Contact Info

Lisa Sprouse
For questions about your benefits, please call the main number and ask
to speak with a case worker.


Social Services Bldg.
PO Box 338
145 E. Court Street
Marion, NC 28752
Google Map


Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM



The mission of the McDowell County Department of Social Services is to respectfully assist families and individuals by helping them maintain, and/or enhance their quality of life; to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable people in the community.

The Department of Social Services is located on East Court Street in Marion. The Department is responsible for implementing Federal and State human services programs.

People Focused & Service Driven


Income Maintenance Programs

Among Social Services’ income maintenance programs are the work first program, food and nutrition program, low income energy assistance program, medicaid program and special assistance for adults.

Service Programs

Among the service programs, Social Services administers adoptions, adult care home case management, adult services, case management, child support, community alternatives program for disabled adults, adult rest homes, general assistance, guardianship, in-home aide, hospital social work, JOBS program, permanency planning, placement services for adults and children, protective services for adults and children, representative payee, services for the blind, medical transportation and clerical support.

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What's New

FNS Allotment Increase
Effective October 1st 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made several changes to the Food and Nutrition Services Porgram. One or more of the changes may affect the amount of benefits you receive, effective October 1st 2021. To read more information about these changes, please click here. 

Medicaid Transformation
North Carolina transitioned to Medicaid Managed Care in 2021. Under this model, certain medicaid beneficiaries are required to choose a health plan with one of the appointed plan providers. When an applicant is approved for medicaid coverage, they will receive enrollment packets with additional information about the new plans and how to contact the Enrollment Broker. Is it imperative that DSS has your most recent address to ensure delivery of all communication.

Open enrollment for tailored plans will begin August 2022. During this time, you will need to contact the Enrollment Broker (1-833-870-5500) to choose the preferred plan, mail the preference paperwork back to the Enrollment Broker, or visit If you are required to enroll in a plan and fail to do so, you will be auto enrolled into a plan. If you have questions or need to change your plan, please contact the Enrollment Broker, as DSS can not make these changes. 

NC FAST ePASS Upgrade to Spanish
NC FAST's ePASS website has been upgraded to include a Spanish translation option, which provides access to information about NC Medicaid and Food & Nutrition Services in Spanish. It also enables the full application process to be completed online in Spanish-previously only possible using a paper form. The upgrade is a component of NCDHHS' COVID-19 shelter-at-home efforts to allow an expanded population to apply for needed services from the safety and security of their homes. The PDF of the application is generated in English for the worker in NC FAST.

Hope Program

North Carolina's emergency rental assistance program has opened a second application period for very low-income renters that are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program promotes housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by providing rent and utility bill assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. To date, the program has awarded over $133 million in assistance to help more than 36,000 families statewide. For more information on the HOPE program and how to apply, please click here. 

Epass Tutorial

If you would like more information on epass and how to apply for medicaid or food and nutrition benefits, please click here.

Community Resource Booklet

DSS has identified the need for McDowell County citizens to have access to a community resource booklet to learn more information about what the county has to offer. To view the booklet, please click here.

Children Protective Services
If you have ever wondered what constitutes a child protective services report but didn't know where to look, this information is available via the manual website. To view the CPS manual, please click here.

211 Introduced in McDowell County
McDowell County residents now have access to the United Way's information line, 211. This service is free, confidential, 24-7, and available in any language. 211 is your connection to food, clothing, shelter, child care services, consumer help, counseling, crisis intervention, health care, housing, senior services, support groups and volunteer opportunities. Just pick up your phone, dial 211, and be connected to a live operator that will assist you in finding resources within the community to help you or your family.

McDowell County and Project Lazarus
McDowell County has partnered with Project Lazarus to assist in the fight of drug overdose prevention. To learn more information about this project, please visit the Project Lazarus website.





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