Apply for Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina and have been impacted by Hurricane Florence, you may qualify for disaster food stamps. The state has received a Major Disaster Declaration as a result of Hurricane Florence. This makes residents in the affected areas eligible for assistance from the government. In this article, we will show you how to apply for Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina and provide information on locations where you can apply in person for Food Stamps for Hurricane Florence.

"Apply for Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina"

Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina

On September 14, FEMA gave North Carolina a Major Disaster Declaration. This allowed the state to be able to offer the following assistance to individuals and households in the affected areas:

  • Disaster Food Stamps or D-SNAP
  • Individuals and Households Program
  • Crisis Counseling Program
  • Disaster Case Management
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Disaster Legal Services

What Happens Next

Now that the State of North Carolina has received a Major Disaster Declaration by FEMA, the state is eligible to offer Disaster Food Stamps. Here is what you need to know.

Apply for Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina

Once the state has announced that they have started accepting applications for disaster food stamps in the affected areas, then you are now able to apply for benefits. According to this announcement by USDA, the state is ready to provide nutrition assistance to those who are impacted by the storm. The application process is simplified for D-SNAP and benefits are issued to eligible applicants within 72 hours.

Updates on Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina

September 18, 2018
1. If you are currently on food stamps in North Carolina, you can use your EBT card to purchase hot food during the flood recovery period. Click here or here to read more.

2. If you are on food stamps in North Carolina, you are also eligible for replacement food stamps, which allows you to replace food lost as a result of Hurricane Florence.

3. If you are not on food stamps but need food assistance because you have been impacted by Hurricane Florence, you should call the NC Department of Health and Human Services customer service number at 1-800-662-7030 and find out where you can apply for Apply for Disaster Food Stamps in North Carolina.

4. For more information about Hurricane Florence, and the official response from the state of North Carolina, including updates on assistance the state and the federal government is offering to individuals and households, check out this page from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Hurricane Florence changes North Carolina Food Stamp Rules

Last Friday, Hurricane Florence devastated North Carolina leaving more than 287,000 residents without power. Many residents affected by the hurricane do not have access to food, including those on SNAP benefits. Currently, there are over 57,000 households in North Carolina that receive food stamp benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On Monday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) passed a waiver to declare that those North Carolina residents affected by Hurricane Florence can temporarily use their SNAP benefits to purchase hot and prepared food items. This waiver is an effort from the USDA to stand flexible and help meet the needs of their citizens.

Hurricane Florence SNAP Changes

Typically SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase hot or prepared food items. However, since the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence on Friday, many residents who were evacuated from their homes do not have access to cooking equipment or have the ability to store food.

North Carolina residents receiving SNAP benefits will be permitted to use their food stamps to purchase hot and prepared foods until Oct. 31 during the Hurricane Florence recovery. The waiver addresses the inability of those evacuated SNAP recipients to prepare or store food at home.

North Carolina Disaster Food Stamps

On Sept. 16, the USDA approved a second waiver that allows SNAP recipients an extended period of time to submit claims for food lost in the disaster. Households that have been affected by Hurricane Florence now have until Oct. 15 to report any food losses. Any requested replacement benefits can be used to purchase food and makeup for items lost in the storm. If you’ve lost food in the storm and would like to apply for replacement food stamp benefits, check out our post on how to apply for Disaster Food Stamps for Hurricane Florence.

The USDA has stated that they are ready to consider approving additional waivers that may be needed in order to help those SNAP households that have lost food due to the disaster. Additional waivers that are being considered by the USDA simplify the application process for affected households.

These changes made by the USDA are allowed under the disaster declaration for the state. It’s important to note that it may take up to 36 hours for these changes to go into effect. Due to a large number of power outages that remain statewide, some SNAP retailers may only accept cash at this time.

USDA updates South Carolina SNAP

On Monday at 5 p.m., the USDA also announced this temporary change for those South Carolina residents on food stamps that were affected by Hurricane Florence.

For updates regarding the Hurricane Florence recovery, stay tuned to our blog.

 

Disaster Food Stamps for Hurricane Florence

If you live in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia or Virginia and have been impacted by Hurricane Florence, you may qualify for emergency food stamps. In this article, we will show you how you can apply for disaster food stamps for Hurricane Florence (D-SNAP) and the step by step process you have to follow in order to get approved.

