North Carolina Work First Family Assistance #
Work First is North Carolina’s TANF that offers up to 24 months of temporary cash assistance and employment services to very poor families. Ultimately, North Carolina’s goal is to help all families move to self-sufficiency.
As a condition of eligibility, you are required to register for the First Stop Employment Assistance Program with the Employment Security Commission, unless there is a good cause.
Applications for the Work First Family Assistance can be made at your local Departments of Social Services in the county in which you reside.
North Carolina Benefit Diversion #
Benefit Diversion is an alternative to traditional cash assistance and helps families who are experiencing a temporary crisis associated with employment or other sources of financial stability.
A one-time lump-sum payment equal to a maximum of three (3) months worth of Work First Family Assistance benefits will be given to neediest families in North Carolina.
Families who are experiencing financial emergency may be eligible for Emergency Assistance to pay for housing, utilities, food, gas, and/or medicine — limited to $200 per twelve-month period.
North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services #
The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is an entitlement program that helps eligible North Carolinians purchase the food they need for a nutritionally adequate and well-balanced diet.
Families are issued an EBT card and pay for their groceries at any USDA authorized retailer by using the card, which works like a debit card, at the checkout counter.
North Carolina residents can use an online tool called ePASS to submit application or screen themselves for potential eligibility for Food and Nutrition Services.
Elderly age 65 or older who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), a simplified version of Regular Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).
North 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”.
Families receiving Medicaid, Work First Families Assistance (TANF), or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
North 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 36% of poverty, or about $9,000 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.
North Carolina Health 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.
Unlike Medicaid, NC Health Choice is limited by the availability of funds and is open only to children on a first come, first serve basis. When funds are depleted, children will be placed on a waiting list.
North 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.
North 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.
The program covers families with income up to 50% of the median income level but priority is given to families with 30% or below who are considered extremely low income.
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
North Carolina Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) #
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a federally-funded program that provides for a one-time payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills.
Households including a person aged 60 or older or disabled persons receiving services through the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services are eligible to sign up for assistance from Dec. 1 – 31.
All other households may apply from Jan. 1 – March 31 or until funds are exhausted. Contact your local DSS for the application dates and for additional information on LIEAP.
North Carolina Unemployment Insurance #
Unemployment Insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work. In North Carolina, the maximum weekly benefit rate is $350.
Those who file for a new claim may only be entitled to up to 16 weeks of unemployment benefits, the fewest in the nation and are required by the state law to register for work at www.NCWorks.gov.
The fastest and most efficient way to file a new claim is to file online. If you don’t have access to an internet, you may file over the phone by calling 1-877-841-9617.
North Carolina Community 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 $1501 to $8,500 will receive awards on a sliding scale, subject to fund availability.