Washoe County government assistance and social services.

Several state, federal government, and Washoe County assistance programs can help low income families, the working poor, unemployed, and others. Assistance can come in the form of public aid, health care, cash grants, and more.

The Washoe County Health Care Assistance Program, also called the HCAP Medical Program, will help families deal with medical bills. The county and state of Nevada will reimburses hospitals, medical and institutional facilities for eligible participants who do not qualify for any other Federal government, State or local community programs. There are conditions that need to be met, and eligibility for help is based on income and asset levels.

The county offers help with paying funeral costs, including a burial/cremation expense assistance program. The county reimburses the basic costs of burial/cremation for families and individuals who do not have assets or enough of an income to pay for these bills.

The Extended Care Facility program reimburses patients for their medical bills and costs for those seniors, individuals, or elderly who are placed in a nursing home. Qualified individuals need to have income at or below the cost of care for the facility, and they can’t qualify for any other public health care, insurance, or Medicaid. Social workers from the county who are assigned to this program area provide support, case management services and assist with applications for available government resources including Medicaid as well as Social Security. Eligible individuals with some form of income must pay some money towards the cost of care and their bills.

The Washoe County Adult Group Care program reimburses costs of housing, food, and other basic needs for individuals who are homeless and who require a temporary, structured setting to help stabilize a medical condition. Similar to above in that participants may need to pay a portion of the bills on their own. They will also be assigned to a case worker or social worker as part of this service.





Food assistance programs are available across the region. Examples of them are below.

  • SNAP/Food Stamps – The primary federal government public food program.
  • WIC (Women, Infants & Children) is for pregnant women and children and Washoe County Nevada. Formula, meals, and more is offered.
  • Food Bank of Northern Nevada works with charities, local churches, pantries and food centers in Nevada.

Adult Protective Service program provides referral services, information, social aid and limited case management to low income and vulnerable individuals ages 18-59 who are in danger of neglect or abuse.

Eviction and homeless services are offered from General Assistance and the Supportive Housing Program. It pays for the housing costs and rent of individuals who are homeless and/or who were just evicted.  Eligibility for payment of housing costs is based on the applicants income/assets. The program will pay a portion of rent, and if you work and have income you need to contribute as well. Social workers from Washoe County assigned to this program will provide case management services including assistance with applications for available resources and public assistance as well as referral to drug/alcohol treatment.

Financial/Cash assistance includes money as part of the programs below.

  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families offers cash grants for basic needs.
  • Child Support Enforcement.
  • Senior Tax Assistance for property taxes.
  • Energy Assistance Program includes LIHEAP for paying utility, winter and cooling bills.
  • Child Care Assistance if you are working or are in job training.
  • Free federal and state of Nevada government income tax return and filing.

In Washoe County, apply at Adult Services, 1001 E. Ninth Street, Reno, Nevada 89520, call 775.328.2700. Children's Services are run from 350 S. Center Street, Reno, NV  89502, call 775.785.8600.




By Jon McNamara

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