Work First Services

Work First

The Goal of Work First:

North Carolina’s Work First Program was built upon the premise that “all people have a responsibility to their families and communities to work and to provide for their children.”  Therefore, the goal of Work First is to assist able-bodied applicants in becoming self-sufficient by securing employment as quickly as possible. The program supports self-sufficiency by:

  • Promoting work
  • Requiring personal responsibility
  • Helping families obtain and maintain employment
  • Establishing child support orders for families applying for monthly cash assistance

Work First emphasizes three strategies to assist clients in maintaining or achieving self-sufficiency:

Diversion:

Keeping families off welfare by helping them cope with unexpected emergencies or setbacks.

  • Benefit Diversion- Families may receive up to three months of cash assistance in one lump sum payment once in a 12 month period.  Applicants must meet eligibility requirements.
  • Work First Emergency Assistance- Families who are experiencing a financial emergency may be eligible for assistance with past due rent, deposit, utilities, or medication.  The amount of assistance depends on availability of funds and an assessment with a social worker.  However, there is a limit of $300 per fiscal year per family.
  • Services- Services are offered to assist clients in gaining or maintaining employment, diverting them from the need of being on welfare.  Services include but are not limited to the following: transportation, purchasing uniforms or other job related essentials.

Work:

Work First Participants receiving monthly cash assistance for themselves and their children must sign a Mutual Responsibility Agreement (MRA) which is a detailed plan that outlines their goals for becoming self-sufficient. The plan is developed according to the participant’s needs. Work First benefits will be terminated if a participant does not sign and comply with the MRA.  Participants are required to be involved in work-related activities for a specific number of hours each week. The required hours range from 20-55 hours per week depending on the age of the youngest child and if the family is a two-parent family. The hours can consist of one or more of the following program activities: employment, vocational training, job search, job readiness, work experience, or community service. They can continue to receive benefits for up to 24 months if participants remain in compliance. Families reaching the 24-month limit cannot reapply for welfare for three years. 

Retention:
Families that have successfully transitioned off of welfare may be eligible for short term services to assist in maintaining employment. Assistance may be given in the following ways: transportation, gas assistance, car repairs, car insurance, car payments, required work attire, or other services essential in maintaining employment.

Steps to Self-Sufficiency Class

One program implemented in Vance County to assist Participants in becoming job ready and often resulting in gainful employment is the Steps to Self-Sufficiency Class.  Clients who are unemployed and need to strengthen their employability and job retention skills are referred to a three week class. Participants in this class are treated as employees. They punch a time clock; get fired for being late; and not conducting themselves in a professional manner. The class equips participants with interviewing skills, resume writing, job referrals and other job seeking skills.  Supportive services are provided to clients while in the class

Work First Program Eligibility for Cash

  • Have a child in your home under the age of 18
  • You or your children must be a U.S. Citizen or qualified alien.
  • Have a certain degree of kinship to the child, or have legal custody or guardianship of a child.
  • Cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Agency.
  • Be income and reserve eligible.

 Work First Program Eligibility for Services

  • Have a child in your home under the age of 18
  • You or your children must be a U.S. Citizen or qualified alien.
  • Have a certain degree of kinship to the child, or have legal custody or guardianship of a child.
  • Be income eligible.

For more information regarding Work First, visit the following sites:

North Carolina Work First Program

Work First Eligibility Requirements

Income Limits for Cash Assistance

Income Limits for Services (Without Receiving Cash Assistance)

For more information regarding Vance County’s Work First Program contact:

Cassandra Hart
Work First Employment Services Supervisor
(252) 738-3780 or (252) 492-5001 ext.: 3283
cassandra.hart@vance.nc.gov

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is a Federally-funded program that provides assistance to eligible households that are in a heating or cooling related emergency.  The goal of the CIP program is to help families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  By doing so, this reduces the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction.

Benefits may vary based upon the amount needed to alleviate the crisis.  An eligible household may receive assistance more than one time during the State Fiscal Year (July through June). The maximum allowed benefit amount can be up to $600 per State fiscal year.  All payments are made directly to the vendor.

