If you live in North Carolina and are struggling to meet your basic food needs, there is help available to you. The North Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance help to eligible low-income households. If you want to know how to qualify for food stamp benefits in North Carolina, this article will provide you with the North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Requirements.
This North Carolina Food Stamps Eligibility Guide will cover the requirements for fiscal year 2022.
In addition, this article will cover:
- North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Guidelines for 2022
- North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Calculator
- Food Stamps Gross and Net Income Limit
- How to Calculate Gross and Net Income for Food Stamps
- How Much Food Stamps You Could Receive in North Carolina
- North Carolina SNAP Vehicle Asset Test & Work Requirements
- How to Apply for Food Stamps in North Carolina
- What Happens After you Apply for North Carolina SNAP
NC Food Stamps Program
The USDA Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income households struggling to meet their nutritional needs.
If you are struggling to afford food, then applying for North Carolina food stamp benefits could provide your household with some much-needed relief.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps provides monthly cash benefits to eligible households in North Carolina.
Each state is responsible for distributing and managing their own food assistance program.
In North Carolina, the Food Stamps Program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) through the ePASS online portal.
Each month, NC food stamp benefits are loaded onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card.
The North Carolina EBT Card, also known as the Benefit Security Card can be used like a regular debit card to make purchases for eligible food items at approved SNAP store locations.
Households approved for the North Carolina food stamps can receive over $1,500 in benefits each month.
The amount of food stamp benefits a household gets depends on three things:
- Household income from all sources (earned and unearned) such as money you get from a job, Social Security, SSI, or child support
- How many people live in your household
- Where you live
If you want to apply for SNAP benefits in North Carolina, you must make sure you meet the North Carolina eligibility for food stamps.
There are strict eligibility guidelines that you must meet in order to receive NC food stamp benefits.
To find out if you qualify for the North Carolina Food Stamps Program, continue reading below.
North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility for 2022
To be eligible for the Food Assistance Program in North Carolina, you have to meet the eligibility requirements established by the USDA.
The North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Guidelines will help you determine if you will qualify for SNAP benefits.
Do I qualify for North Carolina Food Stamps?
To qualify for the North Carolina Food Stamps and EBT Card benefits, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Non-Citizen
- Live in the state of North Carolina
- Meet the SNAP Income Limit
In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, your household must also meet the three income and resources tests.
Income is the most important requirement when it comes to qualifying for North Carolina food stamp benefits.
SNAP Income Tests
The three tests that determine your North Carolina eligibility for food stamps include your household’s gross monthly income, net income, and assets.
We’ve provided more information about each of the three tests below:
Gross Monthly Income — is your household’s total income before any deductions. This includes money earned from work and other assistance such as unemployment, Social Security and child support.
Net Income — is your household’s total income after all allowable deductions.
Assets — is your household’s total resources that are considered available to purchase food, such as bank accounts and cash.
To learn more about each of the North Carolina SNAP eligibility tests including how to calculate them for your household, continue reading below.
North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Calculator
To help determine if you qualify for Food Stamps in North Carolina, we’ve explained each of the three SNAP eligibility tests below.
Test 1 – Gross Income Test
The first test you must meet is the gross monthly income test. This is a household’s income before any allowable deductions are applied.
The USDA requires that a household’s income must be at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for 2022.
In fiscal year 2022, the poverty line amount for an individual is $1,073. Therefore, 130 percent of that level is $1,396.
Furthermore, an individual applying for North Carolina food stamps must have a gross monthly income of $1,396 or below to qualify.
For a family of three, the poverty line is $1,830 a month. Therefore, 130 percent of that is $2,379 a month, or about $28,550 a year.
The poverty level is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.
How to Calculate Gross Income
Use the example provided below to help you calculate your household’s gross monthly income.
How to Calculate Gross Income for Food Stamps in North Carolina
|Gross Income Calculation:||Example:|
|Determine household size . . .||4 people with no elderly or disabled members.|
|Add gross monthly income . . .||$1,500 earned income + $550 social security = $2,050 gross income.|
|If gross monthly income is less than the limit for household size, determine net income.||$2,050 is less than the $2,871 allowed for a 4-person household, so determine net income.|
North Carolina SNAP Income Limit
The SNAP Income Limit Chart, also known as the North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Chart will help determine your household’s eligibility for benefits.
