Food Stamp Program FAQs

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamp Program) Frequently Asked Questions.

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Who can apply for programs or services?

Anyone may apply for assistance. Eligible applicants will ordinarily reside in North Dakota. For additional information, please refer to the Brochure (3.12 Mb pdf).

Where do I apply for programs and services?

Contact your local human service zone office (formerly known as county social service office). For local contact information, click on the county closest to your home on the locator map. You may also view the Application for Assistance. Completing the application before visiting your local human service zone office may shorten the time it takes to determine if you qualify for benefits.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions prior to applying for programs or services?

Human service zone office staff can help you complete the application and answer any questions you have about the program.

Who has access to my information if I apply for programs or services?

The Department of Human Services must follow federal and state laws on privacy. Only those individuals whose jobs require them to view your personal information in order to administer the programs or to process payments have access to your information. Department of Human Services staff and human service zone office staff are bound by strict confidentiality rules that do not allow unauthorized disclosure of your personal information.

Are other programs or services available?

The Department of Human Services provides a wide range of programs and services. You can return to the Financial Help page to review other programs that may be available to assist with your financial needs.

Will there be any cost to me for programs or services?

There is no cost to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Do I qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?

Eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is based on financial and non-financial eligibility requirements. Contact your local human service zone office for further information and to obtain an application.

How do I use my EBT card?
  • Step 1: Before you shop, check your balance by calling the EBT Customer Service Helpline located on the back of your EBT card. You cannot spend more than this balance.
  • Step 2: Choose your groceries and go to an EBT check-out lane. (Stores will have EBT signs.)
  • Step 3: Either hand your Dakota EBT card to the clerk/cashier or slide the card through the machine.
  • Step 4: Enter your 4-digit confidential PIN on the keypad. The machine will show (****).
  • Step 5: Press the Enter key.
  • Step 6: You will get a copy of a printed receipt showing the last four digits of your EBT card number, store location, date and time of purchase, amount of your purchase and remaining balance in your EBT account.
  • Step 7: Make sure the purchase amount is correct.
  • Step 8: Keep your receipt so that you will know your EBT account balance.

EBT sample cardSample of an EBT Card

What can I buy with my Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits?

Households can use benefits to buy:

  • Food such as breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and poultry, and dairy products
  • Seeds and plants that produce fresh fruits and vegetables

Households cannot use benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Any non-food items, such as pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods
If I qualify for the program, when do I get benefits?

If you qualify, benefits will be available within 30 days of applying. After the initial month, benefits become available on the first day of each month.