How to Apply for Medicaid in North Carolina

If you or a loved one are faced with a stay in rehab or a skilled nursing facility, you very quickly learn that Medicare and Medicare supplement insurance typically cover the cost of care in a rehab or nursing home for only a short period of time. Once Medicare and insurance coverage runs out, typically within 100 days or less, you may find that you need to apply for Medicaid to cover the cost of the continued stay in skilled nursing care and/or rehab.

You can apply for Medicaid in North Carolina in a number of ways:

  • In person at your local Department of Social Services (also called Department of Human Resources in some counties).
  • By Mailing or dropping off a completed application to your local Department of Social Services (DSS). You can find links to printable Medicaid applications here.
  • You can click here for the link to apply online in Wake County. Unfortunately, the online application is not as easy as it should be and requires you to set up an account first.
  • By Telephone. Just call your local DSS and state that you’d like to apply for Medicaid for yourself or someone else today by telephone. (In my experience, you’ll be transferred to multiple people before you’re finally connected with a caseworker who can and will actually take your application over the phone.)

If you’ve never completed a paper or online Medicaid application before, they can be confusing. You may want to apply in person or by telephone instead, or consult an elder law attorney who can help you complete the paper application. We’ve helped clients apply for Medicaid in Wake County and counties across the State of North Carolina for over twenty-five years, and we’re happy to help you with an application as well. Just give us a call at 919-863-4183 to schedule a consultation.


Amanda Spence has been practicing Elder Law and assisting clients with Medicaid planning in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1995. If you want to discuss protecting your assets from the catastrophic cost of nursing home care, contact Ms. Spence by telephone at (919) 863-4183 or by email at