Help from Cabarrus County Economic Services Division.

Very low income families in Cabarrus County can contact the Economic Services Division for applications to state or federal benefits. The county will offer public assistance to those who meet income guidelines. Most of the support is for those either living in or on the verge of poverty.

The statewide Food and Nutrition Services Program provides eligible applicants access to food stamps. As part of this, they can sign up for the federally funded Electronic Benefit Transfer card, which are similar to ATM or debit cards. These will be “loaded” with a monthly allotment of cash assistance that need to be used for buying groceries. Most local grocery stores in Cabarrus County accept them.

Since Food and Nutrition Services is an entitlement program from Economic Services Division, all eligible individuals and households are able to receive assistance. They can only be used for basic groceries. People can't buy paper products, pet food, soap, or alcoholic beverages.

Medicaid for Families and Children is available from Cabarrus County Economic Services Division. This public program assists several diverse groups, including low income families, children, the disabled, and pregnant women. It can direct them to a community clinic for their medical needs, or offer other health care. They all have income and resource limits in common. Children under 19 years of age who do not quality for Medicaid may qualify for NC Health Choice.

Similar to above, the Adult Medicaid Program assists with the medical bills of those who are blind, aged or disabled. Specific services covered by Adult Medicaid include Licensed Home Care Services, Medicare Premium Payment, Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Care, Doctor Visits, Clinics, Durable Medical Equipment (eg., walkers), Prescription Eyeglasses, Medications, Hospice Care, Dental Care, Ambulance Bills and more. There is also information on how to reduce health care costs, such as by negotiating medical bills.

The Special Assistance Program helps cover the costs of home or nursing care. It is available in Cabarrus County for people who are aged, blind or disabled. The applicants can be living in a group home, adult care home facilities, rest home, or assisted living facility.





Medicaid pays for medically necessary long-term care in skilled or intermediate nursing homes. Public funds can also be used to cover the costs for intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled.

The Economic Services Division will provide a buy-in payment for Medicare Part B coverage for residents who meet eligibility requirements. This form of public assistance known as a buy-in is effective during the month when the individual is awarded a “B” Medicaid classification.

To be eligible for this benefit, the individual must be enrolled in Medicare Part A; have an income of 100 to 120 percent of the poverty level, or meet the MQB-Q requirements. No additional benefits are available under this Economic Support program. Also note that no Medicaid card will be issued to recipients who have MQB-B authorization.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIEAP, provides one-time-only assistance for income-eligible families who are having difficulty paying their heating or air conditioning bills. To be eligible for Energy Assistance from Cabarrus County Economic Services Division as well as the state of North Carolina, a household must meet program income requirements. They also need to be responsible for heating bills in the month of October; have reserves at or below $2,200; and have at least one member who is a US citizen or an eligible alien with proof of legal citizenship.

Low-income Cabarrus County residents experiencing heating or cooling-related emergencies can turn to the Crisis Intervention Program for help. This is part of LIEAP as well. Financial assistance is contingent on current outside temperatures, and is limited to utility bill payments. Or they can apply for other utility bill help in North Carolina.




There may also be grants to pay for connection or reconnection fees; or payments for a primary heating source such as wood, kerosene, fuel oil, or propane. CIP does not cover deposits, tampering fees, or heating or cooling appliance repair or replacement.

The purpose of the Economic Services Division’s Work First Family Assistance Program is to support resource and income-eligible participants in their efforts to become self-sufficient. This requires the family to take on personal responsibility. They will also need to maintaining employment in order to support themselves and provide for their children.

Job training as well as employment-related services are available to assist in reaching household goals. Families with children under the age of 18 may be eligible for time-limited cash assistance, as well as for referrals to child support for help with gaining additional public aid for the children.

Subsidized child day care assistance is available to eligible families from Economic Services Division. This Cabarrus County program is for clients who have children enrolled in homes, schools and day care centers that have been approved to receive subsidies from the federal government. Parents are given the right and responsibility to choose appropriate placement for their children.

It will not pay 100% of the costs involved. Rather families who are found to be eligible for this program are required to pay a portion of the day care fees on their own. This will be determined with the amount determined according to household size and income. Subsidies are provided using state of North Carolina, federal and/or local funds.





Eligibility for child care help is based on residence in Cabarrus County. The Economic Services Division will also review the applicant's countable and non-countable income; and the existence of a legitimate need for day care assistance. This may include job training, work, attending school, special needs, child protective services, or welfare services.

For more information on services available or public assistance programs, call 704-920-1400. Staff from Cabarrus County Economic Services Division will provide intake.

By Jon McNamara

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