Raising a child can take a toll on your family’s financial health, especially in this economy, as food and housing costs have gone through the roof, making it practically impossible for a low-income family to handle the expenses of a newborn.
However, this does mean that your family now qualifies for special government benefits, and if you play your cards right, you may be able to completely offset these costs, giving your child a carefree and quality upbringing.
First-time parents can qualify for a number of benefits programs, including medical coverage, financial assistance, and even food assistance, which is more than enough to help these families make ends meet.
We’ve put together a list of programs focused on helping this demographic, along with some detailed instructions on how to obtain eligibility and complete the application process in a way that increases your chances of being approved for assistance.
Oftentimes, a new member in the family means that your current housing situation likely won’t be suitable for much longer, and you’ll have to move into a different housing option in order to ensure your child gets all the care it needs.
With the help of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, you can find a number of housing solutions for your current circumstances, effectively preventing you and your loved ones from becoming homeless.
Local housing agencies play an important role in this process, and you’ll want to contact some of them immediately after finding out your family will be expanding, as it’ll help cut the waiting time which is a common thing for housing assistance.
If you’re already experiencing homelessness, your best bet is to call 211 or get in touch with other people in your community who may be able to offer you some form of assistance.
Food assistance for families with newborn children
In terms of providing young children and infants with access to nutritious food, programs like WIC and SNAP are likely the most effective ones out there.
With the help of WIC, mothers with infants or children can receive food, financial assistance, and even access to guidance programs for first-time mothers who may not be educated on the topic of raising a child.
Through WIC, these applicants can also receive referrals for health care, giving them access to coverage for their infant or child in the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, SNAP is available to low-income Americans regardless of their marital status or the number of children in their household.
With this program, beneficiaries are given EBT cards with funds on them that can be used to purchase qualifying products at participating stores, with the money being deposited onto the card every month.
Child care programs
Working parents can face a number of difficulties when raising their first child, and this is particularly evident with low-income Americans, as the presence of a child means that one of the parents will have to abandon work in order to care for the latest addition to their family.
While this is acceptable when the child is still nursing, it may take a toll on the family’s finances after a longer period of unemployment, which calls for childcare assistance on the employer’s part.
Certain companies offer to pay for a portion of the child care costs for a given amount of time, whereas parents working at those who don’t can rely on the Early Head Start program for infants and toddlers.
With the help of EHS, these families can gain access to affordable child care at a participating center near them, allowing them to rejoin the workforce and regain the financial stability they may have lost.
In order to prevent employers from discriminating against employees that become pregnant, the federal government has created protections for these individuals, meaning that a pregnant person can’t get fired, denied a promotion, or be forced to take leave.
This form of discrimination may also occur in the case of an employer having certain policies in place that exclude individuals from certain jobs in the company if they have the ability to become pregnant.
On top of this, every employer is required to treat your inability to work or perform a certain task the same way they would treat any other disabled worker.
Finally, with the help of the PUMP Act, working mothers are now entitled to a break time every couple of hours in order to pump milk for their nursing child.
Having an addition to your family is a beautiful thing, but it comes with a number of difficulties that some low-income families may not be equipped to deal with.
From the financial implications of raising a child to the obviously adverse position a single parent may be placed in, raising a child is tough work, and it will require your utmost dedication.
With the help of government programs, some of this difficulty is offset, but not all of it, so be prepared and carefully examine your options before deciding to have a child with your partner.