Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Wisconsin

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Assistance Programs for Single Moms/Parents living in the state of Wisconsin

Being a single parent is tough. This is a fact and recent budget cuts in financial aid programs and the lack of employment opportunities is only making it harder still. The State of Wisconsin does offer its residents a few federal and local programs to aid them in their time of need. Not only does the state and federal government provide assistance with rent, food, utilities and medical treatment. If you are a single parent looking to go back to school they also provide financial assistance for education and most importantly, much needed child care assistance.

In 1997 the state of Wisconsin moved totally away from the non-incentive based entitlement program of cash assistance. They now offer only the W-2 program, this will give participants cash assistance but they must participate in various work ready programs or attend school to be eligible for the cash assistance. It is a four rung approach whose aim is to make the participant self-sufficient and gainfully employed. Even if you do not qualify for the cash assistance the resource specialist will have valuable information on other state and local programs that can help you along the way. For more information about the changes made to Wisconsin’s aid to families with dependent children program click here:

http://www.urban.org/publications/310223.html  

If you are interested in applying for the program:

http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/w2/resources/w2agencies.asp

The above link will lead you to a page that will allow you to locate the agency nearest you. The link below will take you to page with a complete listing of the federal programs of assistance for the state of Wisconsin. 

http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/assistance.html

Wisconsin can get pretty cold and If you are like most your heat is run on Natural Gas. With the rising cost of gas a lot of Wisconsin residents are having trouble paying the bill. This link http://homeenergyplus.wi.gov/category.asp?linkcatid=239&linkid=118 will take you to a site that will assist you in applying for heating and electrical financial assistance.

Childcare Assistance Programs

Even if you find a job as a single mom you will probably need help with childcare. Single parents make up a large portion of the undereducated workforce and as such the State of Wisconsin has the “Wisconsin Shares” program. The link to the site is listed below along with several others that will give you more information about childcare assistance in Wisconsin.  Her are the bare bones eligibility requirements:

  • Unsubsidized work – minimum wage jobs
  • Attend high-school (if a teen parent under 20 years of age)
  • Participate in W-2 employment program
  • Participate in employment skills training and continue being in unsubsidized employment
  • Participate in Food Stamp Employment and Training work search or work experience programs.
  • Are already a W-2 applicant, participating in up-front job search, training, or orientation activities?

To be eligible you also need to meet certain income requirements as well. If you have a family of two and make less than 3000.00 you are bound to be eligible.

Housing/Rent Assistance Programs

When a person is searching for information of this nature, the last thing they want is another article that mentions what they might could get but doesn’t give them any real leads as to where to look for it. The fact is that in the Wisconsin each city in the state has a branch of the housing and urban development office, this is the first place you will need to look for housing financial assistance. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance

This is a link that will take you to a portal with all the information about the various programs available through HUD. Not all programs are available in all areas. Check with your local agency to see exactly what types of assistance they do provide. http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=wi&topic=renting
This second link is a site that will also give you information about housing assistance in Wisconsin. It also has links to other sites that can help you to apply for the programs they talk about.

Educational Assistance Programs

Finding ways to fund an education can be a daunting task, especially now with the average four year stint costing thousands of dollars. The way things are going most of America will be priced out of receiving a higher education.  The cost of a two year community college is averaging $3,200.00 per semester to private institutions that can cost $33,000.00. If you want to attend the University of Wisconsin this is what it looked like in 2010

(reprinted from http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com )

Annual College Costs ( Fall 2010 )

 

Living on-campus

Living at home

Commuting, not living at home

In-state tuition and fees:

$8,151

$8,151

$8,151

Out-of-state tuition and fees:

$17,880

$17,880

$17,880

Room and board:

$7,018

$3,650

$8,500

Books and supplies:

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

Estimated personal expenses:

$1,600

$1,600

$1,600

Transportation expense:

$2,328

$2,328

$2,328

 

 

 

 

Cost per credit hour:

 

 

 

Cost per credit hour (in-state):

$303

 

 

Cost per credit hour (out-of-state):

$708

 

 

Note: Minnesota reciprocity tuition: $395 per-credit-hour.

The following links will connect you directly with several sites that can answer most if not all of you questions about when, where and how to apply for financial aid in Wisconsin. The first is of course the Pell Grant. This is the gateway application to all state and federal money earmarked for education. To apply use this link

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/#

The next link is for a site that not only will give you information about the Pell Grant but also a list with a list of other grants available in this state. The listings include links to the application site for all of them.

http://www.heab.state.wi.us/programs.html  

finally this link will take you to the home page of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction . You will find information on grants for all phases of education from early childhood to post-secondary education. It also will provide you with more links to further explain each program.

http://dpi.wi.gov/grants.html

Healthcare Assistance Programs

http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/assistance.html

This is the primary link to all of the state run health care programs. You will also find that this link includes information on financial and food share programs as well. The primary health care option in Wisconsin is called “Badger Care” the following link will take you to the ACCESS page where you can begin to determine your eligibility for any of the programs offered by the state.

Food Assistance Programs
If you have made it this far in this article you already have all the information you need and links to the appropriate programs offered by the State of Wisconsin to its citizens for food subsidies. The following link will also have a link to the Food Share Program (formerly the Food Stamp program) it is included because it also has a phone number that you can call to get information about the various food pantries located in the cities of Wisconsin: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/Health/Nutrition/TEFAP/index.htm

Transportation Assistance Programs
State and federal money has been earmarked to cover transportation cost for certain individuals. The money is distributed to local agencies in each cities. Some of the programs that benefit from these funds are community colleges, senior transportation services and and the W-2 program. These all offer free or low cost bus tickets, bus passes or in the case of senior citizens the special buses that provide transportation with door to door service. To learn more about these programs follow the links below or contact your local agency.