Can I Spend My Georgia Food Stamps in North Carolina?

The federal government oversees the food stamp program, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). As of December 2010, each state administers its own SNAP program in accordance with federal guidelines; once you receive benefits, you can use them in any state. If you are a Georgia resident, check with your local SNAP office to find out how to apply for benefits in Georgia, even if you intend to use them mainly in North Carolina.

EBT Cards

You can use the SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, debit cards that link to your food stamp and cash benefit accounts, in all 50 states. Thus, if you qualify for food stamps in Georgia and are in North Carolina for any reason, you can use your food stamp benefits there as long as you have your EBT card with you.

SNAP Program

To use food stamp benefits in another state, you must get federal food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Each state administers its own SNAP office, including developing its own SNAP application and application procedures. However, all states have to adhere to federal eligibility guidelines. If you receive state aid but are not eligible for the SNAP program, you will not be able to use those benefits in another state.

Eligibility for SNAP

Georgia residents are eligible for SNAP if their income falls below 130 percent of the federal poverty line. The income limit differs depending upon the number of people in your household and how much of your income you spend on necessary expenses such as rent and utilities. A person who spends time in North Carolina but lives in Georgia must apply for SNAP through a local office in Georgia. The SNAP website has a list of local offices in each state.

If You Move

If you move from Georgia to North Carolina, you still will be able to use your EBT card in North Carolina. However, you should contact your SNAP office in Georgia prior to moving to inform it of the move and ask what you need to do. You may need to re-apply once you have proof of your new address, as each state handles SNAP applications and procedures differently.

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