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Help for single moms in West Virginia: 38 assistance programs

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If you’re a single mom in West Virginia struggling to make ends meet, keep reading for resources that help with: 

Every month, I give out $500 cash to one single mom struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness or loneliness — no strings attached. 

Qualifications are simple:

1. You're a single mom.

2. You need the money right now.

Fill out this form to apply:

(Note that the figures and information in this post are current as of publication date.)

Many of the programs on this list determine eligibility as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL). These are the July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 federal poverty guidelines:

Number of people in family/householdAnnual income

* For families/households with more than 8 people, add $5,140 for each additional person.

You can also look up your area median income (AMI) here.

Emergency cash for low-income families in West Virginia

If you need cash to pay bills, buy gas, feed your family, or for any other reason, these resources can help:

Temporary Cash Assistance in West Virginia

West Virginia WORKS — West Virginia’s name for their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — provides cash assistance to eligible families with resident children or to parents of emancipated minors for up to 60 months. Recipients must work after 24 months of receiving benefits to continue to receive assistance.

The benefits are placed on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card or issued via direct deposit to the recipient’s bank account by request.

The benefit amount is based on family size, earned and unearned income, and housing expenses. For example, a family of three can receive up to $542 per month. However, the initial benefit and ongoing amount can change based on fluctuations in income or eligibility.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Permanent West Virginia resident
  • Complete a drug screening
  • Have children under 18
  • Pregnant women
  • A child must be living in the home maintained by a parent or a relative who is a blood relative of the child
  • Willing to sign a Personal Responsibility Contract and a Self-Sufficiency Plan, which offer guidance and a plan for not needing the WV Works benefit

How to get help:

  • Apply online on the WV PATH website
  • Contact the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Family Assistance at 304-205-6357
  • In-person at your local West Virginia DHHR Office

More emergency cash help in West Virginia: 

Single moms in West Virginia can visit or dial 2-1-1 to ask for assistance.

Check out these posts for more ways to get emergency cash: 

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Housing help for single moms in West Virginia

If you need help finding a place to live or paying your rent/mortgage, these programs can help: 

Rental assistance in West Virginia

There are multiple programs in West Virginia to help single moms find housing and pay their rent:

Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program

This program, offered through the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), helps renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 2023, the program is not currently accepting new rental assistance claims, but this could change if it receives funding.

When active, it offers up to 15 months of help with rent payments (past due and current rent).


  • Permanent resident of West Virginia
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Rental is your primary residence
  • Proof of economic hardship related to COVID-19 or household member is entitled to unemployment benefits as of March 13, 2020
  • One person in your home is at risk of homelessness after March 13, 2020
  • Your household income is not over 80% of the AMI

How to get help:

  • Call WVHDF for more information at 304-391-8600

Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers affordable housing, subsidized apartments, and vouchers to help single moms with low-income pay their rent.


Vouchers and housing are based on household income and family size. You can find your county’s income limits on the HUD website

How to get help: 

Mortgage assistance in West Virginia 

If you need help buying a home in West Virginia, these programs can help: 

West Virginia Homeowners Rescue

The West Virginia Homeowners Rescue program, funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, helps homeowners who have struggled with mortgage payments before or after January 21, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If eligible, you can get financial help for past-due:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Utility payments (electric, gas, energy, water sewer)
  • Internet bills
  • Home insurance premiums
  • Property taxes
  • Ground rent
  • Fees (condo, HOA, etc.)
  • Other necessary housing costs


  • Home must be in West Virginia
  • Must own and live in the home as your primary residence
  • Annual income must be at or below 150% of the AMI for your county or at or below 100% of the HUD AMI (whichever is higher)
  • Experienced a hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that started before or after January 21, 2020
  • Must have proof of hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as job loss, income loss, or large medical bills you are struggling to pay

How to get help:

WVHDF Homeownership Program

The WVHDF Homeownership Program helps individuals, single moms, and families buy a new home. This first-time homebuyer program offers single-family home loans at affordable rates. It’s a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, and you can finance up to 100% of the home’s purchase price.

You must take an approved homebuyer education class and receive counseling.


