2IMPORTANT NOTICE!After reviewing the following information you will meet briefly with a worker to answer any questions you may have. You will be able to decide whether you would like to apply for Work First or some other services which may meet your needs. If you choose to apply for Work First, you will be directed to meet with an application worker.
3Work First Mission Statement North Carolina’s Work First Program is built upon the belief that all people have aresponsibility to their families and community to work and to provide for theirchildren.Through Work First, parents can receive short-term training and other services to helpthem become employed and self-sufficient. Work First Family Assistance may also beprovided for eligible children whose caretaker is not eligible for benefits themselves.
4IMPORTANT NOTE The terms “Work First” “WFFA” “TANF” are interchangeable and may be used together orseparately during this presentation. All referencesare to the monthly cash money payment. WorkFirst Family Assistance is only available tofamilies with minor dependent children living intheir home.
5WFFA CHILD-ONLY BENEFITS are available to parents receiving SSI, grandparents and other relatives who are responsible for the care of a child(ren) living in their home. Non-relatives with court-appointed custody or guardianship may also apply for child-only benefits for children in the home.
6Work First payments are based on the household size and income Work First payments are based on the household size and income. Maximum monthly payments are outlined below. Example: the maximum payment for a family of 2 with no countable income is $236. Payments will be lower than shown here if there is other countable income in the home.Family Size12345MonthlyTANFCheck (based on zero income)$181$236$272$297$324Note: Additional children born to a customer who receives TANF may not cause an increase in the amount of the TANF payment
7WFFA IS A TIME-LIMITED BENEFIT There are two clocks that run at the same time for caseswhen the parents are required to be included in the case:a 24-month state clocka 60-month federal clockThe 24-month state clock will stop your Work First benefitsafter 24 months of assistance. You can not receive again for 3 yearsunless a special extension is granted.The 60-month federal clock limits receiving WFFA toa maximum lifetime benefit of 60 months unless ahardship hearing results in approval of extended months.(All months used on the 60-month federal time clock are transferredand tracked from state to state.)
860-month NC State ClockSome cases will have a 60-month NC state time clock instead of the time clocks described on the previous page. These are cases that have a parent living in the home who are not included in the WFFA case. These families will be subject to a 60-month state lifetime limit of assistance in North Carolina. This time clock is new to NC in the fall of Parents who receive SSI are exempt from this policy.
9WORK FIRST REQUIREMENTS The Work First program requires applicants and recipients to meet certain expectations. Several of these requirements will be explained in the next pages.If you have questions about any of these requirements, please ask the worker after this presentation.
10ALL applicants for Work First are required to sign a Mutual Responsibility Agreement (MRA)- Core Requirements form. Core requirements include:Contact your worker if a change occurs in your situation within ten (10) days of knowing of the change.Keep all scheduled appointments with your Work First workers.Cooperate with Child Support.Make sure children get their immunizations and have regular health checkups.Make sure school-aged children and minor parents attend school and live at home.
11Child Support Requirements If the parent(s) of a child on a Work First case does not live in the home, the case is automatically referred to the local Child Support Office. Cooperation with Child Support is required in order to receive Work First benefits. All child support payments made for children receiving Work First benefits will be sent to the state of NC to offset the TANF payment received for the child. You will not receive TANF and Child Support at the same time.
12Substance/Alcohol Abuse Screening Requirement If you choose to apply for TANF/WFFA cash assistance you are required to be screened for alcohol and drug abuse. A worker will complete this thorough interview with you when you apply for Work First.
13Job Quit Penalty Work First applicants and recipients are subject to a The Job Quit Penalty means that if you quit or lose a job without a good reason, your family will not be eligible for Work First for three months.Be sure to talk with your Work First worker before you quit a job or if you think you may be close to being fired. The worker may be able to advise you or assist in some way.
14Work First Employment Services Most parents who receive Work First will also be required to participate in Work First Employment Services. A social worker will work with the family to create a Mutual Responsibility Agreement –Plan of Action. This plan outlines activities that parents will do to help meet their goals. It also includes any services that will be provided to help the family with these activities.
