Whether you are just starting your pregnancy or post-placement, there are federal and state-level programs that can provide much-needed financial support for birth parents. Some of these resources will be available solely for birth parents and others are general programs that any citizen can receive. Many, but not all, programs depend on financial circumstances and proof of income may be needed before benefits start.
If you know that you need financial assistance, but do not know where to start, we have compiled a list of some of the largest programs available in Texas:
Before accessing any benefits, you must prove your eligibility. Eligibility for government support varies across the different benefit programs, and criteria can include income, health needs and being pregnant, breastfeeding and parenting young children.
This pre-screening tool can take reduce the time and energy spent on researching the programs available to you. By filling out this form for free, you can immediately discover the benefits you are eligible to start receiving.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is an assistance program designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children under five and their mothers.
This program is designed to help low-income women and children access nutritious food and the program currently serves over half of all American infants.
During pregnancy, a woman’s nutritional needs will change. It is recommended that pregnant women consume 100–300 extra calories per day for a healthy pregnancy. It is also critical for the health of both birth mothers and babies of pregnant women to eat a healthy and well-rounded diet.
If your pregnancy has made maintaining a healthy diet challenging, WIC may be the right program to help you.
Formerly referred to as “food stamps” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a monthly benefit program that can help low-income citizens access healthy food. Unlike WIC, there are no restrictions on age, gender and pregnancy. This means that, if you have family members who are not eligible for WIC but are still in need, this program can help.
Additionally, if you will still need assistance in affording healthy foods after the placement of your child, SNAP will continue, even after you are no longer eligible for WIC benefits.
Health Care Programs
In order to stay healthy before, during and after pregnancy, it is important that you take adequate care of your body and mind. As a pregnant woman, you will likely experience more health concerns than average, from normal but unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (such as morning sickness and fatigue) to the childbirth process itself.
If medical bills are overwhelming, you may be eligible for government programs that can help. In Texas, a number of medical aid programs are available, including Medicaid. Generally, Medicaid is available for adults with disabilities, the elderly and adults who care for children. Low-income pregnant women are eligible and there are specific Medicaid programs available for women’s health needs, such as breast and cervical screenings.
If you have children that you care for, they may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) .
Regular medical care is a requirement for a healthy pregnancy. If you have found yourself missing prenatal appointments or going without medications your doctors have recommended because the cost is too prohibitive, you should consider applying to Medicaid immediately.
TANF Cash Help
If you need financial assistance, you understand that it may be hard to pinpoint which areas require the most help. Is your priority affording a grocery bill or paying off debt that has been keeping you from financial security? The Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, formerly Aid to Families with Children (ADFC), can help you while giving you the freedom to choose for yourself how your assistance funding is spent.
This is a temporary program intended for short-term use. It is designed for families and eligibility requirements include caring for a baby. While you are receiving TANF, you will receive monthly Medicaid benefits, as well as cash funding that can help you ease your financial burdens on your own terms.
If pursuing post-secondary education is a goal of yours, Texas can help you get one step closer to realizing your dreams. Ultimately, post-secondary education can be a rewarding experience that can lead to better career opportunities and higher wages. However, in order to see a return on investment, you need to pay hefty tuition fees, as well as the cost of textbooks and living expenses.
Texas offers numerous financial aid programs and grants designed for post-secondary students, with the goal of lessening the burden of student debt and empowering people from all backgrounds to pursue higher education. Among the programs available include Federal Pell Grants, the Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) and the Texas State Tuition Grant. Most of these education programs are based on financial need, rather than factors like grades and program majors. This way, you do not have to worry about being in the “wrong” field or not having sufficient grades to receive much-needed financial assistance.
Texas’ Support Services program offers a versatile range of assistance, including:
● Mental health and addiction treatment
● Help for caregivers who need a break
● Assistance with day-to-day needs including dressing, eating, bathing and shopping
This program is generally reserved for people with disabilities, their caregivers, the elderly and those with mental health issues, including addiction.
If you have experienced financial difficulties, and are worried it could affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy, then you should speak with your doctor and adoption professionals such as The Adoption Alliance immediately. They assist helping you with your needs.