Extra Food Stamps are Ending

Obtenga más información en Español 

What are the Food Stamp Emergency Allotments? 

Since March 2020, households received an extra $95 or more in Food Stamp benefits per month. These temporary pandemic related increases were authorized by Congress to help meet food needs. Due to recent action by the federal government, these extra payments are ending. February will be the last month households will receive this extra payment.  

What should I do? 

Review your current Food Stamp Benefit amount:

You can check your FNS/emergency allotment balance and transaction history three ways:  

  • Visit website www.ebtedge.com. Click on Cardholder Login, create an account, and add your EBT card number. 
  • Download and use the EBT Edge mobile app (can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple Store).  
  • Contact the North Carolina EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328 

Regular monthly FNS benefits are issued between the 3rd and 21st of every month. Emergency allotments are issued on or after the 22nd of the month. Starting in March, you will only receive this first payment.  

Compare your information:

If you are not already receiving the maximum monthly benefit for your household, you may be able to increase your benefits amount by updating your information.  

Household SizeMaximum Monthly Benefit
1$281
2$516
3$740
4$939
5$1,116
6$1,339
7$1,480
Each additional person+$211

Report changes that may help you increase your benefits:

  • INCOME: Did you lose work hours or have your pay cut?
  • SHELTER: Did your rent, mortgage, or property taxes increase?
  • DEPENDENT CARE: Are you paying more for child care or care of a disabled adult?
  • MEDICAL EXPENSES: Does anyone in your household who is 60 or older or has a disability have medical costs over $35/month? This includes the cost of medical services, medical supplies, health insurance premiums, copays, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and more.
  • CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS: Are you legally obligated to pay child support?
  • YOUR ADDRESS: This will not impact your benefit level, but you may miss important updates if DSS does not have your current address.

Contact your local DSS to report changes and/or find out if your expense qualifies as a deduction:

Contact your DSS caseworker (if you have one), go to the DSS office in person, or call their customer service number. You can also appeal if you believe your regular, monthly benefits were improperly calculated. 

Local DSS Offices:

  • Mecklenburg County
    • 704-336-3000
    • Wallace H. Kuralt Centre, 301 Billingsley Road, Charlotte, NC 28211
    • Community Resource Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • Union County
    • 704-296-4300
    • 2330 Concord Avenue Monroe, NC 28110
  • Cabarrus County
    • 704-920-1400
    • 1303 S. Cannon Blvd. Kannapolis, NC 28083

If something goes wrong, contact an advocate: 

If you have taken the above steps and still think something is wrong with your food stamps case, contact a legal advocate for assistance. 

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
(Mecklenburg County)
704-376-1600 | Linea de Español 800-247-1931

Legal Aid of North Carolina
(statewide except for counties served by Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Pisgah Legal Services)
866-219-LANC (5262) | legalaidnc.org

Pisgah Legal Services
(Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties, Qualla Boundary)
800-489-6144 | pisgahlegal.org

What other food resources are available?  

  • WIC: If you have a child under 5 and/or pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for WIC. Learn more about WIC and complete a WIC referral online at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/ncwicreferral.  
  • 211: Visit www.nc211.org or dial 211 to be connected to community food resources. 
  • NC Care 360: Request help or find resources by clicking the “For Individuals” tab on https://nccare360.org/  

Cupones de Alimentos Adicionales Terminan 

¿Qué son las asignaciones de emergencia de cupones para alimentos?

Desde marzo 2020, hogares recibieron $95 o más en beneficios de cupones de alimentos (FNS por sus siglas en inglés) adicionales por mes. Estos aumentos temporales relacionados con la pandemia fueron autorizados por el Congreso para ayudar a satisfacer sus necesidades alimentarias. Debido a la reciente acción del gobierno federal, estos pagos adicionales están terminando. Febrero será el último mes en que recibirán este pago adicional.    

¿Qué debo hacer? 

