Bridge to Benefits
Work Support Programs & Tax Credits
The programs below help children, adults and families in North Dakota. Click on the program name to learn more about a program. You can also find out if you are eligible for these programs by using the Eligibility Screening Tool (click here).
  1. Caring for Children
  2. Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
  3. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  4. Healthy Steps
  5. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  6. Medicaid (pregnant women and children up to age 6)
  7. Medicaid (ages 6-18)
  8. School Meal Program
  9. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

1. Caring for Children
Caring for Children is for North Dakota children, birth up to age 19, who do not have health insurance coverage, do not qualify for Medicaid or Healthy Steps, and live in families with a household income between 161% to 200% of Federal Poverty Level.  Children also must meet citizenship requirements.  Indian Health Services is NOT health insurance.

Caring for Children is a program of the North Dakota Caring Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that was begun by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) in 1989. In support of the foundation, BCBSND provides all administrative services for the foundation and Caring for Children, as an in-kind donation. 100% of all donations is used to provide access to health and dental care for eligible children and pay for the "premiums" of enrolled members.


   

2. Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps parents with lower incomes pay for child care while they are working, searching for work, and/or are in an approved educational program.

The Child Care Assistance Program is for families with children under age 13 (and under age 19 for children who are handicapped or have special needs). To get CCAP, your income has to be below the limits. Parents also have to work, look for work, or go to school to get CCA.

3. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit that helps low-income people who are working, especially those who are raising children. If you get it, you will either get a larger refund (money given back to you) or pay less in federal taxes. The EITC is administered by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

4. Healthy Steps
Healthy Steps is a health insurance program for North Dakota children who do not have health insurance coverage, are 18 years of age or younger, do not qualify or are not fully covered by the North Dakota Medicaid Program, and live in low-income families.  Indian Health Services is NOT health insurance.  If you have a medical insurance policy that only covers a specific service, like dental, vision, or cancer-only policies, you should apply.

5. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps people with lower incomes to pay their heating/energy bills during the fall, winter and spring months. County social service offices around the state take applications for the program and decide how much help each household can get to pay their heating bills.  The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

LIHEAP is available to many households with lower incomes, including homeowners and renters. Renters can get help if they pay for their heat separate from their rent, or if their heat is included in their rent. Your household’s income has to be below the limits for the current heating season to get help.

6. Medicaid (pregnant women and children up to age 6)
Medicaid is a health insurance program for some North Dakotans with lower incomes.  It is usually a free program, although there may be some small costs (co-pays).  Medicaid is administered by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

If you are a pregnant woman or a member of a family with children under age 21, you may be eligible for Medicaid. (Adults who do not have children living in their household cannot get Medicaid unless they are elderly, blind or disabled.) You have to live in North Dakota. You also have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant (with an acceptable immigration status) to get Medicaid.

Depending on the amount of your net income, individuals may be eligible for full Medicaid benefits or may be responsible for a portion of their medical bills which is called their recipient liability. Children who are not eligible for full Medicaid benefits may be eligible for Healthy Steps or the Caring for Children Program. Medicaid looks at a family's total countable income and subtracts allowed expenses to establish net income.

Some of the more common allowable deductions are taxes and other work related expenses, health insurance premiums, dependent care expenses, and child support paid to a non household member.  Other deductions also may apply.

7. Medicaid (ages 6-18)
Medicaid is a health insurance program for some North Dakotans with lower incomes.  It is usually a free program, although there may be some small costs (co-pays).  Medicaid is administered by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

If you are a pregnant woman or a member of a family with children under age 21, you may be eligible for Medicaid. (Adults who do not have children living in their household cannot get Medicaid unless they are elderly, blind or disabled.) You have to live in North Dakota. You also have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant (with an acceptable immigration status) to get Medicaid.

Depending on the amount of your net income, individuals may be eligible for full Medicaid benefits or may be responsible for a portion of their medical bills which is called their recipient liability. Children who are not eligible for full Medicaid benefits may be eligible for Healthy Steps or the Caring for Children Program. Medicaid looks at a family's total countable income and subtracts allowed expenses to establish net income.

Some of the more common allowable deductions are taxes and other work related expenses, health insurance premiums, dependent care expenses, and child support paid to a non household member.  Other deductions also may apply.

8. School Meal Program
The School Meal Program pays for all or part of the cost of breakfast and lunch for children at school. In addition, some child care programs are included.  By offering healthy and nutritious meals, the program also helps children to learn and grow.  The program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. 

Children attending public and private schools in grades K-12. Most foster children can get free meals.  In addition, some child care programs are included.  If your family is getting help from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations) you can get free meals. Otherwise, if you are not on these programs, your family has to have an income below the limits to get help. Some families can get free meals and others can get a reduced (lower) price on their meals.

9. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) helps people with lower incomes pay for nutritious food, which helps kids to grow up strong and helps adults to stay healthy. SNAP does not pay for all the food that a person or a family needs each month, just some of it.

SNAP is the name of Food Stamps in North Dakota. We don’t call the program “Food Stamps” anymore because you don’t get stamps to buy food. You get a debit card. As of October 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program.