What is Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI)?

The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources. The Federal Government funds SSI from general tax revenues. Many states pay a supplemental benefit to persons in addition to their Federal benefits. Some of these states have made arrangements with us to combine their supplemental payment with our Federal SSI payment into one monthly check to you. Other states manage their own programs and make their payments separately. Title XVI of the Social Security Act authorizes SSI benefits.

It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Information can be found athttp://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm

What is Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)?

SSDI provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits.  If you have dependants they may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record.

Benefits are based on your “duration” of work – this is measured in annual quarters.

There is no state supplemental payment with the SSDI program.  Your payments can be small enough that you might also qualify for some SSI along with SSDI.

For more information go to http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html#part2

Can I Get Help With My Utilities?

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is a Federally-funded provides assistance to low-income 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.

Energy Assistance is important to all that receive it, but more so if someone in your home is elderly, disabled or a young child under 6 years old. These persons are especially at risk for life threatening illness of death if their home is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer.

Benefits may vary based upon the amount needed to alleviate the crisis; however, benefits cannot exceed $600 and/or the maximum allowed benefit amount established by the county, per State fiscal year.

The maximum allowed benefit amount can be up to $600 per application, per crisis situation. The maximum benefit amount determined by the County Director will also be the maximum allowed benefit amount per application for that county.

An eligible household may receive assistance more than one time during the State Fiscal Year (July through June).

For more information go to http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/crisis/index.htm

What Are Food Stamps? (Food and Nutrition Services)

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is a federal food assistance program that helps low-income families. In North Carolina monthly allotments of FNS benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards).

The purpose of Food and Nutrition Services is to end hunger and improve nutrition and health. It helps eligible low-income households buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet.

Food and Nutrition Services is an entitlement program, so all eligible individuals and households can receive assistance. Benefits may be used to purchase most foods at participating stores. They may not be used to purchase tobacco, pet food, paper products, soap products, or alcoholic beverages.

Eligible households must have the opportunity to access benefits no later than thirty days from the date of application. Individuals with special circumstances must have an opportunity to use their benefits within seven days from the date of application.

Able-bodied adults between 18 and 49 who do not have any dependent children can get benefits only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a Workfare or Employment and Training program.

For more information go to http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/foodstamp/index.htm#income

How Can I Receive Help With Housing?

NC Housing Coalition – Information by NC  County about apartments, group homes, Section 8 and other help with housing.

NC DHHS Division of MH/DD/SAS Housing Page and more Housing Resources from DHHS

Each Local Management Entity, which used to be known as the area or county mental health center, should have a staff person available who handles housing for persons with mental health disabilities.  To find a Local Management Entity near you, go to http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/MHDDSAS/lmedirectory.htm#lmelist

To search for lower rent/Section 8 rent near you: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm

Some other helpful housing numbers are:

CARE-LINE: The N.C. DHHS’ Information and Referral Telephone Service 1-800-662-7030 (English/Spanish) 1-877-452-2514 (TTY) 919-855-4400 (local calls) http://www.ncdhhs.gov/ocs/careline.htm

N.C. Housing Search: http://www.nchousingsearch.com 1-877-428-8844

N.C. Housing Coalition: http://www.nchousing.org 1-888-313-4956 919-881-0707 (local calls)

N.C. Housing Finance Agency: http://www.nchfa.com

US Department of Housing and Urban Development: http://www.hud.gov 1-800-440-8091

US Department of Agriculture Rural Development: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

How Does Medicaid Work in NC?

Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs. You may be eligible for Medicaid if you are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Eligibility for Medicaid is based on your family’s monthly income and the amount of resources you own. To receive Medicaid for the blind or disabled, you must be evaluated by a doctor.

If you receive Supplemental Security Income, you are eligible for North Carolina Medicaid.

When you apply for Medicaid, your family’s monthly income is calculated by subtracting certain deductions from your gross income.  Social Security, veteran’s benefits, wages, pensions and other retirement income are counted.  The deductions vary with each Medicaid program.  Your county worker will calculate your monthly family income.

For more information go to http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dma/medicaid/abd.htm

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the U.S. government’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people under age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those with disabilities, permanent kidney failure or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Medicare helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. The program has four parts:

  • Part A is hospital insurance.
  • Part B helps pay for medical services that Part A doesn’t cover.
  • Part C is called Medicare Advantage. If you have Parts A and B, you can choose this option to receive all of your health care through a provider, like an HMO.
  • Part D is prescription drug coverage. It helps pay for some medicines.

What is a Medical Home?

A Patient-Centered Medical Home relies on a continuous, effective relationship between a patient and his or her personal physician. This physician leads a team of medical professionals who together take responsibility for a person’s care through all stages of life.

