Help for Single Mothers in North Carolina

The upswing and downturn of the economy has affected the living conditions of many families.

But those who suffer the most are single mothers who shoulder the responsibility of providing for their children despite financial constraints.

Recognizing its inherent duty, the state of North Carolina is pooling its resources together to offer the necessary assistance & support to these families before they could make it on their own.

1North Carolina Work First Family Assistance

Work First is North Carolina’s TANF that offers up to 24 months of cash assistance and employment services to very poor families with at least one child who is under 18 years old.

To receive the benefits, parents are required to participate in work activities, unless there is a good cause. Eligible families may also receive child care assistance and other services to help them become self-sufficient.

Applications for the Work First can be made at your local Departments of Social Services (click here) in the county in which you reside.

2North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services

The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is an entitlement program that helps eligible North Carolinian purchase the food they need for sound nutrition and well-balanced diet. The program issues electronic benefits that help stretch their food budget.

North Carolina residents can use an online tool called ePASS to screen themselves for potential eligibility for Food and Nutrition Services.

3North Carolina Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The WIC program provides a combination of nutrition education, supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals for health care, at no cost.

WIC is available to pregnant, breast feeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 whose family income is less than 185% of the poverty level; and are considered to be “at nutritional risk”.

4North Carolina Medicaid

Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs. It serves low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

North Carolina is not participating in Medicaid expansion — as a result, many uninsured adults in the state who would have been newly-eligible for Medicaid will remain ineligible for coverage.

In North Carolina, Medicaid eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 50% of poverty, or about $9,900 a year for a single mother of two.

Applications may be submitted online through ePASS — North Carolina’s web-based self service tool that allows you to submit a Medicaid/NCHC application online.

5North Carolina Health for Choice for Children

North Carolina Health Choice (NCHC) for Children is a free or low-cost comprehensive health care program for children whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford rising health insurance premiums.

Coverage includes sick visits, checkups, hospital care, prescriptions, eye exams and glasses, dental care, hearing exams and hearing aids; and other related services.

6North Carolina Child Care Subsidy Program

North Carolina’s Subsidized Child Care Program provides child care assistance for income-eligible families who need help paying for child care through a voucher program.

Most families, including those receiving Work First Family Assistance, are required to pay a percentage of their child care costs based upon their gross monthly income — usually no more than 10%, if applicable.

Funding for this program is limited, parents requesting financial assistance for child care are often placed on a waiting list until more funding becomes available.

7North Carolina Section 8 Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to assist very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market.

Available areas include the counties of Granville, Hoke, Person, Sampson and Warren. Rent assistance is also provided on a limited basis to eligible families in Halifax and Columbus counties.

For additional information about the program, please call

David Grigsby
Program Director

8North Carolina Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work through no fault of your own. In North Carolina, the maximum weekly benefit rate is $350.

Those who file for a new claim may be entitled to up to 14 weeks of unemployment benefits, the fewest in the nation and are required by the state law to register for work at

The fastest and most efficient way to file a new claim is to file online (click here). If you don’t have access to an internet, you may file over the phone by calling 1-877-841-9617.

9North Carolina College Grant Program

Funded by the State of North Carolina, these grants are made available to North Carolina residents who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled (at least half-time) at North Carolina community colleges.

Eligibility is based on their estimated family contribution (EFC) as determined by FAFSA. Full-time students whose federal EFC ranges from $5001 to $8,500 will receive awards on a sliding scale from $1,700 to $1,1002.

  1. NCWorks Online is a one-stop online resource for job seekers and employers in North Carolina. []
  2. 2013-2014 NC Community College Grant Program Payment Schedule []