North Carolina North Carolina Work First Cash Assistance (TANF) Application Information

North Carolina Work First Family Assistance program is a short-term financial assistance program that helps low income residents of North Carolina with young children become self reliant. To help such families, Work First provides employment services, supportive services, Medicaid, and time-limited cash assistance to households who meet income and assets guidelines. The main objective of this program is to make families self-sufficient so that they can stay off of welfare and take care of their children. Households that qualify for this program receive three months of temporary cash assistance, work training and help with setting up a savings plan. Families are required to get off the Work First program within two years. Teenage parents below 18 years of age must go back to school and must be living with their parents or with an adult supervisor.

North Carolina's Work First program has the ultimate objective of helping the beneficiaries become gainfully employed in the shortest time possible. Cash assistant and other services are only offered to meet beneficiaries' basic needs while they are still seeking employment.

The State of North Carolina mandates all recipients that are able bodied to seek employment or enroll in short term job training within 12 weeks of entering the work component of the program. The program also requires that 90% of people who come off the WFFA program retain their jobs, so the program works with clients in retention services, helping to alleviate a variety of crises that may cause beneficiaries to lose their job.

Grandparents and other family members caring for their relative children are entitled to receive services and support. This prevents children from entering the foster homes system unnecessarily.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for Work First Family Assistance, you must:

  1. Have children below 18 years living in your home.
  2. Be a U.S. National or qualified immigrant.
  3. Be related with the child, or have legal custody or guardianship of a child.
  4. Cooperate with Child Support enforcement.
  5. Cooperate with North Carolina Work First in the employment part of the program.
  6. Own no more than one vehicle per adult in the household.
  7. Have up to but not more than $3,000.00 in resources. Resources include cash, savings, cash value of whole life insurance policies, etc.
  8. Have an yearly household income below the following amounts before taxes:
Household Size Monthly Income
1 $362.00
2 $472.00
3 $544.00
4 $594.00
5 $648.00
6 $698.00
7 $746.00
8 $772.00

Any person meeting the above financial guidelines with children less than 18 years and has not exhausted the 60-month federal time limit for receiving assistance may be eligible for NCWF. There are some cases that are specific to children only in which an adult is not eligible for benefits.

Click here to view a detailed chart describing North Carolina Work First Eligibility requirements.

North Carolina Work First Cash Assistance Application Instructions

Applications are handled by professional social workers at the Department of Social Services (DSS) on a first-come first-serve basis. State of North Carolina has 100 counties and each county has its own local Department of Social Services Office. Just select the county nearer to you and view their phone numbers, physical addresses, and mailing addresses. A list of all counties information is available online by clicking here,- Email addresses and agency web sites are also available on each county directory.

Applications for North Carolina Work First Program take approximately 45 days to be processed.

The following documentation is required during the application process:

  1. Identification documents such as birth certificates or other proof of age for children
  2. Social Security Cards or numbers for all members of household (Including children)
  3. Proof of North Carolina Residency - (Lease, rent or mortgage receipts, Utility Bill)
  4. Proof of Income - (Pay stubs, SSI, Social Security, Work First, Pensions or Other)
  5. Bank Accounts - (Recent bank statements and or passbooks, etc.)
  6. Utility Bills - (Gas, Electric, Phone, Water, and Sewer, etc.)
  7. Tax Bill/Insurance - If Homeowner
  8. Name and phone number of at least 1 referee who can verify members of your household.
  9. Proof of Child Care Costs - (If employed or in school full time)

How to Apply

Unlike Medicaid and Food Stamps, North Carolina Work First Family Assistance is not an entitlement program. As a result, a scheduled appointment has to be set prior to the visit to better serve the public and eliminate time wasting. A person seeking Work First assistance may call 1-800-662-7030 to set up an appointment or drop by the agency to book an appointment. In some cases, an applicant may be attended that same day or the day after. The intake process takes approximately two hours. Persons eligible for Work First are automatically eligible for Medicaid. All eligible families must sign a binding contract known as Mutual Responsibility Agreement (MRA). This contract details on how beneficiaries plan to get off welfare and commits them to taking care of their family. Work First sets strict time limits and employs tough restrictions on those families who refuse to meet their obligations.

If you are planning to apply for the North Carolina Work First program, the information provided below can assist you in finding where and how to apply either by telephone number or online.

Click here to visit the Offical TANF Website. For application help via phone, call 1-800-662-7030.

TANF mailing address:

NC Division of Social Services
2401 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2401
919-733-3055

If you are looking to apply online for the North Carolina TANF program, click here to download and print necessary forms.