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Department of Social Services
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Program Areas: CCDSS Information Addition Information & Resources  
Food and Nutrition Services Program &
Electronic Benefits Transfer

Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I apply for the Food and Nutrition Services Program?

 To apply for benefits, or for information about the Food and Nutrition Services Program, contact your local food stamp office at Cumberland County Department of Social Services, (910) 323-1540 between the hours of 7:30 - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.  We are located at 1225 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC  28302. Please provide the following information at the time of application: Some form of Identification, the telephone number of your landlord and rent receipt if renting. Verification of your resources; such as automobile, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.; mortgage payment and property taxes, income for the previous month you apply, and your utility bills.  Other information will be asked for if needed during the interview process.

2. What is the income limit to qualify for Food and Nutrition Services?

Households have to meet income tests unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or in some places general assistance. Most households must meet both the gross and net income tests, but a household with an elderly person or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments only has to meet the net income test. Households, except those noted, that have income over the amounts listed below cannot get Food and Nutrition Services. For the income limit, please click on the INCOME CHART.

3. What is Electronic Benefit Transfer?

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is the technological structure that changes the delivery system for food stamp benefits from a paper-based system to an electronic system. All qualified food stamp households will receive a plastic magnetic stripe card, much like a bank debit card, to use to make food purchases at U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) authorized stores.

4. How does EBT work?

Once eligibility and level of benefits have been determined, an account is established in the participant's name, and food stamp benefits are deposited electronically in the account each month. A plastic card, similar to a bank card, is issued and a personal identification number (PIN) is chosen by the recipient to give access to the account. Recipients may change their PIN number at any time. EBT Training classes are provided for first time users and ongoing training is recommended if they have any problems accessing the system.

5. What can I purchase with my new EBT card?

Households can use food stamp benefits to buy any food or food product for human consumption, and seeds and plants to produce food.. Households cannot use  food  stamp benefits to buy:

  •         Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
  •         Vitamins or medicines
  •         Pet foods
  •         Any non-food items (such as soaps, paper products, laundry products, grooming items, and cosmetics)
  •         Hot Food - food prepared in a restaurant or a deli at grocery stores
6. If I don't use all my Food and Nutrition Services at the end of the month, will I lose the remaining amount not spent?

No. Any benefits remaining at the end of the month will be carried over to the next month. Benefits will remain in an EBT account for 365 days.  However, benefits should be used on a monthly basis. If no benefits are used in a 30 to 60 day period, the household will receive a letter reminding them of their unused benefits and to contact the Department's EBT Section. Benefits will be expunged on the 365th day from the last debit date in the account or when the last credit was made to the account.  Whichever is applicable.


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Late Update: 11/15/2006 Email Webmaster  ::  Disclaimer  ::  Contact Us