Revise la cantidad actual de sus Cupones de Alimentos:

Puede verificar su saldo de FNS /asignaciones de emergencia y el historial de transacciones de tres maneras:  

  • Visite el sitio web www.ebtedge.com. Haga clic en Inicio de sesión del titular de la tarjeta, cree una cuenta y agregue su número de tarjeta EBT.    
  • Descargue y use la aplicación móvil EBT Edge (se puede descargar en Google Play o Apple Store).  
  • Comuníquese con el Centro de llamadas EBT de Carolina del Norte al 1-888-622-7328.   

Los beneficios de FNS regulares son depositados entre el día 3 y 21 de cada mes. Las asignaciones de emergencia se depositan a partir del día 22 de cada mes.  Febrero será el último mes en que recibirán este pago adicional.  

Compare su información:

Si no está recibiendo el beneficio mensual máximo para su hogar, es posible que pueda aumentar su monto de beneficios actualizando su información. 

Miembros del Hogar ElegiblesBeneficio mensual máximo
1$281
2$516
3$740
4$939
5$1,116
6$1,339
7$1,480
Cada persona adicional+$211

Reporte cambios que podrían ayudarle a aumentar sus beneficios:

  • INGRESOS: ¿Perdió horas de trabajo o le redujeron el salario?   
  • VIVIENDA: ¿Aumentaron su renta, hipoteca o impuestos de propiedad?  
  • CUIDADO DE DEPENDIENTES: ¿Está pagando más por el cuidado de niños o el cuidado de un adulto discapacitado?   
  • GASTOS MÉDICOS: ¿Alguien en su hogar de 60 años o más o que tenga una discapacidad tiene costos médicos más de $ 35 / mes? Esto incluye el costo de servicios médicos, suministros médicos, primas de seguro de salud, copagos, medicamentos recetados y de venta libre, y más.   
  • PAGOS DE MANUTENCIÓN INFANTIL: ¿Está legalmente obligado a pagar manutención infantil?   
  • SU DIRECCIÓN: Esto no afectará su nivel de beneficios, pero puede perderse actualizaciones importantes si el Departamento de Servicios Sociales (DSS) no tiene su dirección actual. 

Comuníquese con su oficina de DSS local para informar cambios y/o averiguar si su gasto califica como una deducción: 

Comuníquese con su trabajador de DSS (si tiene uno), vaya a la oficina de DSS en persona o llame al número de servicio al cliente. También puede apelar si cree que sus beneficios mensuales regulares fueron calculados incorrectamente. 

Oficinas locales de DSS:

  • Condado de Mecklenburg
    • 704-336-3000
    • Wallace H. Kuralt Centre, 301 Billingsley Road, Charlotte, NC 28211
    • Community Resource Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • Condado de Union
    • 704-296-4300
    • 2330 Concord Avenue Monroe, NC 28110
  • Condado de Cabarrus
    • 704-920-1400
    • 1303 S. Cannon Blvd. Kannapolis, NC 28083

Si algo malo sucede, comuníquese con un defensor:

Si ha seguido los pasos anteriores y aún piensa que algo está mal con su caso de cupones de alimento, comuníquese con un representante legal para obtener ayuda. 

El Centro de Apoyo Legal de Charlotte
(Condado de Mecklenburg)
704-376-1600 | Linea de Español 800-247-1931

Asistencia Legal de Carolina del Norte
(en todo el estado excepto en condados atendidos por el Centro de Apoyo Legal Charlotte y Servicios Legales Pisgah)
866-219-LANC (5262) | legalaidnc.org

Servicios Legales de Pisgah
(Condados de Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, y Yancey, Qualla Boundary)
800-489-6144 | pisgahlegal.org

¿Qué otros recursos alimentarios están disponibles?

  • WIC: Si tiene un hijo/a menor de 5 años y/o está embarazada o amamantando, puede ser elegible para WIC. Obtenga más información sobre WIC y complete una referencia de WIC en línea en https://www.ncdhhs.gov/ncwicreferral.  
  • 211: Visite nc211.org o marque 211 para conectarse con recursos alimenticios comunitarios.
  • NC Care 360: Solicite ayuda o busque recursos haciendo clic en la pestaña “For Individuals” en https://nccare360.org/.  

