/ When you need help paying bills in Alabama try this link for more information on local utility assistance programs
Childcare Assistance Programs
In the state of Alabama the Child Care and Development fund is managed by the Alabama Childcare Subsidy Office. The goal of the program is to help low to moderate income families to secure safe qualified childcare. (334) 242-1310
The following link is for the Family Guidance center of Alabama they have a program that provides training for family members so that they meet state qualifications as a childcare giver. http://www.familyguidancecenter.org/index.php?story=erl.financial
If you cannot get the help you need using these links and telephone numbers then check with local churches. A lot of churches are helping low income families by providing subsidized childcare.
Housing/Rent Assistance Programs
Alabama has recently been hit by some of Mother Nature’s most devastating tornadoes. This may be the best time to get housing assistance in the history of the state for some home owners but for those few who do not own their own homes there are also options available. The first stop on your quest for housing should be your local housing authority. Like most states there is a waiting list for this application process to begin the sooner you get your name on the list the better. This is the local office in Birmingham, Alabama http://www.habd.org/ they can inform you about contacting an office in your area. This link for AAHRA http://aahra.org/ will give you more information on eligibility and application for public housing in Alabama.
Educational Assistance Programs
As in any state the college hopeful should actually begin here http://www.fasa.com/ this application is a lengthy process but once it is complete you are half way to getting any other grants available in your state. For general information about student aid programs check out http://www.ache.state.al.us/StudentAsst/Programs.htm you will information about applying for everything from veterans benefits to scholarships.
There are also specialty grants for students interested in a specific field. You can apply for the SMART grant if you are in your third or fourth year studying any of the sciences, mathematics, engineering, a critical foreign language or technology. Some liberal arts programs also qualify. http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/SmartGrants.jsp?tab=funding
The teach grant is for aspiring educators http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/TEACH.jsp by applying for this grant you can get a complete education grant but there is a stipulation, you will have to teach for five years in a low income high needs school. Follow the link for complete details. Most community colleges have some type of scholarship or grant program, you must check with each individual financial aid office.
Healthcare Assistance Programs
For most single parents in Alabama there is only one option for medical assistance and that is the Department of Health and Human Services. If you qualified for the cash and/or EBT then you may also qualify for the medical assistance program in that state. The links below can offer you more information on applying and eligibility requirements.
http://dhr.alabama.gov/documents/FAD-690.pdf or go to http://www.dhr.state.al.us/ http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/alabama_assistance_programs.html
Food Assistance Programs
The Food stamps program has received a grand overhaul in all states and Alabama gives less than most. The new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) replaces the old program by giving you a debit card that is loaded each month with your benefit amount. It is accepted in all of the same places. The biggest difference is that you can use EBT benefits to buy plants and seeds to grow your own food. For more information and to locate the nearest office in your county got to he following site
http://www.dhr.state.al.us/counties/county_select.aspx or call (334) 242-1310
Local food banks and church charities make the bulk of the food assistance in the state of Alabama. There are non-profit groups that serve as distribution points for Second Harvest. Below you will find links to assist you to find a participating distribution outlet near you.
You may also dial 211 for a list of food banks near you.
Transportation Assistance Programs