When an applicant is approved for North Dakota SNAP food benefits, he or she should learn about the items that can be purchased using benefits and the authorized retailers in the area. Food stamps benefits can be used on food items that contribute to the nourishment and health of the applicant and his or her family members. SNAP benefits are issued after the application has been reviewed by a Department of Human Services representative and an interview has been successfully completed. Benefits for food stamps program are calculated by the representative and the amount may be different for each applicant depending on his or her household situation and other characteristics. Upon acceptance into the SNAP program, a benefit card food stamp is issued to the beneficiary so he or she can gain access to monthly benefits. To learn more about SNAP benefits, download our guide. For a thorough overview of the North Dakota food stamps program, review the following sections.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in North Dakota
SNAP food stamps can be used to purchase food items that will assist in the preparation of meals at home for program beneficiaries and their family members. The ND food stamp benefit program is designed to encourage nutritious eating and to teach beneficiaries how to stretch their monthly food budget while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle that is conducive to productivity and success. Approved items that can be purchased with SNAP food benefits include the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products
- Grains and breads
The approved SNAP benefit food items are wholesome, satiating and provide ample nutrients. The USDA has not banned ‘junk’ or ‘luxury’ food items, so cookies, soft drinks, steak, candy and lobster can still be purchased using a SNAP benefit card. However, the Department of Human Services encourages beneficiaries to spend wisely and focus on more healthful purchases. North Dakota food stamps benefits can be used at authorized retailers who accept EBT as a form of payment. Many farmer’s markets throughout the state accept food stamp benefits and beneficiaries can find a list of approved vendors online or through a Department of Human Services representative.
Items You Cannot Buy With North Dakota SNAP Benefits
North Dakota food stamps benefits cannot be used to purchase unapproved items, including household products and toiletries. SNAP food stamps also cannot be used to buy pet supplies, cosmetics or other non-food items. Live animals or birds cannot be bought using SNAP food stamp benefits, but live seafood intended for consumption, like shrimp or crabs, are approved items. No alcohol or tobacco products can be purchased using food stamp benefits. Energy drinks that have a supplemental label instead of a nutritional label cannot be purchased with ND SNAP benefits, and holiday decorations not meant for human consumption, like gourds and small pumpkins, are ineligible for purchase with benefits. Special order cakes can be bought using North Dakota benefits for food stamps program if the inedible decorations used on the cakes make up less than half of its value. Food stamp benefit cards cannot be used to purchase hot meals or meals prepared in store to be eaten on premises, and cannot be used to make purchases at most restaurants.
How Long Does It Take to Receive North Dakota SNAP Benefits After Enrollment?
After applying for North Dakota SNAP food benefits, an office representative must review the information provided on the application for accuracy and eligibility. The food stamp benefit applicant must also attend an interview with a representative to verify all information provided on the application and present requested documentation. Once the entire application process has been completed, an applicant approved to receive SNAP benefits will get notification and an EBT card by mail.
Under certain circumstances, a SNAP benefit program applicant may be eligible to receive expedited benefits. A food stamp SNAP benefit applicant who has an extremely low income, high monthly expenses and shows an urgency for financial assistance may receive benefits within seven days of applying for the program. The rest of the SNAP benefit application process, including the interview and document submission, can be completed at a later date if a DHS representative deems the applicant eligible for expedited benefits. However, the additional application process steps must be completed in a timely manner after receiving the first payment of ND food stamps benefits so the beneficiary can maintain eligibility with the program.
North Dakota EBT Card Overview
An ND benefit card food stamp issuance occurs when an applicant is approved for the SNAP program. The SNAP food stamp benefit card works similarly to a debit card, allowing the beneficiary to pay for approved food items at an authorized retailer by using the credit card machine. The amount of SNAP benefits used during the completed transaction are deducted automatically from the beneficiary’s account balance. Monthly awarded SNAP food stamp benefits are deposited directly into the account while the applicant is eligible for the program and can be used immediately after deposit. The North Dakota food stamp card balance can be checked through a registered online account and administrative duties, like ordering a replacement card or inquiring about a transaction, can also be completed online.
Learn About North Dakota SNAP Benefit Amounts
Once a SNAP food stamp application has been submitted and reviewed, a caseworker will calculate the amount of benefits available to the applicant. Factors such as income, expenses and number household members are all used to calculate the allotment of benefits for the eligible household. North Dakota SNAP food benefits amounts will be higher for eligible applicants with low monthly income, high expenses and more household members. The food stamps benefits may be lower for applicants with less family members, more income and fewer expenses. ND food stamp program benefit amounts can fluctuate for beneficiaries when household changes occur, so these changes should be reported promptly to avoid miscalculation of benefit allotments.