According to current figures, in the United States there are more than 500,000 widowed women under the age of 45. Unfortunately many of those women are likely to be living in poverty. Adults at or below the poverty level are predominantly women, especially if they are living on their own.
Over 25% of children in the U.S. live with one parent, and 4% live with a widowed parent. So it is not a surprise that widows with children would be seeking assistance. They have a particularly tough time trying to both care for their children and earn a living. Fortunately there are both government and private organizations who are prepared to provide assistance.
Following are some tips for Finding Grants For Widows With Children as well as for identifying other kinds of help that may be available. There are many potential sources of assistance. Finding that assistance, however, can be confusing — especially if one is still grieving (or denying that dealing with grief is important). And if you do a simple search it is more likely to turn up options for dating than for getting the help you need quickly. Now is not a time for dating – it's a time for taking care of yourself and your family.
If you are a professional in this area, or have survived a similar struggle yourself, we welcome your input and suggestions in our Community section. If you are a widow who needs help, also feel free to ask questions and seek advice there.
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Start at the top! While it would be nice if the government had lots of money available to give out grants for individuals in need who just fill out a simple application, that’s not the way it works. Grants are typically awarded to organizations and to other government agencies; individual financial assistance is typically handled through Federal Aid. That’s ok though — aid is not something that has to be repaid, and there is a comprehensive tool available to make it easier for you to identify any aid for which you may qualify. The process will require some time and patience on your part, but the benefits are worth it! Even if you don’t find exactly the type or amount of aid you need or desire, you will know what is possible and you can focus your energies there. And you will know the sources are reliable. If you've already tried this, and/or want to try some other options for assistance, go to Widows With Children: More Grant Resources.
If you're working or going to school you may be in need of financial help for child care costs. Not easy to find but we provide good info about available resources plus tips for reducing child care costs in Assistance for Child Care.
Just as grants.gov is the go-to site for finding grants, benefits.gov is the premier source of information on finding other types of aid. The picture shows the upper left of the opening page; when you click the bright orange Start Now button, you will be taken to a questionnaire. It is lengthy and you have to answer a lot of questions in many different areas —- but once you are done, it will tell you what aid you qualify for and how to go about getting it. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in to fill out the questionnaire as your first step in getting help.
In addition to government assistance, widows with children can turn to local agencies and religious organizations for assistance. A number of these are listed in our more general article called I Need Help. An internet search may also turn up new resources, as this is a constantly changing landscape. For example, you may be able to get a grant from a non-profit called ASK, which stands for “Acts of Simple Kindness.” They provide funds for children who have lost a parent so that they can go on taking part in extra-curricular activities that are important to them.