The North Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a benefit that helps low-income families and individuals pay for their monthly groceries. The SNAP program in ND is administered locally by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In order to start receiving SNAP food stamps, you must have a low income, limited resources and meet a variety of basic program requirements. As such, you may apply for food stamps through the DHS if you believe that you meet the eligibility criteria. If you are awarded benefits, you will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card that you may use to purchase eligible food items at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other establishments that accept these funds. Read below to learn the basics of qualifying and applying for benefits.
Learn About North Dakota Food Stamps Requirements
Your food stamps eligibility in North Dakota is based on factors such as your income, family size and legal presence in the U.S. If you are not a senior and do not have a disability, you must meet other criteria in order to qualify, such as the program’s work requirements.
One of the most important food stamp qualifications is that your household must have limited income and financial resources. By definition, income includes earnings that come through your employment or other services, while resources are assets such as bank accounts, savings bonds or cash you have on hand.
When it comes to the SNAP income guidelines, the limits vary based on your household size. Therefore, it is important to understand who counts as a household member. As a general rule, all residents who live and share meals together are included in one household. When determining your eligibility for benefits, you must consider the income of each person who meets this definition. Moreover, note that your household members do not necessarily need to be related to one another.
SNAP food stamps are only available to U.S. citizens and legal residents. A household may qualify for assistance if certain members of the family are legally present, even if others are not. In such cases, the total amount of assistance granted will generally be based on the number of legally-present family members residing in the home.
If you are between 18 and 59 years of age and want to receive SNAP assistance in North Dakota, you may be required to register for work through this program, or that you meet other work expectations. However, you may be exempt from these requirements if you have a disability or meet other criteria. Download our free guide to learn more about food stamp requirements.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in North Dakota
You may submit a North Dakota food stamp application to the DHS using several different methods. It is typically easier to apply for food stamps online using the official state portal. If you choose this method, your form will be forwarded to the correct county agency that can assist you.
Note that the online application can be used to apply for more than one type of benefit, such as SNAP, Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). However, if you apply for SNAP along with other benefits, keep in mind that some services do not have an online application available.
If you decide to apply for food stamps using a paper form, you can print a PDF version of the application from the DHS website. Alternatively, paper forms may be picked up from county social services offices or requested through the mail. The paper application includes the same types of information as the online version.
Once your paper application is properly filled out, it may be dropped off at your county’s social service office in person. You may also send your application to the county office in your area by mail. In any case, keep in mind that applications are processed at the county level, so you will need to deliver your form to the correct office.
When you apply for food stamps in North Dakota, you may need to provide a variety of documentation that backs up the information on the application form. For example, you may need to submit paystubs or bank statements to verify your income and financial resources.
In most cases, you will also need to confirm the details of your application in an interview. Interviews may be conducted over the phone or in person, depending on the options offered by your local social service office.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in North Dakota
You will receive a determination regarding your food stamp benefits no longer than a month after you apply. By law, the DHS is required to provide a written decision within this timeframe, notifying you of your approval or denial. This letter will also contain the details on your benefit amount and the length of time that you qualify to receive assistance.
The amount of SNAP benefits you receive will vary depending on your family size, income and financial resources. Moreover, the length of your benefits period depends on individual circumstances. In any case, you will usually only receive benefits for up to one year before you need to recertify your eligibility. Keep in mind that any changes to your eligibility factors may affect the amount of benefits that you qualify to receive. As such, you may lose your benefits if you no longer qualify.
North Dakota SNAP food benefits may be used to purchase a variety of items at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and superstores. In general, you may buy the following types of food:
- Meat, fish and poultry.
- Bread, grains and cereal.
- Fruits and veggies.
- Dairy products and non-dairy alternatives.
- Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
Food stamp benefits cannot be used to withdraw cash or get cash back with a purchase. Furthermore, you cannot buy prohibited items such as alcohol, tobacco, household supplies and other non-food items. Download our free guide to learn more about how to use your benefits.
Name: Department of Human Services, Economic Assistance Policy Division
Phone Number: (701) 328-2332
Address: 600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept. 325 Bismarck, ND 58505
Director: Christopher D. Jones
Last Updated: February 27, 2023