In order to apply for food stamps in North Carolina, families must submit various documents and provide information about all of the members in a household. Filling out a food stamp application inaccurately can result in denial or dismissal from the program. However, it can be confusing for individuals to figure out who counts as a member of the household and what information should be gathered ahead of time. Additionally, this process varies slightly depending on which application method is chosen.
NC residents can apply for SNAP online, in person or by mail, depending on their preferences and circumstances. They may also be able to submit an application by fax. While the application steps may differ slightly depending on the chosen method, the required information and documentation remains the same. The sections below go over how to submit an application online, by mail and in person, as well as what documents must be provided and what to do in the event of a denial. To learn more about how to sign up for food stamps in North Carolina, download our free guide.
What do you need to apply for food stamps in North Carolina?
When you apply for food stamps in North Carolina, you must provide detailed information about all members of the household who will receive benefits. Thus, you should have the following information on hand for all household members who wish to receive benefits:
- Birth dates
- Social Security numbers (SSNs)
- Income sources
- All assets
- Residential history
- Criminal history
- Employment history
- Household expenses
After submitting your food stamp application in NC, you must submit documentation to prove some of the information provided. This includes, but is not limited to, proof of citizenship or legal immigration, proof of income and proof of household expenses. For example, if you pay for daycare for a child, you should supply a child care contract or proof of payment.
Applying for Food Stamps Online in North Carolina
North Carolina allows you to apply for food stamps online through the official state portal. To submit a food stamp application online, you must create an account in the system (if you do not have one already).
While you may submit an application without creating an account, you are encouraged to create one. That is because, with your account, you may easily monitor your status and apply for other benefits as well. It also allows you to complete part of the application form and return to it later. Overall, when you apply for SNAP online, the system will screen you to determine if you are also eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
When you apply for food stamps online, you must fill out the form and provide all the required information. It is important to complete the form accurately and check it over for any mistakes, as there are several pages in the application.
If you are not sure that you can complete the entire application in one sitting, you should create an account with the official state portal before you apply. This will save your food stamp application online so you can return to it and finish completing it later.
Submitting a North Carolina Food Stamp Application by Mail
You have the option to apply for food stamps in North Carolina either by mail or by fax. To do so, you must print out a physical copy of the food stamp application and complete it thoroughly. Some questions are mandatory, while others are suggested.
All in all, the food stamp application form is 10 pages long. Make sure to read the questions on each page carefully and gather information from your household members about income and expenses. It is important to provide accurate information, ensuring that numbers and dates are correct when you write them down.
Once your food stamp application form is properly filled out, you must submit it to your local county Department of Social Services (DSS) office. You can also fax it to the office if you prefer. In any case, make sure to research the mailing address or fax number of your local DSS office in order to apply for SNAP benefits successfully.
Applying for SNAP In-Person in North Carolina
North Carolina residents also have the option to apply for food stamps in person, which is a similar process to applying by mail. Residents must print out and complete the food stamp application in full, and as accurately as possible. Once the form is complete, applicants need to locate their nearest DSS office and bring it in.
In some cases, applicants may sit down for an interview with a caseworker immediately after they come in and drop off the form. In the event that the applicant is not available for an interview due to a busy schedule, the DSS office will schedule an interview at a future date. To learn more about applying for food stamps in North Carolina, download our free guide.
Checking Your SNAP Application Status in North Carolina
If you have applied online, you can check your SNAP application status by logging into your account with the official state portal. To check your application in person or by phone, you can visit or contact your local DSS office. In some cases, you may not be able to check your food stamp application in NC.
North Carolina Food Stamps Interview Process
After you submit your food stamp application, you will need to undergo a food stamp interview with a DSS caseworker. The worker will go over the details of your application and collect any additional documents if required. Additionally, when you apply for SNAP, you give the DSS permission to interview your landlord, employer, bank and other relevant individuals and institutions to confirm the information on your application.
When you apply for SNAP in person, you have the opportunity to complete a food stamp interview right away. However, you can also schedule your interview for later. On a county-by-county basis, you may have the opportunity to request a food stamp phone interview instead.
About SNAP Recertification in North Carolina
In order to maintain your eligibility for benefits, you must perform a SNAP recertification interview on an annual basis. Overall, the food stamp renewal interview can be completed in person or by phone, depending on your preference. On the other hand, you cannot renew food stamps online in North Carolina.
In some cases, all you need to do to complete SNAP recertification is submit a recertification document by mail. However, you may be required to complete an interview. In some instances, you may receive an additional form requesting missing information that must be sent in before you can complete SNAP recertification.
About Appealing a Food Stamps Denial in North Carolina
If your application for food stamps is denied, you can contest the decision within 90 calendar days. You must ask for a hearing within the 90-day deadline in order to challenge your denial. If you miss the 90-day window, you cannot argue against the denial.
When you appeal a food stamps denial, you must attend a meeting and argue your case. You can have a household member, friend, relative or lawyer represent you at a hearing to argue on your behalf. Additionally, you may be eligible for free legal aid through the Legal Aid of North Carolina office.
If you are not satisfied with the food stamps appeal process or feel you have been discriminated against, you can submit a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This complaint may be submitted by mail, fax or email, depending on your preference.
Last Updated: February 27, 2023