Programs & Assistance

Health & Human Services is committed to protecting children and older adults by helping people meet their basic needs and strengthening families. Programs and assistance include benefits such as employment assistance, energy assistance, child care subsidy, food assistance, Medicaid, seasonal programs, senior and adult services, social services, transportation and Work First/CCS.

Tax Credit Resources

Wake County residents who are eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) or Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) are encouraged to learn more about how these programs may help you receive tax credits and refunds on filed taxes.

Child Tax Credit

What is the expanded Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit is a tax benefit to help families who are raising children that was expanded in March 2021

The American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Biden expanded the Child Tax Credit for 2021 to get more help to more families. The American Rescue Plan:

  • Increased the credit from up to $2,000 per qualifying child in 2020 to up to $3,600 for each qualifying child under age 6.
  • Increased the credit from up to $2,000 per qualifying child in 2020 to up to $3,000 for each qualifying child ages 6 to 16.
  • Makes 17-year-olds eligible for up to $3,000 in credit.
  • To get money to families sooner, the IRS began sending the first-ever monthly payments (up to half of your total amount) this year, starting in July.
  • Advance payments went to the families of over 61 million children from July to December 2021.

During 2021, the vast majority of eligible families received half of their Child Tax Credit through monthly payments

The changes made for 2021 gave tens of millions of families a portion of their 2021 Child Tax Credit through monthly payments—up to half the total estimated amount. In prior years, families could only receive their Child Tax Credit in a lump sum when they filed tax returns.

Whether they received monthly advance payments or not, eligible families can claim their remaining Child Tax Credit benefits when they file a tax return this year.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The 2021 ARP also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to include more workers without children as well as older workers (65+), temporarily raised the maximum credit for individuals without dependents from approximately $540 to $1,500, and increased the income cap to qualify for individuals without dependents from approximately $16,000 to $21,000.

The CTC and EITC are not considered income. Receiving these tax credits will not impact anyone’s eligibility for federal benefits, such as HUD assistance programs, including the Housing Choice Voucher Program and public housing; unemployment insurance; Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); disability insurance; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Women, Infants and Children programs (WIC); and other benefits.

Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC)

A tax credit you can take in advance to lower your monthly health insurance payment (or “premium”). When you apply for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace®, you estimate your expected income for the year. If you qualify for a premium tax credit based on your estimate, you can use any amount of the credit in advance to lower your premium.

If at the end of the year you’ve taken more premium tax credit in advance than you’re due based on your final income, you’ll have to pay back the excess when you file your federal tax return. If you’ve taken less than you qualify for, you’ll get the difference back.

Learn more about APTC

Child Care Subsidy

The Wake County Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to parents for their childcare needs. The dollar amount of the child care subsidy is based on an assessment of need, income and family size.

Employment Assistance

The goal of  Employment Services is to empower individuals to find, change or maintain meaningful employment in the community. Employment Services works with external and internal partners to enable individuals to complete career assessments and exploration, develop career goals, determine training and education options, conduct strategic job searches, and to succeed and grow in their job.


Utility/Energy Bill Assistance - Help for Heating, Cooling and Water

Wake County Utility Bill/Energy Assistance programs help qualified families with high utility/energy bills brought on my extreme heat or cold. During the hot summer months, assistance is available for keeping AC bills paid. During the colder months, Wake County accepts applications for those who are facing disconnection of gas or electricity. Water bills can also cause unexpected expenses on family finances. There are some Wake County and partner programs that may be able to offer help for these expenses.

Food and Nutrition Services

The Food and Nutrition Services Program (once referred to as Food Stamps) helps low-income households with monthly food expenses and allows these households to buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet. The purpose of Food and Nutrition Services is to end hunger and improve nutrition and health in Wake County.


Medicaid is a health insurance program that serves children, adults and families. Family and Children's Medicaid covers children, parents, pregnant women and family planning services. Adult Medicaid covers aged, blind and disabled individuals.

NC Electronic Pre-Assessment Screening Service Tool

The NC Department of Health and Human Services has developed and implemented the NC Electronic Pre-Assessment Screening Service (ePASS) tool as an online application tool to apply for Food and Nutrition Services and Medicaid through NC FAST.

Learn more about ePASS

Seasonal Programs

Seasonal programs brighten the holidays for children and seniors in need by matching them with community sponsors who provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals or gifts. The program provides an opportunity for a personal relationship between the sponsor and the receiving family.

Senior & Adult Services

Senior and Adult Services offers a variety of home and community-based programs and services to seniors, adults with disabilities and their families. Our goal is to maximize self-sufficiency, safety, health and independence so that seniors and adults can remain safely in their community for as long as possible. We strive to maintain the highest quality of life for those who reside in adult and family care homes in Wake County.

Transportation Services

Wake County Transportation Services provide the elderly, disabled and employment trips to and from all areas of Wake County.

WIC Program

WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, is a nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. It provides support to eligible women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have had a baby in the last six months and children up to 5 years of age.

Work First Employment Program for Families

Work First is an employment program designed to assist families that are in a temporary financial crisis. The Work First program provides a wide array of supportive services to aid families in achieving self-sufficiency. Services are provided to Child Only cases; these are cases where a child is living in the home of a specified relative not the biological or adopted parent(s).