  • Gross income and the home price must not exceed the county limits for your household size
  • First-time homebuyer
  • Can’t own a home as your primary residence within three years of loan closing if you wish to purchase in the following counties:
BarbourCabellJeffersonMason MercerPutnam

* This does not apply to any other West Virginia county or eligible veterans who receive benefits from the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.

How to get help:

WVHDF Low Down Home Loan

The WVHDF Low Down Home Loan helps with down payment and closing costs in the form of a 15-year, fixed-rate, low-interest loan (currently 2% but subject to change). Works with the Homeownership Program and the Movin’ Up Program.

If you are approved for the WVHDF Homeownership Program, you can get:

  • Up to $7,500 in down payment/closing costs assistance when your loan-to-value ratio is 90% or greater than the purchase price
  • Up to $10,000 when the loan-to-value ratio is less than 90% of the purchase price

With approval from the Movin’ Up Program, you can get:

  • Up to $5,000 when your loan-to-value ratio is 90% or greater than the purchase price
  • Up to $8,000 when the loan-to-value ratio is less than 90% of the purchase price


  • Approved borrower for the WVHDF Homeownership Program or Movin’ Up Program

How to get help:

WVHDF Movin’ Up Program

Homeowners with a moderate income can apply for the WVHDF Movin’ Up Program to purchase a new home. 


  • Must not exceed annual income of $130,560 (up to two-person household)
  • Must not exceed $152,320 (household of three or more)
  • Home price must not exceed the limits set by the county you wish to purchase in

If your income is at or below 80% of AMI, you may be eligible for reduced interest rate and lower private mortgage insurance premiums.

How to get help:

WVHDF Secondary Market Loan Program

If you’re a single mom looking to refinance your mortgage, the Secondary Market Loan Program offers 10- to 30-year fixed mortgages and up to 95% financing.


  • Current WVHDF borrower
  • Loan must be less than $453,100

How to get help:

Next Door Programs

Next Door Programs offers grants, down payment assistance and programs for teachers, first responders, police, and more.


How to get help:

USDA Section 502 Direct Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers the Section 502 Direct Loan Program to low- and very low-income borrowers to help with temporary mortgage payments. The loan can help single moms with reduced mortgage payments.

This program offers a 33-year fixed-rate loan. If you qualify for very low income, it can be extended to 38 years. As of March 1, 2023, the interest rate is 4% for qualified borrowers in West Virginia. Typically, you don’t need a down payment.


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Not currently in sanitary, safe, and decent housing
  • Must live in the home as your primary residence
  • Can’t get a loan from another source
  • Able to repay the loan
  • Able to participate in a federal program
  • Choose a home with a value at or under the area loan limit
  • Agree not to use the property as a means of creating income (such as renting rooms)
  • Meet income requirements (click WV on the map)

How to get help:

Check today's mortgage loan rates >>

Homeless assistance in West Virginia 

The West Virginia Bureau for Family Assistance provides services for the homeless, including:

  • Helping you file a homeless claim
  • Providing access to food, shelter, and medical care
  • Creating an individual service plan to meet your needs
  • Connecting you with other helpful organizations

How to get help:

More housing help: 

Electric bill assistance in West Virginia

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills in West Virginia, check out the following programs:

Dollar Energy Fund

The Dollar Energy Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides grants to low-income families to help with their energy bills.

The organization currently works with the following providers:

  • Appalachian Power Company
  • Hope Gas
  • Mon Power – A FirstEnergy Company
  • Mountaineer Gas
  • People Natural Gas Company LLC
  • Potomac Edison – A FirstEnergy Company
  • West Virginia American Water

If your provider is not listed, contact them and ask about assistance programs in your area.


Eligibility guidelines vary. You must complete a screening first.

How to get help:

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) in West Virginia

During the winter, LIEAP helps qualifying households with home heating costs through cash payments to the person responsible for the bill or paid directly to utility companies like Mon Power. The agency does not assist with water, sewer, or telephone services. 