Property Tax Relief Assistance

With soaring property values across the state, many North Carolinians are struggling to keep up with their housing costs, including property taxes.  But there is help.  North Carolina offers property tax relief to low-income elderly, disabled, and/or disabled veterans.   Qualifying owners may receive an exclusion of the taxable value of their residence of either $25,000 or 50% (whichever is greater) but they must apply before June 1, 2023.

Who is eligible?

Qualifying owners must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant’s name must be on the deed or title to the residence as of January 1, 2022.
  • The residence must be the applicant’s primary residence.
  • The applicant must be a North Carolina resident.
  • The applicant must be at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled. (Total and permanent disability is a disability that substantially hinders a person from obtaining gainful employment.)
  • The applicant’s income, including any spouse in the household, must be $33,800 or less for 2022.

What if I am a Veteran?

Property tax relief is also available for Disabled Veterans in Mecklenburg County.  These qualifying homeowners may receive an exclusion of the first $45,000 of the taxable value of their residence. The veteran must be an honorably discharged veteran, the home must be occupied by the disabled veteran, and that veteran must be 100% totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected related injury.

This exemption is also available to the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a Disabled Veteran. This does not apply to combat veterans, unless they have suffered a 100% total and permanent disability, which is service related. There is no age or income limitation.

When do I apply?

Qualifying owners must apply with the Assessor’s Office between January 1st and June 1st.

Where can I find help?

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is available to assist low-income elderly, disabled, and/or disabled veteran residents prepare their NC property tax relief applications. 

Free Clinic
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, 5535 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212
March 29, 2023
9:30am-12:30pm
Register: 980-256-7952

Virtual appointments are also available March 1, 2023-May 31, 2023. Please call 980-256-7952.

Clinics are also being offered to residents in Grier Heights (April 29th) and Sugar Creek and surrounding communities (May 11th).

Additional Resources:

Mecklenburg County Property Tax Relief Program

Property Tax Relief Application Form

Filing your 2022 tax returns: Frauds & scams

Be aware of fraudulent tax preparers!

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail that appears to be from the IRS, Social Security Administration or other organization claiming to represent the United States government, you should report it by forwarding it to phishing@irs.gov.

Some tax scammers also use snail mail; so be aware, when you receive regular mail that purports to be from the IRS too.  If you are not sure, contact the IRS directly.

Keep-in-mind, as a taxpayer you are legally responsible for the information you represent on your tax return, even if the tax return is prepared by a third-party professional.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • DON’T use tax preparers who promise higher returns. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
  • DON’T use a paid tax return preparer who is not in compliance with IRS PTIN requirements.
  • DON’T fall for flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS.  There is no such thing as “free money” from the IRS!
  • DO choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS “Preparer Tax Identification Number” (PTIN).
    • Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN; and they must renew it annually.  Tax return preparers must also record their PTIN on your tax return and sign your tax return as the paid tax return preparer.
  • DO review your return before you sign it and make sure your preparer signs it too.
  • DO consider going to a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) location to have your tax return prepared for free.

Are you ready to file your 2022 Federal Income Tax return?

Tax filing season for 2022 Federal tax returns opened January 23, 2023 and will run through April 18, 2023. Here is what we think you need to know and where to find more help. 

1. Your refund this tax season may be lower.

Many of the pandemic-era and American Rescue Plan Act credits expired at the end of 2021, so many tax credits have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Impacted credits include:

  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit

Due to these changes, many taxpayers will likely receive a significantly smaller refund for 2022.   

Some examples include:

  • Eligible taxpayers who received $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year.
  • For the EITC, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now receive $500 in 2022.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021.

2. The Premium Tax Credit is still available – and may be available to more taxpayers.

The premium tax credit– also known as APTC – is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the premiums for their health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

For tax years 2021 and 2022, the American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expanded the premium tax credit eligibility, eliminating the rule that a taxpayer with household income above 400% of the federal poverty line cannot qualify for a premium tax credit.