15Work First Employment Services Most Work First Employment Services participants are scheduled for a minimum of hours weekly in employment, training, or unpaid work experience. Parents receiving SSI are exempt from the work requirement.The goal of these services is to assist you with securing paid employment or other financial and community resources so that your family can become self-sufficient.A social worker will talk with you to assess your immediate needs and explore your goals. You may decide your family’s needs can be met through pursuing child support or other services.
16Important Work First Information ALL applicants and recipients are required to comply with their Mutual Responsibility Agreement–Core Requirements before receiving a Work First check for that month. Example: You have an appointment with your caseworker in July. Your check for July will be issued after July ends if you kept that appointment and met all other requirements.
17Work First Information - continued Parents who are required to participate in Work First Employment Services must also meet the expectations outlined on their Mutual Responsibility Agreement - Plan of Action for the month before receiving a Work First check for that month.Example: You are scheduled to look for work for 20 hours per week in July. Your July check will be issued after July ends if you meet that expectation along with all other requirements.Failure to meet the requirements for the check will cause your Work First case to terminate.It is very important to stay in contact with your workers and report any changes or problems immediately.
18Electronic BenefitsNorth Carolina will soon begin using a new computer system to determine eligibility and issue benefits for Work First. The primary method for issuing Work First payments will be by direct deposit into a personal bank account. Your worker will discuss this with you if you choose to apply.
19If you decide that Work First does not meet the needs of your family at this time, there are other services available.The services listed below will not start the 24-month or 60-monthtime clocks.Food and Nutrition ServicesMedicaidChild SupportDivision of Employment SecurityEmployment CoordinatorRetention ServicesChild care services (depending on available funding)Referrals to community agencies for services such as food, clothing, budgeting, parenting skills, etc.Other supportive services based on your individual family needsA worker will talk with you after this presentation to help you decidewhat services you may need for yourself and your family. You can findmore information about many of these services on our website:
20Food and Nutrition Services Food and Nutrition Services is a food assistance program that provides an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card that can be used like an ATM card to purchase food items only. It is meant to supplement low-income families so they may buy the food they need for good nutrition. Monthly amounts are determined by income, household size and shelter expenses.
21Medicaid ProgramMedicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs. Medicaid programs are available for families with children, pregnant women, women who need family planning services, disabled children and adults, blind individuals, and senior citizens.
22Child SupportCumberland County Child Support will work with you to get support for the children in your care. They may be able to help you get financial support and/or health insurance from the child’s parent(s).Contact Child Support Services at the local Child Support Office at 109 Bradford Avenue - phone or visiting child support services on line at .
23Division of Employment Security The NC Division of Employment Security (DES)is a valuable resource for recently unemployed workers and other job seekers.You may be eligible to apply for Unemployment Benefits. You can also receive referrals to open employment opportunities.If you apply for Work First and are potentially eligible to receive Unemployment Benefits you must file a claim. If you look for work through Work First you are required to register for work with DES.The Division of Employment Security office is located at 414 Ray Avenue (just off Rowan Street) in Fayetteville. The phone # is (910)NC Job Connector-is the DES data bank that lists employment opportunities.DES website:
24Work First Employment Coordinator The Work First Employment Coordinator mayprovide employment referrals and leads, givejob search tips and suggestions, and assist withlocating skills training classes.Employment Coordinator services are availablewithout having to apply for Work First. You canschedule to meet with the EmploymentCoordinator by calling (910)
25Retention Services Retention services are provided to eligible individuals who are ….workingandnot currently receiving a Work First check.Retention Services may be able to assist when a crisisor problem occurs on the job or at home that could lead tothe loss of the job. They are able to provide many servicesfor up to 12 months or longer after a family’s TANF checkstops.
26Child Care ServicesSubsidized child care service is available based onfunding. If you would like to place your name onthe child care waiting list, tell the worker whomeets with you after this presentation.
27At this time . . .Let the worker know you have completed viewing this information. The worker will discuss with you whether or not you are interested in applying for Work First.If you choose Work First, the worker will complete a very brief screening with you to ensure you are directed to the correct area for assistance.