Financial Assistance in Wisconsin

Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, the Badger State, has many areas of outstanding natural beauty. With over 14,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a paradise for lovers of water and water sports. It also ranks in the top ten safest states to live in, which makes it a great state to bring up your family in.

Still, safe or not, life as a single mom can be tough even in Wisconsin. Single moms have no one to share the worries of child raising with, and no one to share the burden of earning enough money for the family to live on. Single moms have to take on the world alone, or so it feels at times.

A single income often just isn’t enough. Everything costs, these days, and if you are a single mom you could probably really use some financial help.  The good news is that if you are a single mom who lives in Wisconsin, that help is out there just waiting for you to find it.

 

Financial Assistance

Did you know that the United States has billions of dollars put aside to give in grants to single moms who are experiencing financial hardship? No? Well, you could be entitled to handouts of cash from the government, so take a look at the link below to find out more.

Then Wisconsin also has a program called TANF that can offer vital aid to single moms in the state. TANF stands for Temporary Asssistance for Needy Families, and it can give you up to 60 months of asistance if you are eligible.

http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/tanf/tanfstateplans.htm

If you are concerned about receiving unexpected bills and other expenses at the end of the month when money is really short, you might have thought about taking out a Payday Loan. This is a short term loan that can be useful to tide you over ’til payday, but they have a downside too. A lot of these loans have gotten a bad name for charging a very high interest rate and for imposing big fines for late repayments. So, if you need to take a loan like this, make sure you read the small print carefully and only ever borrow from a reputable lender like an established bank. Don’t turn to the loan sharks, it only creates more debt in the end. If you can find a grant or other form of state aid instead, go for that, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

 

Assistance with food

Feeding your family on fresh, nutritious good is something that you know you need to do. You want to fill your fridge with fresh vegetables, dairy products, nuts, fish and to have cereals and bread always on hand…but you don’t know how to make the budget stretch far enough to buy all these things.

If you need help with nutrition and you live in Wisconsin, this is what to do.  If you have registered for help through Wisconsin TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there.  If not, don’t worry, Wisconsin has other programs in place that could offer the help you need.

One program that you might turn to is SNAP (also known as Foodshare in Wisconsin). This is the replacement program for the old Food Stamps scheme, and issues electronic cards instead of paper vouchers. These are then swiped through credit card type machines in participating grocery stores to allow you to take goods.

And, SNAP also offers the chance to use your swipe card in exchange for seeds, 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. There’s nothing so good as fresh, home grown food.

Next up to think about is WIC. 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 Wisconsin’s WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it and your eligibility here:

http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wic/

Finally, nutritional aid can also be obtained through the Food Banks of Wisconsin.

 

Assistance with childcare

Going out to work is probably something you have to do, if you are a single mom. Whether you want to work or would rather stay at home with the kids, single parenthood rarely offers you a choice. Someone needs to earn the money, so it has to be you! However, child care can cost a lot, and you could even find that there is very little left over from your monthly paycheck once you have paid the child minder! Clearly, you need help. Luckily, Wisconsin has exactly th help you need. It’s called Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program. Find out about it here:

If you are able to obtain help through this program, great stuff. You’re sorted.  But, it is possible that you won’t be able to obtain help with child care through this program if you don’t meet the criteria. But, don’t panic yet, because there are still things you can do that should help you find a solution.  Make friends with other single moms in your neighborhood 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 switched on  employers might be prepared to set up a crèche or offer a little help to pay the costs of child care. It is amazing sometimes how just talking to people can help you to find answers to your problems.

 

Assistance with healthcare

Healthcare policies are expensive, often far too expensive for those who don’t have a high income. The irony is that it is often those on low incomes who most need the help that medical services offer. Single moms with young kids, pregnant women, children…all need access to routine medical care and also to help in the case of illness or emergency.

The first step is to see if you qualify for Medicaid. Low income families can often receive all the help they need from this well known healthcare program.

http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/medicaid/

Children and families who can’t get Medicaid but can’t afford to pay for private health care policies either can receive medical aid  through Wisconsin’s Badger Care Plus scheme.

 

Assistance with housing

Good, safe, pleasasnt housing is essential if you are bringing up a family.  Like many other things though, it can be very costly and even difficlt to find. To get assistance with housing, get onto the webpage linked below for Wisconsin’s Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD), and the Department of Commerce. HUD can offer help with finding suitable accomodations for families, and also help to pay the rent or the mortgage.

http://doa.wi.gov/index.asp?locid=173#HousingPrograms

Utility bills can be another big headache. Heating and cooling houses is not cheap, and don’t you know it! If you are worrying about the cost of heating or cooling your home in Wisconsin, see if Home Energy Plus can help. If you fit the criteria, your energy bills can be subsidized, so you won’t have to shiver through the winter or roast in summer! It’s important to have a comfortable temperature in the home when the kids are very young, so get the help if you need it.

http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov/

 

Assistance with education

You need education to improve your prospects and to improve your quality of life. So do your kids. So, whether it is you or your kids (or all of you!) who need to go to college to get better qualifications, you also probably need help to meet the costs. Here;s how to go about it.

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 links below give you information about how to apply for FAFSA in Wisconsin.

http://www.fafsaonline.com/FAFSA-school-codes/wi/

The State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aid Board can also supply you with some useful information, so check it ot here:

 

There is even more you can do, when it comes to getting help with education in Wisconsin.

What if you want to get a professional qualification, such as nursing? If you do,  there may well be special funding for you. 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.

You could also check out Celebrity Scholarships like those offered by David Letterman or Bill Gates. There are quite a few of these, with a lot of celebrity names getting in on the act of sponsorship for education in various fields.

 

There are so many possibilities of help with education. It takes a bit of time and effort, but the results are so worth it!

 

Assistance with transportation

Public transportation is a really good way of getting about. If you live in one of Wisconsin’s urban areas, it is probably all you will ever really need (and it’s cheap!), so get to know what buses run from where here:

http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/transit/

But, of course, if you live in the more rural areas, you may find public transport a little less easy to use. If you live out in the country areas of Wisconsin state, you will need access to a car to get around. Why not see if this scheme, linked blelow, can offer you a free car? Sounds too good to be true, but it is possible!

http://www.ehow.com/about_4850825_that-donate-cars-single-parents.html

There are no guarantees, but you might just be lucky!

Cars do cost a lot to maintain and run, and this can be quite worrying if you don’t have much spare cash. 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…and that makes life easier for everyone! Then, you might just find someone nearby who is happy to exchange lifts to work for a little help with their kids, or with the cooking, cleaning or gardening. Or, maybe you can afford to offer someone just a little cash to get lifts to work? Talk to people, ask around, check out ads in local shops and papers…maybe there is someone who is looking to share a car with someone just like you!

No moms should ever have to feel alone and isolated, even if they are single.  Wisconsin wants to help you, so make sure you find the help you are entitled to and use it.

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