What Kinds Of Financial Support Are Available For Single Fathers?

    Parenthood is one of the hardest things to manage. You must ensure your family is safe, healthy, and comfortable. It may sound simple, but they all come with tons of financial pressure, which you must double if you are a single father.

    The good thing is that financial support programs from the government and other organizations can change the game for single fathers with numerous bills on their plates. After all, with the cost of raising a child amounting to $290,014 — education not included — every form of financial support can ease the burden on single parents.

    If you are wondering about the availability of financial assistance for single father households, here is a quick guide to get you started:

    1. Medicaid

    Through Medicaid, millions of Americans get health coverage, especially low-income adults and their children. Their health will be protected with the programs administered through their state. However, eligibility requirements for Medicaid also vary per state, so it’s best to check to see if you qualify.

    2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

    The TANF program is another initiative that helps low-income families, including single parents. However, TANF benefits vary depending on the territory or state you apply to.

    TANF offers monthly cash assistance payments to its beneficiaries, provided that they meet all the eligibility requirements. Some of these include work participation and an income within what is defined as “needy.”

    If a single father qualifies for TANF, they can access the monthly monetary benefit for up to five years.

    3. Child Care Tax Credit

    The IRS offers a federal tax benefit called the Child Care Tax Credit to help families, including single fathers, pay for childcare expenses while looking for a job or spending time at work. 

    To claim this tax credit, a parent must have a child under the age of 13 living with them for at least half of the year. The childcare type qualifies for this credit and includes care centers, daycare homes, vacation day camps, or care provided by neighbors and relatives.

    This benefit is available for one or two children and comes with a maximum credit of up to $4,000 for several qualified expenses up to $8,000. To claim the tax credit, the parent must fill out Form 2441 and submit it to the IRS.

    4. Summer Food Service Program

    The Summer Food Service Program is a federal project administered across the states to ensure that children and teenagers in low-income areas still have access to food even when school is not in session.

    The best thing about this program is that the children can freely enjoy nutritious meals without filling out registration or applications. All you have to do is contact your state’s local administrators to identify the program’s logistics and enjoy the benefits.

    5. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

    For single fathers who have trouble with energy and utility bills, LIHEAP offers grants that will reduce energy costs. It covers energy bills, energy crisis expenses, and energy-related home repairs.

    Through LIHEAP, even low-income families can ensure that they can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, reducing health and safety risks that arise from unsafe heating and cooling systems.

    The Takeaway

    The government has numerous programs to help single fathers conquer the challenge of raising children safely and healthily. The financial support options mentioned above are just some of the many ways single fathers can receive help, so it really pays to spend time doing research.

    If you want to learn more about government grants and assistance options for single fathers and mothers, explore the free resources offered by Gov Relations!