Gloria Williams is accused of leaving her three sons in a Houston apartment with the remains of their eight-year-old dead brother, Kendrick Lee.
Prosectors allege that Ms Williams, 35, was also claiming government aid for two of her children, including Kendrick.
Officials say that she also received additional assistance for the older daughter, for a total of around $2,000 per month in aid.
She appeared in a Houston court on Friday charged with aggravated assault to a child and is now being held on a $1.5m bond after prosecutors asked for a judge to increase it.
Court records show the boys told investigators that their mother’s boyfriend, Brian Coulter, allegedly beat Kendrick to death last November, but his body was left to decompose inside the apartment as the youngsters were left to care for themselves.
The oldest boy, 15-yeae-old Jordan Lee finally called 911 and raised the alarm on 24 October and when police showed up they found 10-year-old Treyvone Lee and 7-year-old Javeone Kirklin also at the property.
Ms Williams also has two daughters who were not at the filthy apartment the boys were forced to stay at.
Texas officials say that the children are all in foster care and are continuing to “receive the services they need to heal”.
Mr Coulter has been charged with murder and is being held on a $1m bond. He is due back in court in December.
Prosecutors say that Ms Williams and Mr Coulter were living in a fully furnished apartment 15 minutes away from the empty property where the boys were kept.
“The apartment was in a horrible condition. We saw soiled carpet, no furniture at all. No bedding, no blankets that we could see. We saw roaches and flies and a very bad condition for anyone to live in,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez previously said.
And in an attempt to keep her son’s death a secret, she would send groceries to the apartment once a month and continued to pay rent on it.
Kendrick’s death was determined by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office to be a homicide with multiple blunt force injuries.
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