Assistance Programs in North Carolina
The state of North Carolina has a population of nearly 10 million with a poverty rate of 17.2%. The Poverty rate among children is even higher at 24%. Overall, there are nearly 1.7 million people in North Carolina living in a state of poverty. Many single parents, families, and individuals struggle with basic expenses and bills. Fortunately, there are several assistance programs available throughout the state of North Carolina to assist its citizens. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available in North Carolina.
Financial Assistance in North Carolina
Many families struggle providing everything their family needs to live a normal, happy lifestyle. This includes basic expenses, bills, and food. Fortunately there is some cash assistance available to those who are really struggling.
North Carolina Work First Program
The North Carolina Work First Program is partially a cash assistance program, however it is designed to help families can back on their feet to self sufficiency. This is done by offering job training, as well as helping parents seek high paying employment so they will no longer have to rely on the cash assistance.
To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, be a resident of North Carolina, and have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the North Carolina Work First Webpage.
North Carolina Unemployment Insurance (UI)
The North Carolina UI program provides cash relief payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The you receive either weekly or biweekly cash payments that depend on the amounts you made with your most previous employer. You must also actively be looking for work each week you are receiving the benefits.
To apply and to learn more check out the North Carolina UI webpage.
Food Assistance in North Carolina
If you are having a difficult time proving the necessary foods your family, then there are some helpful assistance programs that are available if you are of low income.
North Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The North Carolina SNAP program provides food assistance to low income single parents and families as well as individuals. The food benefits are received onto an Electronic Benefits Card that works similarly to a debit card, with the card being loaded with additional funds every month. Simply swipe the card at check out like you would with a debit card and you are all set. The amount that you will receive on your EBT card depends on your income in relation to household size.
North Carolina Special Supplemental Nutrition Program Assistance for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The North Carolina WIC program provides free nutritious food assistance, nutrition education and even health care and social referrals to pregnant, postpartum women, and breastfeeding women and their children up to age 5.
In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income ,meeting the income guidelines set by the state of North Carolina. The income guidelines are based on how many people live in your household. To apply for this program you must apply and set up and appointment at your nearest WIC office. To learn more about the WIC program and to apply check out the North Carolina WIC website.
North Carolina School Breakfast and Lunch Program
The North Carolina School Breakfast and Lunch program provides free or reduced cost breakfasts’ and lunch for school children of low income families. The household income in relation to family size determine if the meals will be free or low priced
To apply for this program you must directly contact the school that your child attends. You can use this list of North Carolina Schools to find your chid’s school. To learn more about this program, you can visit the North Carolina Department of Eduction webpage.
Medical Assistance in North Carolina
Medical costs are very hight making it difficult for anyone that does not have health insurance to get the care they really need. If you are of low income you will likely qualify for Medicaid as explained below.
North Carolina Medicaid Program
The North Carolina Medicaid program offers health insurance to those who do not already have health insurance. Over 1 million people rely on Medicaid in North Carolina. The North Carolina Medicaid program provides free health care services to low income families across North Carolina. It covers the cost of a variety of health related expenses such as:
- doctor’s visits
- prescription drugs
- lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
- hospital care
- eye care
- dental care
Medicaid eligibility in North Carolina is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. Depending on you and your family’s specific situation, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require you to pay a portion of the costs. You can look at the eligibility guidelines by clicking here. To learn more about Medicaid, check out the North Carolina Medicaid webpage.
North Carolina Health Choice for Children
The North Carolin Health Choice for Children program offers health insurance for children who do not qualify for health insurance under Medicaid. This program offers all of the health services and expenses that are offered with Medicaid. It is not entirely free as there can be some very low monthly premiums based on your income.
The income limits required to qualify for Health Choice for Children are a lot lower, making it a lot easier for children to qualify. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the North Carolina Health Choice webpage.
Child Care Assistance
Child care costs are very expensive making it very difficult for low income single parents and families to keep up with costs and work full time. There are some child care assistance programs available.