Eligibility Requirements

A household that applies must:

  • Must apply in the county in which you reside
  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who meets certain eligibility criteria
  • Meet an income test (150%  poverty level)
  • Be in a heating or cooling-related  emergency
  • Must have received  final notice for electric and gas utilities

Energy Assistance is important to all that receive it, but more so if someone in your home may especially be at risk for a life threatening illness or death if their home is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer.

Information Needed for Application process

  • Income verification for all household members for the prior month
  • Name, date of birth, and social security numbers of each household member
  • If a household heats with electricity or natural gas or electricity, bring active account numbers
  • Must have a final notice and be in an immediate crisis 

Low Income Energy Assistance Program 

(Households do not have to be in a crisis to receive this benefit)

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides a one-time annual vendor payment to help eligible low-income families pay their heating bills (not cooling bills).  The benefit amount is either $200, $300, $400, and this is determined based on household size, household income, and the household heating source.

Eligibility Requirements

A household that applies must:

  • Must apply in the county in which you reside
  • Have reserves at or below $2,200
  • Be responsible for its heating bills
  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or a noncitizen who meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Household income must be less than 130% of the current poverty level

Information Needed for Application process

  • Income verification for all household members for the prior month
  • Banking account information
  • Information about household’s property, stocks, bonds, and other assets
  • Name, date of birth, and social security numbers of each household member
  • If a household heats with electricity or natural gas or electricity, bring active account numbers

Emergency Assistance 

Work First Eligible families who are experiencing a financial emergency may be eligible for assistance with past due rent, deposit, utilities, or medication.  The amount of assistance depends on availability of funds and an assessment with a social worker.  However, there is a limit of $300 per fiscal year per family.

Eligibility Information:

  • Have a child in the home under the age of 18 that meets a certain degree of kinship, or have legal custody or guardianship of a child.
  • Have total income at or below 200% of poverty level
  • Be able to eliminate the emergency situation by the EA payment
  • Have at least one U. S. citizen or noncitizen who meets the eligibility criteria
  • Not have received the maximum available EA payment of $300 within the fiscal year.

This is just a guide.  An eligibility worker at the Department of Social Services will assess your individual situation and inform you of your eligibility status.

Information Needed for Application process

  • Income verification for all household members for the prior month
  • Name, date of birth, and social security numbers of each household member
  • Utility bill, proof that eviction is imminent, or other documentation of the crisis
  • Must have a final notice and be in an immediate crisis

General Assistance

The Vance County Department of Social Services General Assistance (GA) Fund is a discretionary fund established by the board of County Commissioners to assist citizens experiencing emergencies. General Assistance is a short-term financial crisis intervention program. It is not intended to supplement other governmentally supported programs such as SSI, Work First Cash Assistance, Food and Nutrition, Medicaid, etc. It is likewise not intended to allow individuals to live beyond their means. Any degree of dependence on this program is discouraged. The client will be encouraged and expected to utilize every available Department of Social Services, community and personal resource in achieving self-sufficiency. The General Assistance goal is to purchase services. No payments can be made if the service will be terminated regardless of payments.  The amount of assistance depends on availability of funds and an assessment with a social worker.  However, there is a limit of $200 per fiscal year per family. 

General Assistance funds are to be limited to the following uses. However, expenditures should be made only after every other resource has been exhausted. 

  • Rent (A statement from the landlord or verbal confirmation from the landlord or  eviction notice.).
  • Utilities (Final Notices). Utility bills must be in the name of an adult household member.
  • Life threatening medication.
  • Other services as approved by the Director

Eligibility Information:

  • Have total income at or below 200% of poverty level
  • Be able to eliminate the emergency situation by the GA payment
  • Have at least one U. S. citizen or noncitizen who meets the eligibility criteria
  • Not have received the maximum available GA payment of $200 within the fiscal year.

This is just a guide.  An eligibility worker at the Department of Social Services will assess your individual situation and inform you of your eligibility status.

Information Needed for Application process

  • Income verification for all household members for the prior month
  • Name, date of birth, and social security numbers of each household member
  • Utility bill, proof that eviction is imminent, or other documentation of the crisis
  • Must have a final notice and be in an immediate crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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