In response to Hurricane Dorian, NC food stamps came early (9/7) for people who normally get them between 9/9 and 9/21. October food stamps will also come early for some. Learn more.
The fresh guide to EBT in North Carolina:
food stamp (SNAP) eligibility.

Food stamp eligibility is complicated, and the rules change often. This page is a good starting point, but the best way to find out if you’re eligible for food stamps is to apply for them.

If you have a general question that we haven’t answered here, let us know.

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Do I qualify for food stamps?
To figure out if you qualify for food stamps, North Carolina needs to know your:

  • Household size: How many people you live and buy/make food with.
  • Income: How much money your household makes. This includes both earned income (the money you make from jobs) and unearned income (cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support, etc.).
Who counts as a member of my household?

Anyone you live and buy/make food with counts a member of your household.

You may live with people who don’t count as household members, like tenants who are renting a room, or adult children (22+) who buy/make their own food.

Children (under 22) always count as household members, even if they buy/make their own food.

Elderly (60+) and disabled people count as household members if you buy/make food for them, or you buy/make food together. If they live with you but buy/make food separately, they do not count as household members.

What’s the income limit for food stamps?

Use the chart below to find out whether your household makes less than the gross monthly income limit.

Net income factors in deductions and taxes, which is a complicated process. So, if your household income is under the gross limit, you should apply to figure out whether it’s within the net limit.

Effective from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020.

Household sizeGross monthly income limit*Net monthly income limitMax benefit
Each additional member➕ $737➕ $360➕ $146

* If your household includes an elderly (60+) or disabled person, a higher gross income might still qualify.

Can I get food stamps if I’m unemployed?

North Carolina has these ABAWD requirements at the moment, but this could change.

Call your local office or the North Carolina SNAP hotline to double check: 1-800-662-7030.

Parts of North Carolina do not have these ABAWD requirements at the moment.

Call your local office or the North Carolina SNAP hotline to find out about your county: 1-800-662-7030.

Can I get food stamps if I have a drug felony conviction?

Yes. If you’re eligible for food stamps, North Carolina won’t disqualify you because of a drug felony.

You might face a temporary disqualification period when you’re released. You might also have to join a treatment program. Call your local office or the North Carolina SNAP hotline to learn more: 1-800-662-7030.

Can I get food stamps if I’m not a citizen?

Non-citizens who have qualified alien immigration status are eligible for food stamps.

Qualified aliens include refugees, victims of trafficking, Cuban and Haitian immigrants, Iraqi and Afghan immigrants with special status, and more.

Can I get food stamps if I’m homeless?
Yes. You do not need a mailing address or housing to apply for food stamps. If you’re currently living in a shelter that gives you free meals, you can still apply for food stamps.
Can I get more food stamps if I’m pregnant or a new parent?

Once your child is born, your household size will increase. More household members = more benefits.

While you are pregnant, you can’t get more food stamps, but you can apply for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits.

WIC provides food and resources for pregnant women, new parents, and children up to 5 years old.

Am I eligible for other benefits?
Check out this benefit finder tool and find out.
Though the information on this page is government-supplied, Fresh EBT is not part of the government, so we can’t guarantee its accuracy. If you have questions about your specific case, contact your caseworker or local SNAP or human services office.