Premium Tax Credits and Filing Your 2022 Taxes

3. Be aware of fraudulent tax preparers

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

  • DON’T use tax preparers who promise higher returns
  • DO choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS “Preparer Tax Identification Number” (PTIN). 
  • DON’T fall for flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS.  There is no such thing as “free money” from the IRS!
  • DO review your return before you sign it and make sure your preparer signs it too.

Learn more about how to stay protected

4. You may be eligible for free income tax return preparation.

If your household income in 2022 was $60,000 or less, you could qualify to have your taxes prepared and submitted through the IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Local VITA appointments

National VITA Services:

English: GetYourRefund.org

En español: GetYourRefund.org en español

If your household income was $72,000 or less, IRS Free File also lets you prepare and file your FEDERAL income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms. There are options available in English and Spanish: Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

5. Gig workers, small business owners, and those accepting virtual payments need to start preparing for filing their 2023 Federal Income Tax Return now.

In March 2021, Congress decided to change the rule that required Third-Party Settlement Organizations (TPSOs), such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App, to provide you and the IRS 1099-K forms if your transactions on their platforms in a year exceeded $20,000 and your number of transactions exceeded 200. 

The new rule lowered the minimum reporting limit on those platforms to any amount over $600 for one or more transactions. That change was supposed to take effect in 2022. 

However, the IRS recently decided to postpone this change until January 31, 2024. This means the IRS is taking the rules back to the pre-March 2021 threshold ($20,000 and 200 transactions) for 2022. 

BUT the lower reporting threshold (any number of transactions totaling $600) remains in effect for calendar year 2023 and beyond. If you are a gig worker, a small business owner, or receive payments from TPSOs for business purposes, it is smart to start preparing for 2024 now by logging your transactions. 

IRS 1099-K Frequently Asked Questions

BONUS TIP: We are here to help!

If you:

  • have trouble with the IRS
  • need assistance with an audit
  • disagree with a tax bill the IRS has sent but they are still taking money from your paycheck

We are here to help!

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic serves all of North Carolina by offering tax controversy services to low-income taxpayers. The Tax Clinic serves taxpayers who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty standard, including people who speak English as a second language. 

Learn more

Additional Resources

Owe taxes but cannot pay?
IRS Payment Options

Puede ser elegible para preparación de impuestos GRATUITO.

¿Necesita ayuda para preparar sus impuestos? Conéctese con estos útiles recursos GRATUITOS para comenzar. 

VITA Latino

Los centros VITA ofrecen ayuda GRATUITA a la comunidad Latina que necesiten asistencia con la preparación de sus propias declaraciones de impuestos, incluyendo a:

  • Personas con ingreso de $57,000 o menos;
  • Personas que tengan número de seguro social o ITIN (W7);
  • Personas que tienen dominio limitado del inglés.

Haz tu cita: VITA Latino

AARP

Tax-Aide de la Fundación AARP brinda asistencia de impuestos en persona y virtual a cualquier persona sin cargo, con un enfoque especial en los contribuyentes mayores de 50 años o con ingresos bajos a moderados. Los voluntarios de Tax-Aide están ubicados en todo el país, y están capacitados y certificados por el IRS cada año para asegurarse de que entienden los últimos cambios y adiciones a el código fiscal.

Haz tu cita: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service

GetYourRefund.org

GetYourRefund.org es un sitio web sin fines de lucro creado en asociación con los sitios de Asistencia Voluntaria a los Contribuyentes (VITA) certificados por el IRS a nivel nacional. El servicio brinda asistencia con la declaración de impuestos a las familias que ganan menos de $66,000 al año.

Tendrás que subir fotos de su identificación, responder preguntas sobre tu situación fiscal y subir tus documentos de ingresos. Un especialista en impuestos lo llamará por teléfono para hablar sobre sus impuestos, responder cualquier pregunta y completar su declaración. Sus voluntarios capacitados también pueden ayudarlo a presentar declaraciones de impuestos de años anteriores y asegurarse de que reciba los créditos fiscales para los que califica.

