Financial Supports

Community Resources in Buncombe County for Helping with Financial Needs

As our community is working to address the needs of those impacted by COVID-19, please know that what is available to help may change. 

You can also call 211 anytime to have someone help you find the resources you need.

Buncombe County Economic Services/Public Assistance: Provides low-income individuals and families with the following assistance to support their self-sufficiency through economic supports for families.

Medicaid for Adults: Medicaid is a health insurance program for those whose income is below the amounts set by the federal and state government.

  • Medicaid for Age 65+, Blind and Disabled: If you are over 65, blind or disabled, the income limit to receive Medicaid is equal to 100% of the poverty level. There is a limit on resources.

  • Long Term Care: Medicaid pays for medically necessary nursing home care for patients in skilled or intermediate care nursing homes or in intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities.

  • Medicare-Aid: Individuals who have Medicare coverage may be eligible to have their Medicare premiums paid by Medicaid if their income is between 100% and 135% of the poverty level.

Special Assistance: An assistance payment to eligible individuals who reside in licensed domiciliary homes, rest homes or family care homes. Medical assistance (Medicaid) is also provided to help pay medical bills.

Emergency Assistance: Emergency funds as they become available for families in short-term financial crisis due to unusual circumstances. 

General Assistance: A program to help resolve a crisis when other resources are unavailable.  The program is often used to pay for medication, utility and rent assistance, or training associated with other DHHS programs.

Crisis Intervention Program (CIP): Provides assistance to low-income households that are in a heating or cooling related emergency and have an income that is below 150% of poverty level.

Energy Assistance: Programs are available that may help you pay your heating bills.

Families and Children:

  • Child Care Subsidy: Subsidized child care is a program funded through State and Federal dollars to assist parents with the cost of child care. Families receiving financial assistance may choose the child care program that best meets their needs.

  • Child Support: Child support services agents by contract with Buncombe Child Support Services Agency to help locate absent parents and assist in establishing paternity and getting child support payments ordered by the courts.

  • Medicaid Programs for Families and Children: Medicaid is an insurance program for certain low-income individuals and families who cannot afford healthcare cost. Family Medicaid programs can provide assistance to children 18 and under, parents or other caretakers/relatives with children ages 18, pregnant women, and young adults ages 19-21.

Food and Nutrition Program (Food Stamps): Federal program that provides a monthly allotment of Food Stamp benefits issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (ATM cards). 

Skills Training and Employment Program: If you are a Food and Nutrition Services recipient in Buncombe County and under the age of 60, the STEP program can help you find a job, get a better job, obtain skills training, or earn a GED at no cost to you.

Work First: Work First Employment Services assists with training, work experience, and supportive casework services.

NC Works Career Center: Assistance in managing unemployment insurance claims. Individuals who are seeking jobs and need assistance can call, the Career Center at (828) 251-6200. 

NC Department of Employment Security: NC DES provides support for both employers as well as individuals needing unemployment insurance support. For more information, click here.

Employer Call Center (attached document with this contact information): Contact the DES Employer Call Center with any questions or concern by calling 866-278-3822 or click here.

Unemployment Insurance: To apply, call 888-737-0259 or click here

Community Resources

ABCCM: Utility Assistance, Rent Assistance

Eblen Charities: Utility Assistance, Rent Assistance

Salvation Army of Buncombe County: Utility Assistance, Rent Assistance

OnTrack WNC: Financial Counseling

Self-Help Credit Union: Small Business Lending

The Following Utilities and Services will not disconnect their services due to nonpayment while our community responds to COVID-19. No action is needed by customers to make sure services are not cut off.


  • City of Asheville - Water and Trash Collection

  • Duke Energy/Progress Energy

  • PSNC/Dominion Energy

Phone and Internet Service - No late fees at this time as well

  • AT&T

  • Charter - Also offering unlimited data for 60 days for those with data plans

  • Sprint - Also offering unlimited data for 60 days for those with data plans

  • T-Mobile  - Also offering unlimited data for 60 days for those with data plans.  Free international calls to level-3 impacted countries

  • Verizon - Also offering unlimited data for 60 days for those with data plans

*Not finding what you need or have an additional need? Dial 211 (24/7/365)

You can access additional resource information and information about our counseling/student services department (including contact/communication tools) at the OHS Student Services Google Page.