Child Care Subsidy Program
The North Carolina Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to low income single parents and families. The Program will be a portion of your child care costs allowing the parents to afford child care they would not otherwise afford.
To be eligible for this program you must be of low income. To learn more bout the program and the income requirements, please visit the North Carolina Subsidy webpage.
North Carolina Head Start Program
The North Carolina Head Start program provides child care assistance and help the readiness of young children from the ages of 0-5 by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development in preparation for school
Housing Assistance in North Carolina
Housing and rental costs can be very strenuous for the low income single parents and families throughout North Carolina. Fortunately, there are numerous rental and housing programs available.
North Carolina Low Income Public Housing Program
The North Carolina Low Income Public Housing Program allows for low income single parents and families across North Carolina to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Public Housing Agencies in your area of the state, whether it be an apartment, single houses or condos, however you are usually placed in apartments. Local Public Housing Agencies receive funding from the government and will then use these funds to provide the low income families or single parents safe and sanitary housing with rent payments that they can afford to pay.
To begin the application process, you must go through your local Housing Agency. This list of North Carolina Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across North Carolina. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the specific income guidelines required, as well as any details or questions you might have about the program.
North Carolina Housing Choice Voucher Program
The North Carolina Housing Voucher Program is somewhat similar to the Low Income Program, however in this program you get to choose your own living arrangements to receive the reduced rent payments. It can be difficult locating a well priced apparent that is large enough and sanitary, so this program enables you to afford high quality apartments. Once you have chosen your home, or if you already have a home you would like the rent assistance, the Housing Agencies provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.
To get started you will have to contact the Housing Agency in your location to set up an appointment. Your finances and various other items will be discussed.
North Carolina Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The North Carolina LIHEAP program is designed to assist low income residents of North Carolina with their energy bills, primary with heating bills. The LIHEAP program will make a one time vendor payment to help eligible households with their heating bills. The amount that will be paid to the vendor on your behalf depends on your income in relation to household size.
To be eligible you must be of very low income, meeting the income requirements.
North Carolina Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The North Carolina WAP program helps low income household reduce energy costs by making their home more energy efficient. The program will install energy conservation materials which will result in lower energy bills, saving the household money. The services that this program offers are completely free.
As always, you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements to be eligible for this program.
North Carolina First Time Home Buyer Programs
The state of North Carolina offers a variety of programs geared towards those looking to purchase their first home/mortgage. The programs offer down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and help with finding low interest rate mortgages. For a look at all the first time housing programs available, check out the North Carolina Housing Coalition website.
N.C. Home Advantage Mortgage
The N.C. Home Advantage mortgage offers down payment assistance up to 5% of the value of the mortgage. This program also offers competitive interest rates. One of the eligibility requirements states that your income cannot be greater than $87 000. To learn more bout this program please click here.
Transportation Assistance in North Carolina
Transportation costs can be very high for those who do not own a vehicle and resort to taking taxis frequently. There are cheaper options then taxis. You can also receive free medical transpiration as well.
Medical Transportation in North Carolina
The state of North Carolina has variety of free medical transportation programs available. The transportation will drive you to your doctors appointments, tests and treatments you might have. These programs are available to those currently under Medicaid or Health Choice Children health plans.
There are two driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. The prices are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out uber.com and lyft.com.
Legal Assistance in North Carolina
Legal costs are very expensive making it difficult for the low income to get the legal help they need. Fortunately, there is some legal assistance available.
North Carolina Law Help Organization
The North Carolina Law Help Organization features several areas of legal advice and services that can be of help to you. It has a variety of information on how and where to find legal advice based on your issue. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as, domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. To learn more and to find assistance for your needs check out the LawHelpNC.org
The state of North Carolina has a lot of in depth assistance programs to help out its citizens no matter what situation they might find themselves in. If you are of low income you should qualify easily and the programs will get you back on your feet.
Links and Resources
Find Local State Assistance Financial Help Programs for Single Mothers
Click on any one of the states below on the map (or via the table) to go to our local state assistance guide for that specific state