Economic Services


  • Medicaid
  • Special Assistance for Adults
  • Food and Nutrition Services (formerly known as Food Stamps)

Medicaid Programs:

The Medicaid program was established to provide medical assistance to low income individuals and families. The Medicaid program covers groups of people based on certain categorical requirements. To be eligible, the individual or family must make an application and must meet certain financial and non-financial criteria. If eligible, Medicaid provides coverage for the following groups:

Medicaid for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled, including Health Care Coverage for Workers with Disabilities: This program provides full coverage for persons who are:

  • Age 65 or older, or
  • Blind, as defined by the Social Security Administration, or
  • Disabled, as defined by the Social Security Administration, and
  • Who meet all other financial and non-financial eligibility requirements

Medicare Savings Programs: These Medicaid programs provide limited assistance in paying Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for individuals receiving Medicare. If eligible, what Medicaid will pay is based on the applicant’s income. (The Social Security Administration agency is responsible for determining eligibility for Medicare – not the Department of Social Services).

Medicaid for Families and Children: These programs provide full coverage to eligible children under age 21, caretaker relatives of children under age 19, pregnant women, and women enrolled, screened, and diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer including pre-cancerous conditions and early stage cancer. Family Planning Waiver Medicaid provides limited Medicaid coverage in order to assist in the reduction of the number of unplanned pregnancies. Women and men over the age of 19 and with income up to 185% of the federal poverty may qualify.

North Carolina Health Choice: This program provides health insurance coverage for eligible children age 6 through age 18 who are ineligible for Medicaid and who have family incomes equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Children are evaluated for and enrolled in NC Health Choice only after they are determined to be ineligible for Medicaid.

Eligibility Requirements:
In addition to meeting the criteria for one of the above coverage groups, applicants must meet the other eligibility requirements including income, and in some cases, resource requirements. Additionally, the individual must provide and/or cooperate in obtaining proof of citizenship, identity, and state residence. Applications for Medicaid may be taken for persons who plan to enter a Long Term Care (LTC) facility or in a medical institution for medical, surgical, or inpatient psychiatric care or a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility when treatment has or is expected to exceed 12 months or who is in need of home and community based services under a Community Alternatives Program (CAP) waiver program.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR MEDICAID: You may apply, in person, at the Rowan County Department of Social Services located at 1813 E. Innes Street, Salisbury, NC 28146, Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Or you may choose to complete a mail-in application and drop it off at the address above or you may mail the completed application to DSS at the above address.

You may contact the Department of Social Services at (704) 216-8330 to request a mail-in application be mailed to you or you may go to the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance website at: Select the link to Medicaid Services and scroll through the links to learn more about the Medicaid programs before making an application or you may go directly to http://www.ncdhhs/gov/dma/medicaid/applications.htm to download an application. You may select from the Adult Medicaid Mail-in, form number DMA-5000, or you may choose the form DMA-5063 for Medicaid for families and children. Once you have completed the application, you may mail it to DSS at the address above or you may bring the application to DSS at the address above. DSS cannot accept applications received by fax or received by email. Your eligibility will be determined by the date of your application. The date of the application is the date a completed, signed, and dated application is received in the DSS in the county where you reside.

Medicaid Transportation
If you receive Medicaid, Medicaid will pay for transportation to and from a medical appointment if the recipient receives a Medicaid covered service that is provided by a qualified Medicaid provider (enrolled as a NC Medicaid provider). Medicaid only pays for the least expensive means suitable to the recipient’s needs. The county will arrange for or provide transportation for Medicaid covered services if the Medicaid recipient is unable to arrange and/or pay for transportation. Persons receiving Medicaid under the Medicaid for Qualified Beneficiaries coverage group and/or children receiving North Carolina Health Choice are not eligible to receive Medicaid Transportation assistance. To request Medicaid Transportation contact Janice Gray at (704) 216-8896.


Special Assistance for Adults is a state/county SSI (Supplemental Security Income) supplement that pays cash benefits to eligible recipients who reside in licensed facilities authorized to receive Special Assistance (SA) payments. To be eligible for Special Assistance, an individual must be eligible for SSI, or ineligible for SSI solely due to income. Applicants for SA must apply for all other benefits to which he/she may potentially be entitled. Special Assistance/Adult Care Home recipients are automatically eligible for Medicaid coverage. Applicants must be age 18 or older and must meet the state residency requirements.

Special Assistance In-Home Program provides an alternative to placement in an Adult Care Home for individuals who desire and are able to live at home safely with additional supportive services. Individuals who wish to receive an SA In-Home payment must meet with an Adult Services Social Worker for an assessment, meet the criteria for the supportive services (including providing an FL-2 from a physician indicating the need for an Adult Care Home, have income at or below 100% of the federal poverty level, and be eligible for Medicaid). Each county has a limited number of In-Home slots available to serve residents of the county. Once those slots are filled, you may be placed on a waiting list.

HOW DO I APPLY: You may come into the Department of Social Services at 1813 E. Innes Street, Salisbury, NC 28146 to make a request for these services. If you are unable to come in, you may have a representative, a Power of Attorney, or a legal guardian requests these services on your behalf. You may call the local Department of Social Services at (704) 216-8330 for additional information.

For more information on services for adults, go to the North Carolina Division of Aging website at:

Food and Nutrition Services Program (formerly Food Stamp Program)

The Food and Nutrition Services Program is a federal food assistance program that helps low-income individuals and/or families buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet. Food and Nutrition Services benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards) that may used to purchase food at participating stores. These benefits cannot be used to purchase tobacco, pet food, paper products, soap products, toiletries, or alcoholic beverages. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements for income, household composition, citizenship/immigration status, work requirements, and resources.

HOW DO I APPLY: You may apply in person at the local Department of Social Services in the state/county where you reside. You may go to the FNS website at: and select the “How to Apply” link at the top of the page. You may complete the application online and submit to DSS by mail or by fax. You may fax the application to any of these numbers – (704) 638-3041, (704) 216-8433, or (704) 216-7937. If you are a Rowan County resident, you may mail the application to DSS, 1813 E. Innes Street, Salisbury, NC 28146.

The date of the application is the date the completed, signed, and dated application is received in the DSS agency in the county where you reside. If eligible, benefits cannot begin prior to the application date. You may be required to come into the agency to complete the interview. If you have circumstances that prevent you from coming into the agency, contact DSS at (704) 216-8330.