Food stamps are a wonderful benefit for those who qualify. If there are times when you are finding yourself in the predicament of deciding whether to pay the energy bill or buy groceries for the week, you should take the time to research the eligibility requirements for food stamps. If you are in North Carolina, check out the NC food stamps website for information on how to apply for food stamps. Visit this pageto find out where the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) office is located in your county.
The most difficult part of applying for food stamps is finding the time. If you can go to the website, print out the necessary forms, and fill them out beforehand, that is half the battle. You will need certain documents to verify the information you have listed on the application. These are the basic documents you will need – but verify with your local Department of Social Services to ensure you have gathered all of the documents they require:
Drivers license and social security card (or some other official document with your name and social security number on it).
Your last two months of paychecks. If your check is usually the same, sometimes just one month will be accepted, but try to provide at least two.
Proof of your daycare/after school care expenses.
Proof of utility bills in your name.
You can make the process easier on yourself by keeping your documents organized. As you fill out your application, make note of the sections and what documentation may be required for your personal answers.
Next, you must go to the DSS office. Unfortunately, there is no “good” time to go stand in line. Regardless of the day of the week or time of day, you will be waiting in line and it will be crowded. If you have kids, you may want to try to find a babysitter or bring a book to keep them occupied if you have to bring them with you. Please be patient while you are there; remember the specialists are there to help and can only work so fast! They are excellent in answering questions of all types or at least giving you a number to the department you should be contacting.
After this line, you will then move to a different area (with chairs this time) to wait for your assigned case worker to call your name for an interview. This interview is not bad and they are just going over your application, so no need to be nervous! As a side note, if you are interested in any other services such as WIC, Medicaid, help with child support, housing, or daycare, your case worker usually can steer you in the right direction.
Food stamps are now issued as an EBT card, which works exactly as a debit card. It makes paying fast and easy. And the icing on the cake is that most grocery stores have an option for EBT/Food stamps, for those who need the help but are a little embarrassed.