Raising children can be a very expensive responsibility, especially for a single parent. When unemployment hits, the cost of maintaining your household and children's needs can oftentimes become difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Fortunately, you can get money if you're a single unemployed mother from a number of government and private granting foundations.
Enforce any applicable child support judgments and explore Social Security possibilities. If you are an unwed mother or divorcee, in most instances you are eligible to collect child support from your children's father. If you're unemployed, your local human services department can direct you to a government agency for assistance in child support proceedings. If you are a widow, contact your local Social Security office to apply for benefits.
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Apply for unemployment insurance benefits. In most states, if you have been laid off or terminated from a job you held for more than six months, you may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Eligibility and benefit amounts may vary according to your location, income, family size and reason for dismissal. Visit your area unemployment office to apply for this opportunity. Depending on your state, you may even be able to apply online.
Visit your local human services department to apply for government benefits. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for a number of government-funded assistance programs. Such assistance typically includes food stamps, Medicaid -- for you and your children -- and a monthly cash allowance. Award amounts vary from case to case.
Apply for utility bill grants and Section 8 housing. Your utility service providers can direct you to the appropriate agencies that help low-income families pay their utility bills. For ongoing help with rent, contact your local housing authority to apply for Section 8 housing grants to save up to 70 percent on your rent each month. Though you will not receive any direct cash awards from these programs, a considerable amount of funds may applied to you rent and utility bills on your behalf.
Contact local charity and good Samaritan organizations to explore potential grant opportunities. Many private agencies award grant funds to families in desperate need of financial help. You may be able to receive cash grants, food pantry access and other family services from private, non-profit charitable foundations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.