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Work First Family Assistance

Work First is North Carolina's Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF) program. This program helps parents support themselves and their families by offering monthly financial assistance to help in meeting the basic needs of the family, short-term training and other services to increase the chances of employment.

Benefit Diversion

Benefit Diversion is an alternative to traditional cash assistance and helps families who are experiencing a temporary crisis associated with employment.

Benefit Diversion is an optional package of services that include:

  • A one-time lump-sum payment equal to a maximum of three months of Work First Cash Assistance benefits
  • Eligibility determination for Medical and Food Assistance.
  • Referrals to community and agency resources

Work First Employment

Work First Employment Services assists with training, work experience and supportive casework services to enable Work First Family Assistance recipients to become self-sufficient and self-supporting.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for these benefit programs, you must be a resident of North Carolina, be responsible for a child under 18 years of age, a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident, have low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.

Your Next Steps

To apply for these programs, please contact Buncombe County Health & Human Services.

Locate & Contact

Public Assistance / Economic Services


Cindy Langford
P: (828) 250-5709

Tracie Franklin
P: (828) 250-5564

Social Work Services
40 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

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Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

*Eligibility rules and income/asset amounts are subject to change.

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