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Resident of West Virginia
  • Responsible for paying your home heating or cooling bills
  • Income is at or below 60% of the state median income — $39,720/year for a family of three

How to get help:

Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps low-income families lower their monthly energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Types of assistance include:

  • Installing insulation around the home
  • Sealing and repairing air ducts
  • Replacing or repairing inefficient or unsafe heating units

This program, funded by the Department of Energy, is administered by community action agencies at the state level:

Community Action AgencyCounties Served
CHANGE, Inc.Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, and Ohio
Coalfield Community Action Partnership, Inc.Boone, Clay, Kanawha, and Mingo
Community Action of South Eastern West Virginia, Inc.Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, and Summers
Community Resources, Inc.Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wood
Eastern WV Community Action Agency, Inc.Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, and Pendleton
Mountain CAP of West Virginia, Inc.Braxton, Lewis, Upshur, and Webster
MountainHeart Community Services, Inc.Fayette and Wyoming
Nicholas Community Action Partnership, Inc.Nicholas
North Central WV Community Action Association, Inc.Barbour, Greenbrier, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, and Tucker
PRIDE Community ServicesLogan and McDowell
Southwestern Community Action Council, Inc.Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne
WV Community Action Partnerships, Inc.Statewide support


  • U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen
  • West Virginia resident
  • Annual family income must be at or below 200% of FPL — $49,720/year for a family of three
  • Automatically eligible if you are receiving SSI or TANF (West Virginia Works)

How to get help:

Contact your county’s WAP provider (see community action agency table).

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps low-income West Virginians:

  • Restore disconnected water service due to not paying water bills
  • Pay past-due bills to avoid disconnection
  • Pay current bills to avoid disconnection

Eligible families can receive up to $1,000 in one-time assistance.

This program is in effect until September 30, 2023. 


  • West Virginia resident
  • Applicant’s annual income must be at or below 60% of the state median income for household size — $39,720/year for a family of three

How to get help:

More electric bill help: 

Free money to help pay bills

Medical insurance and dental help for single moms in West Virginia

The following medical and dental services are available to qualifying individuals and families:        

West Virginia Oral Health Program

The West Virginia DHHR Oral Health Program provides information to families to help prevent dental issues, improves access for residents to get proper oral care, and looks for ways to improve the oral health of all West Virginians, through five programs:

  • Children’s Dentistry – Works with schools, Head Start, and community health centers and agencies to offer oral hygiene supplies and promote good oral health for children
  • The Denture Project – Provides dentures and partials to eligible low-income individuals as young as 21 years old
  • Pre-Employment – Provides dental and vision care to West Virginia Works (TANF) recipients such as: eye/vision exams, eye glasses, teeth cleaning, and fillings
  • Oral Health Workforce – A project with a goal of creating more dentists who serve West Virginia, especially in underserved areas
  • Jobs and Hope – Provides dental and vision services to West Virginians who are recovering


Each program sets it eligibility requirements.

How to get help:

Dental care at West Virginia colleges and universities

Colleges and universities with a school of dentistry offer discounted dental services to the public. Services are performed by dental students overseen by licensed dentists, and often include:

  • Exams
  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Tooth repairs
  • Root canals
  • Crowns


Each school sets its own eligibility requirements.

How to get help:

Contact your local college or university.

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in West Virginia

HRSA, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, funds health centers that provide free or subsidized health and dental care to low-income people and those otherwise unable to access quality health care, like people living in rural areas.

HRSA also offers a 24/7 free and confidential mental health hotline for pregnant and new moms. Dial 833-943-5746 (833-9-HELP4MOMS) if you are struggling.


Each health center sets its own eligibility criteria for free or reduced cost care. 

How to get help:

Find an HRSA health center in Florida by typing in your address on HRSA’s search tool.

West Virginia Medicaid

Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income individuals and families. In West Virginia, the Medicaid program is run by the WV DHHR Bureau for Medical Services. About 87% of Medicaid recipients in West Virginia are enrolled in the statewide Mountain Health Trust (MHT) Managed Care program, which includes access to three managed care organizations (MCOs):

Through these MCOs, eligible families receive medical services like:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital care
  • Long-term care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health care
  • Emergency room care and transportation
  • Maternity care (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Hospice care
  • Therapy (physical, occupational, speech)
  • Home health
  • Dental care 

If you are pregnant or up to 60 days postpartum under 21, a Native American or Alaska native, no co-payments are required. If you have a co-payment, it may not be greater than 5% of your household income. 

