The North Carolina Work First is a work benefit program for families in the state of North Carolina. The program is administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS) in the state. The program was created by the Congress under which the central government provides block grants to the states to be used for different benefits programs in the state of North Carolina and other states.
The program uses different ways to provided assistance to the eligible households including
- Cash aid
- Work training programs
- Job hunting workshops
- Childcare services
The amount of cash assistance provided by the North Carolina Work First varies depending on certain factors which include the total members in the household, income level of each member and if the family requires special assistance.
The program also assists in the form of cash payments to qualified needy families so that they can pay their household expenses. Through this program, people can
- Take care of their children expenses (children who are below 19 years of age and are dependent on their parents)
- Get hold of their lives through helpful workshops and seminars on work and marriage life.
- Along with that, North Carolina Work First assists pregnant women with out-of-wedlock children and it also takes measures to prevent such incidents in the state. The program also takes steps to encourage families with two parents.
The duration of the program is a maximum of 24 months. The recipient will receive the benefits of the program for no more than 24 months after which they will stop receiving it. The goal is to temporarily provide needy individuals with assistance so that they can look for employment opportunities without worrying about household expenses.
There are certain requirements that an applicant must fulfill to qualify for the North Carolina Work First,
- The applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America or a legal alien
- The applicant must be a citizen of North Carolina
- The applicant must have dependent children (19 years or younger)
- The applicant belongs to a poor household with low-income
- The applicant must meet the income level limit guidelines provided by the program
- The resource of the applicant must be within the limits described in the program guidelines
The North Carolina Work First program requires the applicants to provide certain personal information and copies of documents to prove their eligibility. The copies of the following documents must be presented along with the application form at the time of submission,
- Personal Identification Number( PIN) of the applicants
- Employment and work status/history
- Social Security Number (SSN) and the North Carolina ID of the applicant
- Copy of driver’s license
- Documents providing your residential status
- Attested affidavit
Certain things are considered as resources which North Carolina Work First take into account while determining the eligibility of the applicants. Those are,
- Stocks and bonds
- Real estate
In case your household circumstances change, it is important to notify the Department of Social Services office about it. The qualified candidates are supposed to report to their county office regarding their conditions (e.g. change in income). The applicants will be required to fill a form and there will be questions regarding the household current income, any kind of job loss or increase /decrease in expenses and change in residential address and other such changes that an applicant will need to answer.
How to Apply?
You can visit the Local County Department of Social Services (DSS) Offices in your county if you want to apply in person for the North Carolina Work First benefit program. You will be provided with an application form that you can fill out and submit through an agent working in the office.
You can also apply for the Work First program by calling at the following numbers,
- 919-855-4400 (for citizens living in the Raleigh area and places outside of North Carolina)
- 1-800-662-7030 ( For referral and CARE-LINE services)
- 1-877-452-2514 ( for TTY users)
It is important to note that before going to your local county office you should have copies of all the required documents to make sure your application is complete. There are also options for changing the language on the page so more people from a diverse background can easily use the website to learn about the program.
For Further Information
To learn more about the North Carolina Work First program, kindly visit the Work First page. The website provides detailed information related to the program including the eligibility criteria, application process and any other help that might be required.
The applicants can also visit the North Carolina official Marketplace to see if they qualify for the Work First. The Marketplace was established to provide healthcare benefits to citizens across various states of the United States of America who are otherwise not able to do so.