History & Mission

The Benefit Bank of North Carolina (TBB™-NC) is a project of MDC, a nonprofit based in Durham, N.C.  Since 1967, MDC has helped communities close the gaps that separate people from opportunity through initiatives that connect people to education, employment, and greater economic security.

With the aim of replicating the success of The Ohio Benefit Bank, a public-private partnership of the Ohio Governor’s Office and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, MDC started the Works Supports Initiative to replicate the most successful grassroots outreach effort nationwide. Using the same online expert service, TBB-NC connects low-income North Carolinians with the nutritional, health, and financial supports for which they are eligible under existing programs. Trained counselors, located at community-based sites, assist clients in completing and filing the necessary forms and paperwork in order to claim the supports.

In its first two years of operations, TBB-NC has established sites across 76 of the state’s 100 counties  and likely generated millions of dollars worth of economic impacts in local communities. Research shows that the impact of claiming these supports extends beyond the immediate monetary value to the client. Clients who claim these supports generally have higher rates of employment, education, and welfare-to-work and decreased rates of poverty and homelessness. Learn more about the impact of the TBB-NC Network on the Our Impact page.

TBB-NC also offers counselor-assisted and Self-Serve options for federal and state tax returns, student financial aid, and soon the full array of benefit applications including veterans’ education and training benefits. The full list of supported programs is listed below.

Federal and state income tax returns, necessary to claim the:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • American Opportunity Education Tax Credit
  • First-time homebuyer credit

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), necessary to claim:

  • Pell Grants and Perkins and Stafford Loans
  • Work-study opportunities
  • All state and most school-funded scholarships and grants

Forms for other work supports, including those necessary to claim:

  • Food and Nutrition Services (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Health Choice for Children (CHIP)
  • Medicaid
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (Crisis Assistance)


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