The state of Georgia has a poverty rate of 16.9%. One out of every 5.9 residents of Georgia lives in poverty. 1,679,030 of 9,931,935 residents reported income levels below the poverty line in the last year. Georgia ranks 42nd in Poverty Rate at 16.9%, which is moderately higher than the national average of 14.6%.
Female residents of Georgia are significantly (20%) more likely to live in poverty than males; this makes single mothers a weaker part of society in Georgia. For these reasons, Georgia has created several programs to help its population in need, and among them we can mention:
Georgia Medicaid Program
Medicaid provides eligible individuals access to free and low-cost medical care. You can apply for Medicaid in Georgia online through Georgia Getaway at https://gateway.ga.gov/access/. Medicaid provides supports for pregnant women, children, retirees age 65 and older, and people who are legally blind or disabled. Those who need nursing home care or who have breast or cervical cancer may also qualify.
To apply to Georgia´s Medicaid you need your Social Security Number, proof of Georgia residency, proof of citizenship or qualified alien status, and your most recent pay stubs. Some of the expenses Medicaid covers are:
- Doctor’s visits
- Prescription drugs
- Lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- Hospital care
- Eye care
- Dental care
Georgia Peach Care for Kids
PeachCare for Kids is a comprehensive health care program for uninsured children living in Georgia. The health benefits include primary, preventive, specialist, dental care and vision care. PeachCare for Kids also covers hospitalization, emergency room services, prescription medications and mental health care. Each child in the program has a Georgia Families Care Management Organization (CMO) https://medicaid.georgia.gov/programs/all-programs/georgia-families/care-management-organizations-cmo which is responsible for coordinating the child’s care.
PeachCare for Kids is available for children age 18 and under (eligible until 19th birthday). To be eligible for PeachCare for Kids your children must be U.S. Citizens or fall within an eligible legal migratory category. Original documents may be required in order to verify the status of the child/ren for whom you are applying. Parents are not required to verify their own citizenship or immigration status.
Georgia Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS)
The CAPS program supports early education goals by assisting low income families with the cost of childcare while they work, go to school or training, or participate in other work-related activities. This program was created because childcare can be expensive and finding a safe and high-quality childcare at an affordable price can be difficult. The main purposes of this program are:
- Provide access to high quality and affordable early learning environments for families who are considered low income.
- Support the Department of Early Care and Learning´s (DECAL) efforts in increasing positive school readiness outcomes.
- Assist families in achieving and maintaining self-sufficiency by providing financial supports for childcare costs.
CAPS in Georgia is administered by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. You can apply for CAPS if you are under the following eligibility criteria:
- Children with disabilities – Disabilities may include intellectual disabilities; hearing, speech, language, visual, or orthopedic impairments; serious emotional disturbance, autism, traumatic brain injury, specific learning disability, significant delays in cognitive, communication, social, emotional, or adaptive development; or other health impairments that impact the child’s learning.
- Families experiencing domestic violence
- Families participating in or transitioning from TANF – Requires a referral from TANF and is limited to families who are participating in TANF employment or support services.
- Families who have experienced a natural disaster within the previous 24 months.
- Families who lack fixed, regular, and adequate housing
- Families with very low income as defined by CAPS
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) – Must be participating in DFCS’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program.
- Minor parents – Parental authorities 20 years of age or younger.
Georgia Low Income Housing Assistance Program
This program provides low income single parents and families with greatly reduced rental costs. In this program you are placed in living areas owned by Local Housing Agencies. These living areas will usually be apartments, however, sometimes they are single standing houses and even condos. The local housing agencies provide a safe and sanitary place to live for low income families to ensure they have rent payments that they can afford.
HOPE Atlanta Homeless Prevention Program
HOPE Atlanta offers an array of services including shelter and other emergency services, permanent supportive housing, case management, street outreach, homeless prevention, domestic violence services, veterans’ services, HIV/AIDS services, reunification, and rapid re-housing. Most of the people assisted by HOPE Atlanta is homeless or about to become homeless
Georgia Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Georgia Housing Choice Voucher Program provides low income single parents and families with greatly reduced rent payments. This program is somewhat like the low-income Housing Program, however, with this program you are able you to choose your own living place rather than live in a predetermined living space seen in the low-income public housing program.
Applicant families to this program must meet the following requirements:
- Meet HUD’s definition of family
- Meet income limits specified by HUD
- Qualify based on citizenship or the eligible immigrant status
- Provide social security number information
- Sign required consent forms
- Pass the screening process