First, calculate your household’s gross income, then use the chart below to determine if it meets the income limit for North Carolina food stamp benefits.
What is the NC income limit for food stamps in 2022?
The North Carolina Food Stamp Income Limit Chart shows both the gross and net monthly income based on your household size. The NC Food Stamps income limit for 2022 is based on your household size.
Use the chart provided below to determine if your income qualifies:
North Carolina Food Stamp Income Limits for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Gross Monthly Income (130% of FPL)
Net Monthly Income (100% of FPL)
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$492||+$379|
Test 2 – Net Income Test
The Net Income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line for your household size.
To find out how to calculate your net income with the allowable deductions, continue reading below.
North Carolina Food Stamp Allowable Deductions
Certain deductions are allowable to be taken from the gross income to arrive at the net income amount.
The following deductions are allowed for all households depending on the living situation and expenses:
- 20 percent deduction from earned income to account for work-related expenses and payroll taxes.
- A standard deduction based on household size (see below) to account for basic unavoidable costs.
- Dependent care deduction for out-of-pocket child care or when needed for work, training, or education.
- Child support deduction for any legally obligated child support that a member of the household pays.
- Medical expense deduction for elderly or disabled household members that have incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses greater than $35 a month.
- Homeless household shelter deduction of $159.73.
- Excess shelter deduction for households with a shelter cost that exceed more than half of the household’s income. This deduction is uncapped for households with an elderly or disabled member. However, for all other households, this deduction is capped at $597 per month.
Once you have subtracted all eligible deductions from your household gross income, this will give you your monthly net income.
North Carolina SNAP Standard Deduction
The food stamps standard deduction varies based on your household size and location.
Please use the chart provided below to find the standard deduction amount for your household.
SNAP Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
|48 States & D.C.||Alaska||Guam||Hawaii||Virgin Islands|
How to Calculate Net Income
Use the example provided below to help you calculate your household’s net monthly income based on a 4-person household with a $2,050 gross income.
How to Calculate SNAP Net Income in North Carolina
|Net Income Calculation:||Example for a 4-person household:|
|Subtract 20% earned income deduction…||$2,050 gross income
$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750
|Subtract standard deduction…||$1,750 – $184 standard deduction for a 4-person household = $1,566|
|Subtract dependent care deduction…||$1,569 – $362 dependent care = $1,204|
|Subtract child support deduction…||$0|
|Subtract medical costs over $35 for elderly and disabled…||$0|
|Excess shelter deduction…||See below|
|Determine half of adjusted income…||$1,204 adjusted income/2 = $602|
|Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income…||$700 total shelter – $602 (half of income) = $98 excess shelter cost|
|Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income…||$1,204 – $98 = $1,106 net monthly income|
|Apply the net income test…||Since $1,106 is less than $2,209 allowed for a 4-person household, this household has met the income test.|
What Counts As Income?
For your SNAP application, cash from all sources will count towards your income limit including:
- Earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted)
- Unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support are all counted towards your income for food stamps purposes.
NC SNAP Net Income Limit for 2022
Once you have calculated your household’s net income, use the chart below to determine if your household meets the North Carolina food stamp income limits for 2022.
SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Monthly Net Income (100% of Federal Poverty Level)
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$379|
For more information on the North Carolina Food Stamps income requirements, check out our complete article on the North Carolina Food Stamp Income Limit for 2022.
Test 3 – Assets Test
The final test to determine if you’re eligible for food stamp benefits is the assets test. This test determines if your total household assets fall below the acceptable limit.
Households with a member who is elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled, must have assets or countable resources of $3,750 or less.
Households without an elderly or disabled member, must have assets of $2,500 or less.
What counts as an Asset?
For your application, resources that could be available to the household to purchase food are counted towards your asset limit.
- Bank accounts
- Real estate other than your home
- Income you earn from assets (like interest earned on savings and dividends you receive).
What does not count as an asset?
Certain items do not count as an asset. These are typically resources that are not accessible, such as the household’s home, personal property, and retirement savings*.
*Please note that withdrawals from these accounts may count as either income or resources depending on how often they occur.
