Ultimate Guide to Programs for Working Parents


Financial Assistance for Working Parents

Aside from subsidies from the CCDF and tax credits, low-income parents may also qualify to receive other forms of financial assistance from the federal government. In the event that parents are unable to provide their children with basic needs such as a roof over their heads, food to eat and proper health care, there are programs that can help.

Welfare reform over the past few decades has changed greatly. In 1996, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program replaced all of the existing welfare programs. Its main purpose is to ensure that low-income families can take care of their kids in their own home [source: ACF: About TANF]. The application process for TANF differs from state to state so you'll need to contact the proper state office to find out whether you are eligible.

Depending on your level of income, you may also qualify to live in public housing. The public housing program is run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and it provides low-income families with safe and affordable places to live. To apply for public housing, you'll need to contact your local Public Housing Agency. You can find this information at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Web site [source: HUD].

Another huge expense when it comes to raising kids is health care. That's why programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance program, or CHIP, exist. Both programs were developed to help low-income families afford health insurance. Medicaid is for those families living below the federal poverty level, and CHIP is for families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but still can't afford to get their kids health insurance. Both programs are run at the state level. To find out more about what is available in your state, visit the Insure Kids Now Web site [source: Insure Kids Now].

For even more information on financial assistance, tax credits and child care subsidies, check out the links on the next page.

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