Newton, NC – To help support social distancing, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) has made it easier for residents to apply online for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services (also known as food stamps) benefits.

North Carolina’s online application portal, ePASS, now offers new and updated features to simplify the online application process and make it more mobile-friendly. The application can be accessed from any computer or mobile device at

Updated features include:

· Improved look and feel making navigation easier on mobile devices
· Fewer questions and enabling applicants to only answer questions applicable to them
· Personalized dashboards with important account information and notifications
· Guidance placed throughout the site based on frequently asked questions
· Ability to attach documents easily
· Links to relevant program information
· Links to paper applications and voter registration

The system upgrade has not affected pending applications.

Applications are also still accepted in person Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Catawba County Social Services, 3030 11th Avenue Dr. SE, Hickory. For more information, contact Catawba County Social Services at (828) 695-5600.