Public assistance in Wake County.

Wake County Human Services is one of the leading government organizations to contact for help. Social services and case management offered by the county can assist families, seniors, and the disabled with making it through a short term financial hardship. Wake County will also try to ensure people gain the skills and access to resources that they need to become self-sufficient over the long term.

Area agencies and Wake County Human Services partner together to provide Food Assistance. They will help determine if individuals may be eligible for other North Carolina government benefits and public assistance. Some of the programs run include Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Meals for the Homeless, as well as Adult Food Assistance (Food Stamps). Call 919-212-7000 to learn more.

The Wake County WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) is a nutrition resource for low income families. Those who may be eligible include pregnant women, women who have had a baby in the last 6 months, breastfeeding women who have had a baby in the last 12 months, infants, and Children up to 5 years of age.

Qualified individuals can get free vouchers for buying healthy food and groceries. The program can also provide individualized nutrition counseling and group nutrition classes as well as breastfeeding promotion and support. Social workers from Wake County may also be able to provide referrals and information for health care and other services in the county.

The Wake County Child Care Subsidy Program provides cash grants and financial assistance to parents for paying their child care needs. The exact amount of financial assistance that is provided by the child care subsidy is based on an assessment of the household’s income, family size, and need. If you apply and are found to be eligible for child care, your case manager will assist you in finding a program in Raleigh or Wake County that meets the needs of your child and yourself.





Wake County receives funding to provide these subsidies and other public aid from the Wake County Smart Start Program. This is also supplemented by federal government funds and state of North Carolina grant money. Social workers who work for the county will be able to provide information about both choosing and using quality child care. Scholarships can also be received from the Let's Get to Work Program as well as the Wake for Kids Fund.

As is true with many public assistance programs, resources are very limited and unfortunately not everyone can receive help. In those cases in which Wake County Human Services does not have enough current funding, then families can still apply and they will be placed on a waiting list until additional funding becomes available for you and your child.

Government Health Care in Wake County

The Human Services department administers and can help people apply for a number of medical bill assistance programs and public health care. Get everything from free health care for your children to savings on your prescription medications. Wake County administers a variety of health care programs and services for its residents.

Children's Special Health Services – If your child has chronic medical conditions that affects their development, health, and growth, then this resource can help with any long-term specialty care that may be needed. The public health program can pay for special formulas, drugs, and other medically related needs and bills of children with chronic disabling conditions.

Prescription Glasses and Eye Exams – The County provides financial assistance for low income families and individuals who need help paying for and acquiring eye exams and glasses. Dial 919-856-5974 to apply or learn more on free glass.

Community Alternatives Program (CAP) – This resource will allow North Carolina patients to use government Medicaid funds to provide community-based and home health services to Medicaid recipients who require placement in a nursing facility. This is offered for those whom care can be provided cost-effectively and safely in the community.




Medicaid and Medicare is also administered by Wake County Human Services. It is a public assistance program that helps pay medical bills and costs for some people and seniors who have low income and cannot afford health care on their own. Funding for the Medicaid program comes from state of North Carolina, federal government, and county sources.

On the other hand, Medicare is a separate program that is funded by federal government money, and it is primarily for persons receiving Social Security benefits. The Medicare Savings Programs are limited health care assistance programs for individuals enrolled in either Medicare Part A and/or Part B.

Insurance can be provided by North Carolina Health Choice. This state resource provides either low cost or free health insurance to children whose families cannot pay for private insurance. It is only offered if the family does not qualify for Medicaid. Children in the program will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. NC Health Choice can provide Wake families with Lab Tests; Counseling; Free Dental Care; Medical Equipment & Supplies; Hospital Care; Prescription Medicines; Surgery; Vision and Hearing Care; and help for Sick Visits. Find other forms of free health insurance or medical care for low income families in Wake County.

NACo Prescription Drug Discount Cards helps consumers across Wake County save a significant amount of money on their prescription medications. The savings take effect any time their prescriptions are not covered by the patient’s health insurance plan. Savings average 24 percent. Keep in mind that some discounts may be more, and some less. The exact amount of money saved will vary depending on the type of drug and quantity purchased.





The card is free, and it can be used at any participating retail pharmacy. Hundreds of stores across the county accept the cards. The discount card is not insurance. Cardholders also can save on pet prescriptions at participating retail pharmacies. In addition, NACo cardholders are eligible for greater savings on a three-month supply of some prescription medications through mail service.

The Wake County Human Services helpline can be reached at 919-212-7000.

By Jon McNamara

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