Information on state of North Carolina as well as federal government sponsored financial aid programs are available from Union County Human Services. The staff at this center can help qualified low income families with their basic needs, if they are willing to work on the cause of their crisis. The office in fact consolidates all of the resources that are available for very low income residents.
Some of what is available can include applications to SNAP food stamps, free public health care, emergency funds for rent or long term housing vouchers, and more. Each program has an extensive application process and funds will always be limited.
General assistance is designed to help Union County residents in financial crises that have no other options available to them. Only limited monetary assistance is available through this program, and case managers must evaluate clients prior to the allocation of any type of financial support. Once clients receive GA, the Human Services and social services department helps them formulate a plan for paying their next month’s bills, rent, and other costs on their own.
The department provides low income and also public housing lists to clients and refers homeless persons to one of the local shelters in the Monroe area. These sites include accommodations provided by churches, the Salvation Army, transitional housing for families with children and other locations. Some are structured for single parents or women seeking safety from domestic violence.
The counties social services department also helps with paying security deposits for rent and utilities if clients can make the rest of the payment on their own. Or if they can’t provide this type of help, then referrals will be issued in lieu of that.
Households in the region are eligible for General assistance once every 12 months. If family members have left a household that has received GA in the past 12 months, then those individuals qualify for assistance as long as they were not the individuals specifically receiving this form of assistance for the household.
Work First from Human Services of Union County is the cornerstone program of the welfare-system reformation in North Carolina and focuses on employment and self-sufficiency in an effort to transition families off of public services. All families and individuals faced with poverty who enroll in the program sign a binding contract that details their plan for moving beyond welfare support.
This contract includes strict time limits on Work First benefits and tough sanctions for families that fail to meet program obligations. For those that are able to enroll into the public aid programs referenced on this page, it provides cash awards to families who meet established criteria. To be eligible for these government benefits, applicants must have at least one child under 18 years of age living in the home of a person who qualifies as a caretaker. In addition, families cannot exceed certain income and resource limits.
While funding levels will change from year to year, in some cases families eligible for the Work First program may receive grants of up to $3,000 for their bills. Also, family members who are employed will be granted special work-related deductions.
Work First job training employment services from Union County Human Services, meanwhile, are intended to help family members obtain and maintain their job. According to the social services department, these services help clients increase personal responsibility, remove barriers to sustaining employment, and reduce long-term dependence on public aid.
The social services department in Monroe North Carolina administers a food assistance program to improve and safeguard the nutrition level of low-income households, including seniors and children from the area. Options include SNAP food stamps and others. This program helps clients eat healthy foods every day and maintain nutritious diets, emphasizing whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
The department conducts interviews of all applicants and evaluates them for emergency-benefit eligibility by assessing household circumstances for the entire month in which the application was submitted. Emergency benefits for qualified households are provided within a week or so, while households deemed ineligible for such benefits will receive assistance within 30 days of the application date.
Medical bill resources are for eligible uninsured, low-income individuals and families in North Carolina. This is mostly available via the federally sponsored Medicaid program. For those that enroll, Medicaid pays medical and health care bills for qualified clients who cannot afford healthcare on their own.
Federal and state of North Carolina laws determine the rules and regulations of this program, and Medicaid costs are covered by both federal and state of North Carolina taxes. The North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance (DMA), as well as local agencies including Union County County Department of Social Services, manages this program on behalf of the county.
Day care assistance and vouchers can also be provided by the social services department. The intent is to allow parents in Union County to work or train at a job while meeting the basic needs of their children. The department says this service offers safe, quality, accessible and affordable childcare.
Parents of enrolled children are expected to work toward financial independence by maintaining full-time employment, or participating in job training or educational programs. In some cases, this low cost day care assistance is also intended for children who receive protective services, including those who are vulnerable to neglect or abuse, as well as children who are in need of early intervention to strengthen their development. In addition, this program helps families reunite, provides an alternative to foster care, and supports families in crisis.
For more information these public benefits or other financial aid, dial 704-283-3500. The main center is at 500 North Main St., Monroe, NC 28112.
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