Did you miss Mom’s Day? Not to worry – the federal government has a few $-saving gifts of their own to give her

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Moms get benefits they may not know about

If you blew it on Mother’s Day and didn’t get mom a gift, not to worry – the U.S. government has a few they’d like to give her, and all the stepmoms, grandmothers, and mother figures as thanks for all they do.

Nope, it’s not candy or flowers or a rebate check for being a good mom, but rather four little-known programs that financially support women and mothers who take care of themselves and their flock.

Child Care help

Anyone who has an infant knows that the cost of childcare is a runaway train. The median yearly childcare price for one child in center-based infant care now runs more than $8,000 in small counties to more than $17,000 in very large counties. Even the parents who opt for home-based infant care could be looking at anywhere from $6,000-$11,000 out of pocket. 

Luckily, the Child Care and Development Fund helps low-income families with children under 13 afford childcare. The program helps make sure that children are safe, healthy, and growing while their parents are working or attending school.

Additionally, the Child Care Resource and Referral Services program helps find childcare programs that meet a family’s needs. In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a parent or primary caregiver responsible for children under the age of 19 years or responsible for a child(ren) with a disability.

Nutrition help

The WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education to women who are pregnant, nursing, postpartum, or with children feve years old or younger – if they are considered low income. Services are also available to infants and children up to age five who are nutritionally vulnerable. 

An added benefit of WIC is that it can be combined with other programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The WIC’s How to Apply page has further information.

Women's Health Care Benefits for Veterans

Moms who have served in the military have the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to thank for six comprehensive medical services for women. These services include:

  • Health promotion and disease prevention

  • Primary care

  • Mental health services

  • Women's gender-specific health care (e.g., hormone replacement therapy, breast and gynecological care, maternity, and limited infertility

  • Acute medical/surgical, telephone, emergency, and substance abuse treatment

  • In-home, rehabilitation, and long-term care

This program is available at all VA Medical Centers and the only qualification is that an applicant has to be enrolled in the VA health care system or qualify based on one of the exceptions in the law. Anyone interested should check out the Basic Medical Benefits Package for Veterans to see the complete program requirements.

Family Planning Services

Several local clinics are operated by Family Planning Services to provide family planning and preventive health services to women and their families. To help you decide how many and how far apart to have children, these services include educational resources, medical screenings, and social services. The Clinic Finder will help you locate a clinic near you and how to apply.

And there are federal benefits for more than just parents, too

If you think that the only people who receive federal benefits are low-income Americans, you’d be wrong. Yes, a lot of public benefits go to senior citizens who’ve paid for those services over a lifetime of work, but many middle-class families are eligible for these programs. 

To find out what benefits and resources you might qualify for, check out the U.S. government's Benefit Finder. The form can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to finish, but once you have completed the questionnaire, you will receive a list of government benefits you may be eligible for and where you can apply. By the way, all answers are kept confidential. 

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