How Disaster Food Stamps Works

If you have survived a natural disaster and need food assistance, you may be eligible for Disaster Food Stamps or D-SNAP. However, it is important to understand how the program works:

"Disaster Food Stamps for Hurricane Florence"

Step 1

The first step is to find out if your state has received a Presidential disaster declaration of individual assistance (IA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This allows for emergency food assistance in disaster areas. If FEMA has announced a Major Disaster Declaration for your state, then your state is eligible to offer the following assistance to individuals and households, including:

  • Disaster Food Stamps or D-SNAP
  • Individuals and Households Program
  • Crisis Counseling Program
  • Disaster Case Management
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Disaster Legal Services

To find out if FEMA has a Major Disaster Declaration your area/state, click here.
As of September 18, FEMA has announced Major Disaster Declarations for North Carolina and South Carolina as shown below.

South Carolina Hurricane Florence (DR-4394)
Incident period: September 08, 2018
Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 16, 2018

North Carolina Hurricane Florence (DR-4393)
Incident period: September 07, 2018
Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 14, 2018

This means that residents in the affected areas of North Carolina and South Carolina can apply for disaster food stamps by following the instructions below:

Step 2

Once the states receive approval to operate the D-SNAP program in the affected disaster area, information is then sent out to media outlets, listing program eligibility guidelines and application process, including how to apply online or in person. There is usually a list of physical locations where you can apply for D-SNAP in person or get help applying in person. Check your local newspapers websites, TV Station websites and other local media for a list of sites where you can apply for disaster food stamps.

Step 3

The application process is simplified for D-SNAP and benefits are issued to eligible applicants within 72 hours.

Food Stamps for Hurricane Florence

Apply for Hurricane Florence Food Stamps – North Carolina
If you live in North Carolina, click here to for more information on how to apply for Disaster Food Stamps due to Hurricane Florence.

In addition, for a brief period, you can also use your EBT card to buy hot food during the Hurricane Florence recovery period. Click here for more information on that.
Apply for Hurricane Florence Food Stamps – South Carolina
If you live in South Carolina, click here to apply for Disaster Food Stamps due to Hurricane Florence.

When will FEMA make my area eligible for D-SNAP?

Click here to check the FEMA website to see if a disaster declaration has been made for your area/state. You can also see the disaster declaration map on this website. This will tell you if you are eligible to apply for food stamps for Hurricane Florence. The USDA has a map here where you can see parts of the country where they have provided responses to recent disasters and a full list here.

How to apply for disaster food stamps online

If you have survived a natural disaster such as a hurricane, wildfire, tornadoes, or flooding, you may apply for disaster food stamps or D-SNAP to help you buy food. D-SNAP is a food assistance program funded by the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered at the state level where a natural disaster has occurred. The program is meant to extend benefits to households that typically would not be eligible for food assistance, but have a sudden need because of a disaster.

"How to apply for disaster food stamps online"

Unlike regular food stamps (SNAP) where there is typically a 30-day waiting period, if you qualify for disaster food stamps, you will receive your benefits no later than seven days after you submit the application. If you are currently receiving food stamps, and have survived a natural disaster, you may apply for D-SNAP and have your current food stamps allocation increased temporarily to help you get through the post-disaster period. Here is what you need to know to apply for disaster food assistance in your area:

Disaster Food Stamps (D-SNAP) Benefit Details

  • Eligible households receive 1 month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size.
  • Benefits are issued via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at most grocery stores.
  • Benefits are issued to eligible applicants within 72 hours

How D-SNAP Works

If you have survived a natural disaster and need food assistance, it is important to understand how the disaster food stamps program works, to avoid frustration during this challenging time. There are steps your state will have to take in order to start issuing D-SNAP benefits. Here is how the program works:

Step 1

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, a state can apply to the USDA to offer disaster food stamps once the area has received a Presidential disaster declaration of individual assistance (IA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This authority comes from the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act signed into law in 1988 which allows for emergency food assistance in disaster areas.

Step 2

Once the states receive approval to operate the D-SNAP program in the affected disaster area, information is then sent out to media outlets, listing program eligibility guidelines and application process, including how to apply online or in person. There is usually a list of physical locations where you can apply for D-SNAP in person or get help applying in person. It is important to note that you CANNOT apply for disaster food stamps until your state has been approved for the program and there has been an announcement about accepting applications.

Step 3

Once your state has announced that they have started accepting applications for disaster food stamps in the affected areas, then you are now able to apply for benefits. Click here to check the FEMA website to see if a disaster declaration has been made for your area/state. You can also see the disaster declaration map on this website. The USDA has a map here where you can see parts of the country where they have provided responses to recent disasters and a full list here.

The application process is simplified for D-SNAP and benefits are issued to eligible applicants within 72 hours

How to Apply for D-SNAP

To apply for D-SNAP, you have to contact your state agency that manages your food stamps program to find out the specially designated D-SNAP application sites located in your community. Click here to contact your state’s agency responsible for Disaster Food Stamps.