Additionally, most automobiles do not count as an asset. However, there are special rules around vehicles. To learn more about this, continue reading below.
Do vehicles count as an asset for Food Stamps?
Vehicles count as a resource for SNAP purposes. However, most vehicles do not count towards the food stamps resources limit.
Please note that this rule varies based on the state you live in. North Carolina is responsible for determining how vehicles may count toward household resources.
Vehicles are NOT counted if they are:
- Used for Income – taxi, truck, delivery vehicle, Uber, etc.
- Annually producing income consistent with their fair market value
- Needed for long distance travel for work (other than daily commute)
- Used as the primary residence or home
- Needed to transport a physically disabled household member
- Needed to carry most of the household’s fuel or water
- If the sale of the vehicle would result in less than $1,500
Vehicles counted as resources have a fair market value that exceeds $4,650.
Licensed vehicles are also subject to an equity test, which is the fair market value less any amount owed on the vehicle.
The following vehicles are excluded from the equity test:
- One vehicle per adult household member; and
- Any other vehicle used by a household member under 18 to drive to work, school, job training, or to look for work.
For vehicles with both a fair market value over $4,650 and an equity value, the greater of the two amounts is counted as a resource.
Additionally, the equity value of unlicensed vehicles generally counts as a resource, with some exceptions.
How much will I receive in North Carolina Food Stamps?
The amount of food stamps you will receive comes down to a few major factors – your household income, household size, expenses and resources.
Household expenses include your rent or mortgage, gas, electric, water, sewer, phone, and medical expenses.
In addition, any child support or child care payments are counted as expenses.
Household resources include cash, bank account savings, and stocks.
Additionally, your monthly household income includes money earned from work, as well as payments from Social Security, Unemployment, and SSI.
All of these factors play a role in how much you will get in North Carolina food benefits each month.
In January 2022, the average monthly SNAP EBT payment per household was approximately $246.
Use the table below to find out the maximum amount of North Carolina food stamp benefits you could receive each month.
Maximum North Carolina SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment:
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$188|
To find out exactly how much you can expect to receive in North Carolina food stamp benefits each month, check out our North Carolina Food Stamps Calculator.
North Carolina Food Stamps Application Guide
There are three ways you can apply for food stamps in North Carolina – online, in-person, and by mail or fax.
For help completing your North Carolina SNAP Application for food stamp benefits, follow the instructions provided below.
North Carolina Food Stamps Application Guide
Here are the four ways you can apply for North Carolina food stamps:
Option 1: Online via ONE DHS
The first option is to apply online using the North Carolina online portal, ePASS. You can access the North Carolina website by visiting epass.nc.gov.
If this is your first time using the North Carolina ePASS online portal, you will first have to create an NCID online account.
Creating an ePASS account is quick, easy, and should only take a few minutes.
Once you have created your account, you can apply for food stamp benefits online by submitting your NC Food Stamps Application.
Option 2: In-Person at NC DSS Office
The next way to apply for food stamps in North Carolina is in-person at your local county Department of Social Services (DSS) office.
Click here for a full list of North Carolina DSS Office locations.
Option 3: By Phone
If you do not have access to a computer or transportation, you can also submit your NC SNAP Application by phone.
To apply for North Carolina food stamps by phone, please call 866-719-0141. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, please call Relay Services by dialing 7-1-1 on your phone.
You will be walked through the steps on how to apply for benefits by phone.
Option 4: By Mail
The last option for completing your North Carolina SNAP Application is by mail. In order to complete your application by mail, you must download the North Carolina SNAP Application online.
To apply for North Carolina food stamps by mail, click here to download the North Carolina Food Stamps Application.
Once completed, you can upload your North Carolina SNAP Application online or mail the completed application to the Family Assistance Department of Human Services.
Click here to upload your North Carolina SNAP Application online.
To submit your North Carolina Food Stamps Application by mail, send it to your local NC DSS office.
Be sure to include copies of any requested verification documentation with your North Carolina Food Stamps Application.
What you Need to Apply for North Carolina SNAP
Before you apply for NC food stamp benefits, it’s important that you gather all the necessary documents needed to complete your application.
