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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me if I'm eligible for Medicaid? Read our eligibility summary for Medicaid in North Carolina. A trip to your local department of social services is the best way to determine your eligibility.

How can I get a copy of my birth certificate (or a marriage, divorce, or death certificate)? Visit our Vital Records web site.

How do I report suspected child abuse? If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, or if you think a child may have died from being mistreated, you must report what you know to the county Department of Social Services. Need to know more? Here is more information on detecting abuse and neglect.

How do I report fraud and abuse of public programs? For any program managed by N.C. DHHS, you can call 1-800-662-7030. More information and contacts for reporting Medicaid fraud. More information on reporting fraud or abuse of other public assistance programs.

What is the legal age when a child may be left home alone? Although there is no age specified in juvenile code that addresses the age a child may be left home alone, North Carolina fire code (G.S. § 14-318) states that a child under the age of eight shall not be left alone without appropriate supervision due to the risk of danger by fire.  Parents and caretakers must look at the child's maturity, the safety of the community, and access to emergency assistance. A child may be mature enough to stay alone, but not to care for younger siblings. If you are concerned that a child is left alone and is unsafe, call your county department of social services.

How do I check to see if there have been complaints made against my doctor? The N.C. Medical Board can tell you if a licensed doctor has been disciplined by the Board. Call them at 919-326-1100.

I'm a working parent who can't afford health insurance for my children. Can you help? NC Health Choice for Children is comprehensive health insurance that covers everything from well-child checkups to hospitalization. It is designed for working parents, such as contract employees, day care and nursing home workers, state employees and entrepreneurs who work hard, but who can't afford private insurance.

How do I choose a nursing home or adult care home? Our Division of Aging and Adult Services has lots of good information, including a FAQ for older adults. Our Division of Health Service Regulation has a star rating system for adult care homes. For nursing homes, check out the a federal Nursing Home Compare website.

How can I find what child care is available in my neighborhood and find out whether it's good quality care? The Resources in Child Care database includes every regulated child care center or home in the state. You can search for child care by county, by city or by zip code and get information about their state license, the capacity of the facility, and whether the center or home is approved to participate in subsidized child care.

Where do I complain about an unsanitary restaurant or hotel/motel? Food and lodging sanitation, as well as other environmental health issues such as the safety of the water supply and swimming pools, are handled by the Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section. If you are concerned about an unsanitary restaurant or hotel/motel, you may contact Environmental Health’s Food Protection Branch or your local health department. Your local health department will typically handle a restaurant or hotel sanitation complaint because it is the agency that conducts the inspection.

Where do I get a work permit for my teenager? The NC Department of Labor describes the process of getting a youth employment certificate.

How do I get listed as a nurse aide? The Health Care Personnel Registry Section of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services certifies nurse aides. For more information call (919) 855-3969, or (919) 855-3970 or go to their web site, www.ncnar.org. To get certified, you must have successfully completed either a state-approved Nurse Aide I training and competency evaluation program, or successfully passed a state-approved competency evaluation program through a state-approved program.

How do I check on the listing of a nurse aide applying for a job in my health care facility? There are three options: [1] You may telephone the North Carolina Nurse Aide I and Health Care Personnel Registry voice response system, (919) 715-0562. You must be prepared to provide the Social Security number of the individual you are checking. The telephone system operates 24/7. [2] You may use the N.C. Health Care Personnel Registry Internet web site, www.ncnar.org. The site requires entry of a valid Social Security number to check the status of an individual. [3] You may contact the Health Care Personnel Registry Office directly, work days from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1-3 p.m. EST, M-F, (919) 715-0562.

Who licenses doctors and other professionals in North Carolina? Professional examining and licensing boards are not a part of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. We've listed the ones that our readers might be interested in.