TANF For Single Mothers In North Carolina

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a struggling parent in North Carolina looking for financial assistance and employment opportunities to support your family? Look no further than the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, also known as Work First Family Assistance.

TANF is designed to provide cash assistance and job training to very poor families with minor children, with the ultimate goal of helping parents support themselves and their families in the long run. The program encourages collaboration between individuals, communities, and government to ensure a successful future for families in need.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits offered by TANF in North Carolina, the eligibility criteria, the application process, and any limitations you should be aware of. 

Benefits Offered by North Carolina TANF

If you’re a poor family in North Carolina, Work First Family Assistance can offer up to 24 months of temporary cash assistance and employment services to help you support yourself and your family. The program aims to move families towards self-sufficiency through training and employment, with a maximum payment of $272 a month

Eligible families may also receive financial assistance for child care, medical expenses, health coverage, and transportation assistance. However, to receive welfare benefits, families must meet the eligibility criteria and income guidelines. Affordable child care is an important program component, allowing parents to participate in employment services and activities. 

Benefits Offered By North Carolina Tanf

Eligibility Criteria for TANF in NC

To qualify for Work First in NC, pregnant women or families with children under age 19 must meet the income limit guidelines. This ensures that only low-income families can receive up to 24 months of cash benefits and employment services. The income limit guidelines vary depending on family size and are based on the federal poverty level.

Family SizeIncome Limit

Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens or qualified immigrants. A lawful permanent residency in North Carolina is mandatory to qualify for this federal program. Unemployed or under-employed North Carolinians are also encouraged to participate to avail of the employment services of the TANF. 

Eligibility Criteria For Tanf In Nc

Application Process for North Carolina TANF

The application process for cash assistance through Work First involves visiting a local Department of Social Services in your county to begin the screening and evaluation. These processes are necessary to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for North Carolina TANF.

The application form for temporary assistance benefits is available online or in person at your local county office. As an applicant for assistance, you must provide proof of income, social security number, residency, and citizenship to determine eligibility. Additionally, you may be required to provide documentation for certain expenses, such as child care, transportation, and medical expenses.

Once approved, you’ll receive temporary assistance benefits, including cash assistance, food assistance, and healthcare coverage. Eligible families will also receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT card to access their benefits. You can use this debit card to withdraw your cash funds or use it as payment for qualified purchases.

As a recipient of this cash assistance program, it’s important to comply with mandatory requirements, such as registering for employment assistance through the Employment Security Commission, to continue receiving benefits. 

Limitations of NC TANF

Additionally, the income limit guidelines are based on the federal poverty level, which may not accurately reflect the needs of low-income individuals in North Carolina. While the program aims to provide assistance for families, single mothers, and workers, it may not be enough to address the complex and ongoing challenges needy families face.  

Despite providing short-term cash assistance and employment services, Work First Family Assistance has limitations in its ability to address the long-term needs of very poor families fully. The program only offers up to 24 months of cash assistance, which may not be enough for families to achieve self-sufficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any work requirements for TANF recipients in the state of NC?

Yes, there are work requirements for TANF recipients. The goal is to provide assistance to workers to gain employment and self-sufficiency. Recipients receive employment services and time-limited cash assistance but must register for the First Stop Employment Assistance Program with the Employment Security Commission.

Can TANF in NC provide additional cash assistance beyond the initial 24-month limit?

No, North Carolina TANF (Work First Family Assistance) only provides up to 24 months of cash assistance and employment services to very poor families to help them move towards self-sufficiency.

Are there any restrictions on how TANF funds can be used?

Yes, there are restrictions on how TANF funds can be used. Recipients must use the funds to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing for their families. Funds cannot be used for alcohol, tobacco, or gambling.

How does North Carolina TANF support families with disabled people or children with special needs?

North Carolina TANF provides supportive services and short-term training to help all families, including those with children who have disabilities or special needs, move towards self-sufficiency through employment. Assistance is time-limited, and eligibility requirements must be met. 


The Work First Family Assistance program aims to help parents support themselves and their families by offering short-term training and other services to increase the chances of employment.

While the program has limitations, it encourages collaboration between people, communities, and government for a successful future.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, don’t hesitate to apply and take advantage of the benefits offered by North Carolina TANF. Good luck!

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!