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Work First Assistance

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  • Work First Employment Services

  • Emergency Assistance

  • 200% Family Services

  • Links

The federal program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is called Work First Family Assistance (WFFA) in North Carolina. The program is supervised by the state, but administered by the counties. WFFA is built upon the belief that “all people have a responsibility to their families and community to work and provide for their children.” The WFFA/TANF program encompasses both cash assistance and employment support services. For most recipients, there are time limits on the monthly cash assistance checks. The main criteria for applying for benefits in Lee County are:

  • That the family resides in Lee County before applying for assistance.

  • That there be a child in the home under 18, or who will finish high school by the 19th birthday.

  • That the parent/caretaker be willing to sign and follow contracts that outline plans for self-sufficiency.

  • That the parent/caretaker cooperate with the Child Support Agent on obtaining regular child support, unless there is “good cause” for not pursuing child support.

  • That the family’s income, and in most cases resources, be evaluated.

To apply for Work First Family Assistance, you may visit our office anytime Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

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Work First Employment Services

Work First Family Assistance recipients may qualify for Work First Employment Services unless the adult applicant is disabled/receiving SSI, is a relative applying for a child, a non-relative legal custodian/guardian applying for a child, or an undocumented alien applying for his/her documented child(ren). There are services available to support job search and employment. These services may include childcare subsidy, short-term job training, and transportation services. We may also assist with the purchase of items needed for work such as uniforms, etc. An employment plan is tailored to the participant's needs to help them become gainfully employed and provide for their family.

Emergency Assistance

Lee County will provide emergency assistance for families who meet the eligibility criteria as stated in the Lee County Work First Plan. An emergency is an unexpected occurrence, which may prevent the family member from obtaining or retaining a job. The county provides only short-term assistance for these non-recurring emergencies. Emergency assistance must enable the family to move towards self-sufficiency and support employment. To qualify, the family must have income under the federal 200% of the poverty guidelines. Each request is evaluated on an individual basis. Emergency assistance services are dependent on available funds. Additionally, the menu of services may change due to changes in county, state, and federal policies. These services can be requested Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

200% Family Services

Lee County provides additional services to families whose income is under the Federal 200% of the poverty guidelines and who are not receiving WFFA cash assistance or do not wish to apply for WFFA. These services are designed to support job retention and strengthen the family. Services must be provided on a short-term and non-recurring basis. Each request is evaluated on an individual basis. These employment support services are also dependent on available funds. Additionally, the menu of services may change due to changes in county, state and federal policies. These services can be requested from Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Helpful Links

The State of North Carolina

The North Carolina Employment Security Commission

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Lee County Industries

Vocational Rehabilitation

Mental Health

Central Carolina Community College

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