A Patient-Centered Medical Home focuses on the entire person and all the patient’s needs, including preventive care, acute care, chronic care and end-of-life care. This includes making arrangements for care with other health care professionals as appropriate. Care is coordinated and integrated across our entire, complicated medical system, including subspecialty care, inpatient services and home health agencies. Coordination of evidence-based care by a Patient-Centered Medical Home is facilitated by information technology and intelligent data use that helps health care providers deliver appropriate care where and when it is needed.

In a Patient-Centered Medical Home, patients have one place to call for an update on their health; they have greater access to services; they get personalized care that is safe and scientifically valid; and there is a focus on preventive care which keeps costs down and patients healthier.

Find out more at First in Health, a project that utilizes the concept of medical homes and coordinated care, particularly with managing chronic disease.

What is NC Health Choice for Children?

North Carolina Health Choice (NCHC) for Children is a free or reduced price comprehensive health care program for children. If your family makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford rising health insurance premiums, your children may qualify for NCHC. For more information go tohttp://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dma/healthchoice/

What If I Don’t Have Mental Health Care Insurance?

(This information may be subject to change)

Screening, Triage (determining if your situation is an emergency or not), Crisis and Referral, go to NAMI NCs website atwww.naminc.org and click on the link.  This will connect you with the number for your nearest Local Management Entity and area mental health program in your county.

Emergency rooms of your local public hospital are usually available for emergency psychiatric care.  Just as with any other illness, it will involve a long wait and often much longer than physical illnesses, but if you are feeling unsafe, it is better to go than not.

A general practitioner or internist can treat you for a psychiatric condition if you are stable and they agree to do so.

Many people wait until they are out of medication to get help.  Try to contact someone well before this happens.  Ask for samples!  Additionally, even though you may not qualify for free medications, you may qualify for a discount card.

There are many clinics that offer medication assistance.  Contact your local United Way, your area mental health (see the Screening, Triage, Crisis and Referral information on www.naminc.org) and also go to the sites listed below.

Medication help:

North Carolina Drug Carda FREE statewide discount prescription assistance program launched to help uninsured and underinsured residents afford their prescriptions.  For more information – Frequently Asked Questions, Free Savings Flier,Program Highlights.

NC MedAssist – Medication Assistance Program Sites





Together Rx Access

Where Can I Find Licensed Facilities in NC?

Click HERE to find a listing of licensed Facilities in North Carolina. Includes list of Adult Care Homes, Family Care Homes, Hospice Listing, Mental Health Care Facilities, etc. This list is updated regularly through NC DHHS.

How Do You Set Up A Special Needs Trust?

NAMI National website contains comprehensive information on their website:

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/Legal_Support/Special_Needs_Estate_Planning/Special_Needs_Trust_Primer.htm– four star site

Where Can I Find Out About Guardianship?

http://www.nc-guardian.org/questions.php – four star site

What If I Am a Veteran Who Needs Help?

Veterans Benefits: 1-800-827-1000

VA Medical Center
508 Fulton Street
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: (919) 286-0411

VA Medical Center
2300 Ramsey Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Phone: (910) 488-2120

VA Medical Center
1601 Brenner Avenue
Salisbury, NC 28144
Phone: (704) 638-9000

Charles George VAMC
1100 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC 28805
Phone: (828) 298-7911

NAMI National Veterans Resource Center:

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/Veterans_Resources/Veterans_Resource_Center.htm – four star site

Where Can I Go For Emotional Support?

NAMI NC support groups whether for family members or for persons with the illnesses themselves, can be an important part of care, especially in these times of limited services.

NAMI focuses on recovery, hope and mutual experiences of others who have been there.  Some are a little further down the path and are willing to reach out a hand to a newcomer, knowing that they may one day need a hand up themselves.

For more information on what is available to you locally click here and then choose the affiliate closest to you.

NAMI NC also offers Educational Programs.  Click here for a list of available Programs or call our Helpline at 800-451-9682.

For more information on support you can also visit: http://www.unitedwaync.org/ncmap.php

Where Can I Receive Help Getting a Job?

NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: http://dvr.dhhs.state.nc.us/DVR/offices/vroffices.htm

NC Employment First Technical Assistance Center (NC/EF/TAC) – state’s only training, consultation and technical assistance center dedicated to increasing employment among individuals with mental health (MH), substance abuse disorders (SA), and dual diagnoses (developmental disabilities and mental health disabilities DD/MH and MH/SA)

Online Courses – online college courses from the world’s leading universities to help you gain additional education for obtaining employment.

Goodwill Industries – job training:http://www.triadgoodwill.org/independent_living_skills.html



United Way of NC

The United Way of NC can direct you to many resources in your local area.  Especially helpful for local ministries and financial aide offered by private agencies and non-profits.

Law Enforcement Resources

For a list of resources for law enforcement concerning individuals who are living with a mental illness, click here

To learn more about Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) visit NAMI’s CIT page or for information on how CIT is doing in North Carolina click here