The North Carolina food stamps eligibility requirements are designed to ensure that benefits go to the state residents who legitimately need financial assistance. Thus, be mindful that not all families are eligible for food stamps. Instead, only low-income applicants who meet the program’s citizenship, income and asset criteria can receive benefits. Individuals interested in applying for benefits should check the SNAP eligibility requirements prior to starting the application process.
Therefore, before you submit an application, make sure that you meet the food stamp qualifications in NC. Reviewing these criteria can give you an idea of whether you may be eligible for benefits. In any case, the best way to confirm your eligibility is to submit an application. The sections below go over SNAP eligibility requirements. To learn more about qualifying for SNAP benefits, download our free guide.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in North Carolina
In order to meet the requirements for SNAP eligibility in North Carolina, household members must be residents of the state and U.S. citizens or immigrants with qualifying immigration status. Therefore, be mindful that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for these benefits. Qualifying statuses for immigrants include, but are not limited to:
- Immigrants admitted as trafficking victims
- Immigrants admitted as asylum seekers
- Cuban or Haitian immigrants admitted under the Refugee Education Assistance Act
- Certain Iraqi and Afghan immigrants admitted under Section 101(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
- Certain American Indians board abroad
- Hmong or Highland Laotian immigrants admitted through helping the U.S. military in the Vietnam War
- Elderly immigrants born before Aug. 22, 1931, who were legally in the U.S. by Aug. 22, 1996
- Lawful permanent residents who receive benefits due to disability or blindness
- Lawful permanent residents who served in the military, along with their spouses and children
In general, an immigrant must qualify for or already have a Social Security number (SSN) in order to qualify for food stamps. However, a household with immigrants that do not qualify for benefits may still receive some benefits.
If certain members of the household qualify and some do not, the household can receive benefits for the qualifying members. However, be mindful that the household will not receive funding to cover groceries for the non-qualifying members.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in North Carolina?
In order to receive food benefits in North Carolina, you must meet the SNAP income guidelines. Generally, your income should be no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL). In some cases, you can qualify if your household income reaches 200 percent of the FPL. When you file an application, state SNAP agents will determine which category you fall into.
The income requirements for food stamps are based on a household’s gross income, which means income is calculated before taxes are paid. As such, keep in mind that this is not based on take-home pay.
If your gross income limit is 130 percent of the FPL, you should not earn more than $1,473 per month in a single-person household to meet the food stamp income guidelines. The income limit increases with each additional family member, so, for instance, your income cannot be more than $2,495 if there are three people in your household.
If your income limit is 200 percent of the FPL, you cannot earn more than $2,266 per month in a single-person household in order to meet the SNAP income guidelines. Again, this threshold is higher in households with more qualifying members. For example, a monthly gross income of $3,840 is the limit for a household of three people. These amounts are subject to change annually.
Additionally, when you calculate your total income to determine if you meet the SNAP guidelines, you must take into account all forms of income. This includes not only wages from employment but also benefits such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), alimony, child support and more.
You can check North Carolina’s food stamp income chart to determine what the income requirements are for your household size and composition. You can also calculate the income requirement by taking the base limit and adding it up based on the number of members in your household. However, the best way to determine if you meet the eligibility guidelines is to submit an application and receive an official determination.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in North Carolina
Along with income and citizenship requirements, North Carolina residents must also meet the other food stamp qualifications in order to receive benefits. For example, residents must keep in mind who counts as part of a household when submitting an application. In general, residents are considered part of the same household if:
- They live together and purchase and prepare food together.
- Spouses live together or individuals present themselves as a married couple.
- They are 22 years of age or younger and living with a parent.
- They are living in the same house and unmarried but raising a child together.
Along with the household definition, SNAP eligibility also takes into account someone’s resources and assets. When submitting a SNAP application, individuals must list all assets for all household members on the form.
Generally, a household should not have more than $2,750 in countable resources. Alternatively, a household that includes a person with disabilities or a person who is 60 years of age or older can have up to $4,250 in countable resources.
In general, land, buildings and homes are not included when calculating available assets. Other sources of funds excluded from your countable assets include retirement funds and certain trust funds. To learn more about food stamp qualifications in North Carolina, download our free guide.
How do you maintain your food stamps in North Carolina?
Once the state determines that you qualify for food stamps in NC, you will begin receiving your benefits every month. On the other hand, it is possible to lose your benefits based on your income or activity. For example, if your job offers you a raise and you earn more than the income limit allows each month, you will lose your food stamp benefits or receive a lower total amount of benefits.
If a non-working household member moves out and the combined income of your remaining household members exceeds the SNAP eligibility guidelines, you also risk losing your benefits. Additionally, if your combined assets exceed the SNAP eligibility asset requirement, you may lose your benefits.
In the event that the state determines that you lied or provided inaccurate information on your SNAP application, you could lose the SNAP benefits you were previously approved for. Additionally, if you are convicted of certain charges, such as selling your SNAP benefits for any reason, you could be removed from the program. If you have work rules in place and you do not meet them or falsify work records, you could also lose your benefits.
Last Updated: February 24, 2023