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North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services is now what was formerly known as Food Stamps. This service is available for households that have limited income and resources.
One person living alone, a family, or a group of people living together and buying food together are all recognized as a household.
Paper Food Stamp coupons were replaced with a card called an Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT card). These cards can be used at any USDA retailer. Most grocery stores are USDA-authorized retailers. Continue reading to find out whether you are eligible and how to apply for Food Stamps in North Carolina.
How do I know if I qualify for food stamps in NC?
To be eligible for Food Stamps NC, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have been lawfully admitted into the U.S. if you are not a citizen. You should also live in North Carolina to benefit from the North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services.
You need to either have or have applied for a social security number, and the total gross household income should be less than the appropriate gross income limit for the household size. Your gross income is your income before taxes, or anything else is deducted.
In some cases, you and another individual or individuals will have to participate in the program as one household, even if you buy and cook your food separately.
Situations where you will be considered as one household include:
· Individuals living together also buy and/or cook their food.
· Spouses living together or individuals who represent themselves as being married to each other.
· A person under 22 years of age living with their parent.
· A person under 18 years who is also under the control of a parent living in the same house.
· Two adults who are not married but live in the same home and are parents to a mutual child.
Elderly individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for food assistance from North Carolina’s Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Find out more about SNAP benefits here.
How much help will North Carolina give me to buy food?
The amount of benefits you receive from the North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services program depends on how many people are in your household and the combined gross income of that household.
How do I apply for food stamps in NC?
You don’t need to be the head of a household to apply for Food Stamps in North Carolina. A Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) representative can do so on behalf of the unit. North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services refers to any individual or group of people who will collectively benefit from one EBT card and funds as an FNS unit.
When applying for Food Stamps in NC, you will go through the following process:
Gather identification documentation
When a representative of an FNS unit applies for food stamps, their identity and the identity of the head of the household will need to be verified. The following forms of identification are accepted:
· Birth certificate.
· Driver’s license.
· Wage stubs.
· Voter registration card.
· Work or school ID.
· ID for health benefits.
· Citizenship requirement.
· Verification of receipt of other social services programs like Medicaid or Work First Family Assistance.
Start your application
There are various ways to apply for Food Stamps NC. The online ePASS system is a secure web-based self-service tool. Here you can apply for various benefits, including Food and Nutrition Services, Energy Assistance, and Medical Assistance.
You can apply in person at your county Department of Social Services (DSS) office. To speed things along, fill out as much of the application as possible before you go.
Applications for Food Stamps can also be made by mail, or completed applications can be dropped off at your local county DSS office. You can download the application form from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
Once you have completed your application, a caseworker will interview you (or someone representing you). This is to confirm your eligibility for Food Stamps. The person who is interviewed must be an adult who is also a member of the household or recognized as an authorized representative by North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services.
Suppose you apply in person at your local Department of Social Services office. In that case, the interview will likely be conducted on the same day.
The date on which your application is received is the start date of your Food Nutrition Services application. If they find you eligible for Food Stamp benefits in the month you apply, you can start receiving them. The amount you will receive for that month depends on the date your application was received.
Suppose you are applying for Food and Nutrition Services for multiple people. In that case, you will need to provide their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and their citizenship or immigration status. This information is used to confirm your eligibility. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may be contacted to confirm the immigration status of an individual.
Not all members of a household need to apply for benefits. Individual members of a household or a group of individuals living in the same household may apply for Food Stamps even if not all the members apply. In this case, the amount of benefits received will depend on the number of individuals requesting Food and Nutrition Services.
In most cases, you will receive your Food and Nutrition Services within 30 calendar days from the date of your application. In some instances, the benefits may be expedited. In this situation, you will receive benefits within 7 calendar days. An emergency situation that justifies the acceleration of your application includes situations where:
· The household’s gross monthly income is less than $150 and the household has $100 or less in the bank
· The household’s rent, mortgage, and utilities are more than the household’s gross monthly income and cash or money in the bank
· One of the household members is a migrant or seasonal farm worker.
Find the Benefits You’re Eligible For
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Food stamps are now known as Food and Nutrition Services. This program can help households that need access to food and nutrition. To be eligible for Food Stamps benefits, all applicants must be citizens of the United States or legal immigrants living in one household.
Not all individuals living in a household need to apply for Food Stamps, but the FNS benefits received will depend on the combined gross income of all individuals who apply.
You may receive benefits for the month in which you apply. In this case, the amount you will receive depends on the date you submit your application. The sooner you apply for Food Stamps, the sooner you will receive it.