PURPOSE OF THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM
The Food Stamp Program is designed to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well being of the nation's population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households.
APPLYING FOR FOOD STAMPS
Anyone may apply for food stamps: eligibility criteria will be discussed during the interview process. Applications for Food Stamps are taken Monday through Friday from of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Department of Social Services, 102 Camp Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312. You may call our office at (919) 542-2759 if you have specific questions.
The information needed to determine eligibility is:
- Identification such as valid driver's license or ID card
- Social Security Cards for all members of household included in Food Stamp Program
- Verification of all income for members of household included in Food Stamp Program
- Verification of Rent or Mortgage Expenses
- Verification of Utility Expenses (electric bill, water bill, telephone bill, etc.)
- Information regarding all resources (bank accounts, 401-K, vehicles, burial plots, etc.)
- Proof of medical expenses for household members receiving Social Security Disability or age 60 and older
Additional information maybe needed and will be discussed during the interview.
The three main areas of eligibility are household size, resources and household income. Once the caseworker has determined that the household meets each of these eligibility factors, the shelter and utility expenses will be considered. Other deductions that may be allowed are childcare expenses, legally ordered child support payments and medical deductions.
APPLYING FOR BENEFITS
To apply for benefits you must complete an application either by applying at the Department of Social Services or completing an application at https://epass.nc.gov Benefits can not be issued until a face-to-face interview has been coducted by a Food Stamp caseworker. Mailing an application still requires a face-to-face nterview.
All applicants are screened for emergency benefits during the interview process. An emergency is determined by assessing the household's situation for the entire month the application was submitted. If the household is determined in need of emergency benefits they will receive their initial benefit amount within 7 days. If a household is determined ineligible for emergency benefits they will receive their benefits within 30 days of the date of application.
HOW FOOD STAMP BENEFITS ARE RECEIVED
Paper stamps or food coupons are no longer issued in North Carolina. In September 1998: Chatham County began using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) to issue benefits to eligible households. Once a household has been determined eligible, they will receive an EBT card through the mail, only one card is issued per family. The card then needs to be activated at the Chatham County Food Stamp department or by telephone. The household may then purchase food at any authorized grocery store. Once a purchase has been made the amount of the purchase is automatically deducted from their account and the remaining balance is shown on the bottom of their receipt. The monthly benefits are added to the account on the same day each month.