Being a single mother is often a challenging condition. Being able to count on only one salary, the woman is forced to work harder to support herself and her children, at the same time running a greater risk of falling into poverty. Among the various costs of supporting a child, rent, health care and education, a single woman often runs the risk of living in a precarious and difficult economic situation. However, there are some forms of government assistance that can be accessed if you meet the necessary qualifications.
Obtain State Economic Aid
The Italian state, as well as various regions and municipalities, implement measures aimed at supporting mothers in difficulty. Often the contributions are minimal and certainly do not allow to completely solve any economic problems, but they can still be a source of support to overcome the most demanding periods.
A woman who, in the course of pregnancy or the birth of a child, finds herself in difficult economic conditions because she is deprived of aid and is employed only in a precarious and occasional manner, can obtain from the state some tax breaks and a maternity allowance.
All women who have given birth or adopted a child and demonstrate that they have paid social security contributions in the 18 months prior to birth can apply.
In the case of the birth of a twin, the maintenance allowance is doubled.
If the mother does not have the social security contributions required to obtain the state allowance, it is possible to apply to the municipality of residence to ask for a maternity allowance.
Single mothers can be entitled to this type of financial assistance, but also families of at least three people, provided that the income is too low and insufficient for the objective support of family members.
Women who are entitled to state assistance cannot apply for maternity allowance provided by the municipality.
To apply, just contact the INPS within six months of the birth for state assistance, while for the municipal maternity allowance you can contact the registry office of the municipality of residence within the same period of time.
Remember that, in extreme cases, it is possible to ask for forced recognition of paternity. If your petition is successful, your ex partner will be sentenced to pay you a regular maintenance allowance in proportion to his or her income.
You can also ask for a 50% reimbursement for expenses you had to face alone but which should have normally been borne by both parents.
It is important to remember the presence on the Italian territory of various regional and provincial initiatives aimed at improving and protecting the condition of a single mother.
The provinces of Trento and Bolzano provide for an advance on the maintenance allowance in the event that the parent responsible for providing it does not fulfill his / her duties on time.
In Veneto, single mothers can apply to access various interest-free loans.
In Bologna, various associations try to promote the practice of cohousing to try to help single mothers by inserting them into a network of assistance and mutual help.
It is important to underline that, in general, state initiatives in Italy tend to better protect the rights of separated or divorced mothers than those who have never married, although there are also certain initiatives and movements that are actively involved in raising awareness of the public opinion in this regard.
Ask for help from an association
In the face of inadequate state assistance, it is not surprising that various non-profit associations have developed in Italy that choose to deal with the protection and expansion of the rights of single mothers. In times of difficulty, you can choose to contact one of them for the necessary support and support.
The Madri Sole project, for example, was founded thanks to the joint efforts of the provinces of Bologna and Ravenna and operates in the area to combat the social isolation that could affect a single mother and to enhance her skills and competences.
Among the various support activities operated by the association, assistance is provided in carrying out bureaucratic practices, support through talks with the psychologists of the association and meeting and sharing activities between mothers in the same situation.
The association Mamme separated, founded in Como, is responsible for protecting the rights of children in the separation process and offers support to women who wish to separate.
Among the various services offered by the association, it is important to remember the free assistance of an affiliated lawyer for those wishing to undertake the path of separation, but cannot afford the costs of hiring a professional.
Do not forget that you can also ask for help at your home parish. Even if you are reluctant and don’t know anyone, try it: you may find yourself enjoying the solidarity and support of your neighbors and, through local word of mouth, you may find some jobs that allow you to support yourself.