Do I Qualify for D-SNAP?

If you would not normally qualify for food stamps (SNAP), you may qualify for D-SNAP if you had one of the disaster-related expenses below:

  • Home or business repairs
  • Temporary shelter expenses
  • Evacuation or relocation expenses
  • Home or business protection
  • Disaster-related personal injury, including funeral expenses
  • Lost or no access to income due to the disaster, including reduced, terminated, or delayed receipt of income, for a large part of the benefit period
  • In some cases, food loss after a disaster like flooding or power outages

If you are currently on food stamps (SNAP), you may qualify for D-SNAP if you meet the conditions below:

  • You currently get benefits that are less than the monthly maximum, and
  • You have losses from the disaster.

What You Need to Apply

The application process for Disaster Food Stamps is very simplified and approval is quicker, as compared to the regular SNAP program, which can take up to 3 months to get approved in some states. When you apply for Disaster Food Stamps, you will need the following:

  • Names, Social Security Numbers, and Dates of Birth for each household member
  • Address and County where you currently live
  • Monthly income for each household member
  • All liquid resources for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings)

To apply, click here to call your state’s SNAP hotline to find out where to apply for disaster SNAP in your area.

Below are links to select state Disaster Food Stamps Program websites:

Louisiana

Florida

Texas

Georgia

Illinois

If you have any questions about D-SNAP in general or how to apply for disaster food stamps in your own state, let us know in the comments section below. If you are having trouble applying for D-SNAP in your state, we would like to hear from you. Fill out the comment box below.

Trump to Allow Mandatory Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients

According to reports from numerous news outlets, President Trump is considering a rule that will allow states to require mandatory drug testing for Food Stamp recipients. This is part of a plan by conservatives in Congress to significantly reduce the number of people on SNAP benefits. There is a strong belief in conservative circles that most people on EBT are freeloaders who just want to live off the government while they indulge in habits such as drug addiction. The idea is that the prospect of having to be drug tested to receive food stamps will discourage a lot drug testing food stamps recipients, it will prevent these freeloaders from taking advantage of government benefits.

Food Stamps Numbers have been falling

Since Trump took office, the number of people collecting food stamps has declined by more than two million. According to this report, data released by the Department of Agriculture show that the number of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), dropped to 42,182,443 for 2017 – a decline of 2,036,920 from the 2016 total of 44,219,363. However, that’s not the full story.

Conservatives like to paint a picture that blames President Obama for the increase in people on food stamps. However, 14.7 million people were added to the food-stamp rolls during George W. Bush’s time in office. By comparison, the net gain under Obama was 13.4 million. The increase was due to the great recession, and as the unemployment rate continues to go down, it is expected that the number of people requiring food stamps will go down too. This started while President Obama was still in office, as shown by the chart below.

"Trump to Allow Mandatory Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients"

However, conservatives are frustrated that there are still too many people on food stamps, hence the introduction of the idea to drug test food stamps recipients, to further push the numbers down.

Does Drug Testing Food Stamps Recipients Save Money?

According to a report by ThinkProgress, which looked at data from seven states that implemented programs to drug test food stamps recipients – Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah — it was not worth the money spent. In fact, the report showed that those applying for food stamps in these states actually test positive at a lower rate than the drug use of the general population. The national drug use rate is 9.4 percent. In these states, however, the rate of positive drug tests to total welfare applicants ranges from 0.002 percent to 8.3 percent, but all except one have a rate below 1 percent. Therefore the millions of dollars spent by these states to drug test welfare and food stamps recipients did not bring about the level of savings that the proponents were hoping to get. The images below for the state of Oklahoma and Missouri demonstrates the point.

"Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients"

Who will be affected by Trump’s Drug Testing Plan?

President Trump’s proposal will apply mostly to food stamps applicants who are able-bodied adults without dependents, also called ABAWDs. There are currently about 4.2 million able-bodied adults without dependents receiving food stamps. If Trump’s plan is implemented, it will impact about 5% of participants in the food stamps program.

The truth of the matter is that this is really about conservatives trying to show their base that they are doing something about getting people who are lazy off the food stamps rolls. The reality is that majority of people on food stamps actually need the help. That’s because when you dig down through the data, you will find that most households receiving SNAP have a working adult in that house. Which means that they are just not making enough to be able to afford the basic necessities, including food.

What do you think about President Trump’s plan to require some food stamps recipients to go through drug testing to get their benefit? Tell us in the comments section below.

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