If your income is below 100% of the FPL for your household size, you can’t be refused treatment, even if you cannot afford the co-payment.


  • Resident of West Virginia
  • U.S. national citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien
  • Meet income requirements

Plus, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • SSI recipient
  • Pregnant
  • Children under 19
  • Adults 19 to 64
  • Disabled, over 65, or blind

How to get help:

West Virginia CHIP 

WVCHIP — part of the national Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — matches each qualifying child to one of its three options: 

  • WVCHIP Gold (very low income)
  • WVCHIP Blue (low income)
  • WV Premium Plan (moderate income)

These placements are based on household size and family income. Co-pays are also based on income and family size. 

WVCHIP services include:

  • Doctor visits and check-ups
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Emergency care or urgent care
  • Immunizations
  • Prescription drugs
  • Maternity care
  • Diagnostic tests and x-rays
  • Dental and vision care
  • Mental health
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Other necessary health services 


  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • West Virginia resident
  • 19 or younger
  • Not eligible for Medicaid
  • Meet income guidelines (linked under copays above)

How to get help: 

More medical/dental help: 

Food help for low-income families in West Virginia

A number of federal and state food and nutrition programs are available across the state:

West Virginia Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) provides food benefits and nutrition education to low-income households. 

In West Virginia, SNAP recipients are issued a Mountain State card. This is the electronics benefit transfer (EBT) card for the state. You can use the Mountain State card like an ATM card in retail food stores to purchase food, including:

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Plants and seeds to grow food 

A program called SNAP Stretch allows you to increase the spending power of your SNAP benefits on fresh fruits and vegetables at designated farmer's markets and farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, mobile markets, and local grocery stores. 

If you have a child with you when you shop at a SNAP Stretch market, you’ll get $1 for every dollar you spend. If you are over 60, you’ll get $2 for every dollar you spend. For a current list of markets, go to


  • West Virginia resident
  • Current bank balance (savings and checking combined) limit is $2,750 or $4,250 if you share your household with one of the following:
    • Person or persons age 60 and over
    • Person with a disability (child, spouse, parent, yourself
  • Pass a gross income test and a net income test

You must also have an annual household income below these amounts: 

How to get help: 

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The West Virginia WIC program provides free baby formula and nutritional food items to low-income mothers and their babies. It also offers counseling and guidance on breastfeeding and making healthy food choices. 


  • Low-income, pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, for up to one year postpartum
  • Women up to six months postpartum who are not breastfeeding
  • Infants and children under 5 years old, including foster children
  • Low-income sole provider parents of children under age of 5 who are at nutritional risk and who are below 185% of FPL
  • If you are currently receiving Medicaid, Temporary Assistance, or Food Assistance help, you are also eligible for WIC

How to get help: 

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program

NSLP serves healthy, well-balanced, reduced-price or free meals to children in school. 

An extension of the NSLP, the School Breakfast Program provides free or low-cost breakfast to eligible students. Schools with at least 80% of the students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must provide breakfast at no cost to all students. 


Household income must fall at or below the limits of the federal income eligibility guidelines.

How to get help: 

West Virginia Summer Food Service Program

The West Virginia Department of Education works with organizations to make sure children have free, nutritious meals during summer break. Food is distributed at local schools, churches, community centers, nonprofits, pools, and libraries. 


Anyone 18 or younger and living in a low-income area is able to get free meals through the Summer Food Service Program.

How to get help: 

West Virginia food banks

Food banks in Florida provide meals for individuals and families who are struggling to put food on the table. 


Each food bank sets its own eligibility and proof of need requirements. 

How to get help: 

To find a food bank near you and for additional information, visit the Feeding America website.

More food help: 

Child care help for low-income families in West Virginia

There are multiple programs and resources in West Virginia to help single moms find child care and education assistance for their children:

Choices Child Care

The Choices Child Care program provides financial assistance to eligible West Virginia families to pay for child care. Qualified individuals pay a child care fee on a sliding fee scale based on gross income.