Here is a list of information you will need to complete your North Carolina SNAP Application:
- Social Security Number (SSN) or proof that you’ve applied for one
- Identity and Date of Birth (DOB) such as a Driver’s License or State ID
- Income information such as pay stubs, tax records, or child support notices
- Resource or asset information such bank accounts (checking, savings accounts), vehicles, homes, land or life insurance
- Housing expenses such as rent and utilities
- Any child care or dependent care costs
- Child support you pay for children not living with you
- Medical expenses (including prescriptions) for those with disabilities or 60+ years old
- Health Insurance information
Once you have gathered this information, you can now begin your North Carolina Food Stamps Application.
Please note, the DSS may verify the information you provide by contacting other people or agencies.
In addition, your local DSS may ask you to provide other documents.
If you need help getting any documents, be sure to tell your SNAP caseworker.
What Happens After you Apply for North Carolina Food Stamp Benefits
After you apply for food stamps in North Carolina, you must complete an interview with your assigned caseworker at your local county North Carolina DSS office.
Your interview may be in-person, over the phone or by video conference. You will receive a letter in the mail with more information regarding your food stamps interview
However, if you choose to drop off your NC SNAP Application to your local DSS office, you may be asked to stay and complete your interview the day of.
If you are elderly or physically unable to travel for a face-to-face interview, please let your DSS caseworker know and they can make accommodations for you.
During the interview, you will be required to provide verification of your income and expenses.
How long will it take to receive North Carolina Food Stamp benefits?
If your North Carolina SNAP Application is approved, you will start receiving benefits within 30 days from the date you submitted your application.
In addition, once you are approved for North Carolina food stamp benefits, you will receive a North Carolina Benefit Security EBT Card in the mail.
An EBT Card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card is similar to a bank debit card.
You will use the North Carolina EBT Card to access your monthly food stamp benefits. Benefits can be used at local grocery stores and select online retailers.
What day will my North Carolina food stamps be deposited into my EBT Card account?
Your NC food stamp benefits will be deposited onto your North Carolina EBT Card at 6am on your assigned day between the 3rd and the 21st of each month.
The North Carolina EBT Deposit Schedule is based on the last-digit of your Social Security Number (SSN).
Use the chart below to find out your NC EBT Deposit Date:
|If your SSN ends in:||Your benefits will be available after 6am on the:|
|1||3rd of every month|
|2||5th of every month|
|3||7th of every month|
|4||9th of every month|
|5||11th of every month|
|6||13th of every month|
|7||15th of every month|
|8||17th of every month|
|9||19th of every month|
|0||21st of every month|
If you do not have a Social Security Number, your SNAP benefits will be deposited on the third day of every month.
North Carolina Emergency Food Help
If you are facing a life-threatening situation and need immediate help with food, there is assistance available to you.
The Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (EFAP) provides food Banks, soup kitchens, drug and alcohol rehab centers, and violence prevention shelters for women and children with food to assist those facing a life-threatening situation.
Low income and elderly North Carolina residents can get immediate access to help with nutritious meals at no cost by visiting one of the centers listed above.
To locate a participating North Carolina food bank, food pantry, soup kitchen or another feeding site near you, visit the Feeding America website.
In addition, if your household has $100 or less in total resources and a monthly income less than $150, you can qualify for Expedited Food Assistance in North Carolina.
To apply for Expedited SNAP benefits in North Carolina, visit or contact a North Carolina DSS location near you.
North Carolina Food Stamps Customer Service Information
For additional help completing your North Carolina Food Stamps Application, contact your local county assistance NC DSS office.
You can contact the North Carolina Food Stamps Customer Service phone number by calling them at 1-866-719-0141.
Additionally, you can contact the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-662-7030.
Customer Service representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday.
North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Questions
We hope our post on the North Carolina Food Stamp Eligibility Guidelines for 2022 was helpful to you!
If you need additional help determining your eligibility for food stamps in North Carolina, please let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, we encourage you to please share it with someone using the “Share this” button below.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our other articles on North Carolina Food Stamps and EBT:
How much food stamps will I receive in NC?
NC Food Stamp Income Limits for 2022
Extra Food Stamps in North Carolina
Sprouts Market Now Accepts EBT – Including Online