  • Your children live at home with you
  • You are working or attending school
  • WV Works (TANF) recipient
  • Annual income is at or below 150% of FPL

How to get help:

Find your Choices resource center.

WV Universal Pre-K

In West Virginia, free preschool is available in all 55 counties. 


Any 3- or 4-year-old child living in West Virginia can enroll on Universal Pre-K regardless of income. This program also serves students with special needs.

How to get help: 

Find your local Pre-K program.

West Virginia Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start is a free federal preschool program for children aged 3 to 5 from low-income families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children under age 3. The programs focus on cognitive, social, and emotional development and prepare children for school. 


  • Children from birth to 5 
  • Meet federal poverty guidelines 
  • Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF, SSI, etc.) are eligible regardless of income
  • Some programs accept kids with incomes above the Poverty Guidelines
  • Pregnant women can also receive prenatal and postpartum information, education, and services through Early Head Start

How to apply: 

More child care help

Education help for single moms in West Virginia

If you’re a single mom who wants to further her education, here are some helpful resources: 

Financial aid offices at colleges, universities, and technical schools

Individual schools offer need-based and academic scholarships for their students. If you’ve been accepted to a higher education institution, contact their office of financial aid to learn how to apply. You can start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Get a high school equivalency diploma in West Virginia

In West Virginia, Workforce West Virginia can help you get your high school equivalency diploma. You must be at least 16 years old to take the test.

West Virginia uses the HiSET exam to test five subject areas within the following time limits:

  • Reading – 65 minutes
  • Writing – 120 minutes
  • Mathematics – 90 minutes
  • Science – 80 minutes
  • Social Studies – 70 minutes

You can space out these exams, taking them on different days but must meet the time limit for each test. 

There is no cost to take the HiSET. You have two options for taking the test in West Virginia: 

Grants and scholarships in West Virginia

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System created the College for West Virginia (CFWV) hub to connect students and prospective students with grants and scholarships available in West Virginia. 

The website offers:

To find out which scholarships and grants you may be eligible for, create a student profile on the CFWV website. 

More education help: 

Employment help for single moms in West Virginia

Workforce programs in West Virginia provide training and assist with employment:

Jobs & Hope West Virginia

Jobs & Hope West Virginia is a statewide effort to address substance abuse and help those in recovery prepare to enter or reenter the workforce with proper training and support.


  • West Virginia resident
  • U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • Facing a barrier to employment
  • Wants to be employed and is willing to enroll in a training or educational program
  • Committed to following a recovery program
  • Willing to submit to random drug testing

How to get help:

Workforce West Virginia

Workforce West Virginia is a state agency funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide unemployment benefits and workforce development services for:

  • Job Seekers – Get referrals for job opportunities, help with your resume, career counseling, and opportunities to learn new skills
  • Veterans – Gives preferred treatment to veterans for jobs that match their skills
  • Dislocated Workers – Helps dislocated workers get the support they need to find a new position

How to get help:

American Job Centers

The American Job Centers offer employment and training services, career counseling, and job search assistance. 

How to get help: 

More employment help: 

Charity organizations in West Virginia

There are a number of charitable organizations throughout West Virginia that offer support to single moms:

The Salvation Army of West Virginia

The Salvation Army wears many hats. Chapters assist with:

  • Food, shelter and clothing
  • Medication costs
  • Education and job training
  • Christmas presents
  • Rent and utility bills
  • Substance abuse rehabilitation
  • Youth services
  • Emergency disaster response


Each Salvation Army branch determines its own eligibility criteria for different programs. 

How to get help: 

Visit the Salvation Army website to find your local chapter. 

Catholic Charities of West Virginia

Catholic Charities assists with:

  • Housing
  • Utility assistance
  • Food assistance
  • Health care assistance

There are chapters in each region of West Virginia: 


Each Catholic Charities branch determines its own eligibility criteria for different programs. 

How to get help: 

United Way of West Virginia

The United Way connects people in need with local resources like: 

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Child care services
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Support groups

There are 15 branches of the United Way in West Virginia. 

How to get help: 

Not your state? Select yours here: founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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