Visit GetYourRefund.org/ y click “Get Started”.

IRS Free File

Si el ingreso de su hogar fue de $72,000 o menos, Free File del IRS también le permite preparar y presentar su declaración de impuestos FEDERAL sobre la renta en línea mediante la preparación de impuestos guiada, en un sitio asociado del IRS o en los formularios rellenables de Free File. Hay opciones disponibles en inglés y español.

Free File del IRS: Haga sus impuestos gratuitamente | Internal Revenue Service

Contribuyentes de Bajos Ingresos de Carolina del Norte

¿Tiene problemas con el IRS? ¿Necesita ayuda con una auditoría? ¿El IRS está tomando dinero de su cheque de pago aunque no esté de acuerdo con una factura de impuestos que le envió? 

La Clínica para Contribuyentes de Bajos Ingresos de Carolina del Centro de Apoyo legal de Charlotte ayuda a los contribuyentes a comprender y manejar sus problemas fiscales. Más información sobre cómo podemos ayudar.

You may be eligible for FREE income tax preparation.

Obtenga más información en Español 

Need help preparing your taxes? Connect with these helpful FREE resources to get started.

VITA: IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

If your household income in 2022 was $60,000 or less, you could qualify to have your taxes prepared and submitted through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA sites are available in all 50 states.

Locations in Mecklenburg County: About Us (communitylinknc.org)

Outside Mecklenburg County: Get Free Tax Prep Help (treasury.gov)

AARP

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone free of charge, with a special focus on taxpayers who are over 50 or have low to moderate income. Tax-Aide volunteers are located nationwide and are trained and IRS-certified every year to ensure they understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code.

Make an appointment: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service

GetYourRefund.org

GetYourRefund.org is a non-profit website built in partnership with the IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationally. The service provides tax filing assistance to families earning less than $66,000 a year.

You will have to upload photos of your ID, answer questions about your tax situation, and upload your tax documents. A tax specialists will call you on the phone to discuss your taxes, answer any questions, and complete your filing. Their trained volunteers can also help you file tax returns for previous years and make sure you receive the tax credits you qualify for.

Visit GetYourRefund.org and click “Get Started”.

IRS Free File

If your household income was $72,000 or less, IRS Free File also lets you prepare and file your FEDERAL income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms. There are options available in English and Spanish.

Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Having trouble with the IRS? Do you need assistance with an audit? Is the IRS taking money from your paycheck even though you disagree with a tax bill it sent you? 

The North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy helps taxpayers understand and manage their tax issues.  Learn more about how we can help.

Protect yourself from holiday scams

‘Tis the season for holiday scams! We share some helpful tips on common scams and how to protect yourself.

Shopping Online

The two most prevalent scams when shopping online: 

  1. Non-delivery scam where a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received, and
  2. Non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.

What to Do

  • Call your credit card company or you bank. Dispute any suspicious charges.
  • Report the scam to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at ic3.gov and Contact NC Attorney General’s Office 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file an online complaint
  • Use good cybersecurity hygiene:  DON’T click on links in emails, websites, or social media.  Go directly to the website yourself from a browser like chrome or edge.

Be Careful How You Pay for Items Online or By Phone

Never wire money directly to seller or load money onto “pre-paid” gift cards.  This is how scammers typically want payment and the money is often not recoverable.  Use a credit card or protected bank debit card if you do not have a credit card, check statements, dispute with your bank.  Gift cards are to give for gifts, not to make payments to another.

Gift Card Scams

Scammers want you to pay with gift cards because they’re like cash: once you use a gift card, the money on it is gone. But what do gift card scams look like?

Someone may call, tell you they’re from a government agency, and say you owe taxes or a fine. Or they may pretend to be a family member or friend in trouble, who needs money right away. Or they may say you’ve won a prize, but first must pay fees or other charges. Here are signs you’re dealing with a scammer:

  • The caller says it’s urgent. They tell you to pay right away or something terrible will happen. They try to pressure you into acting quickly, so you don’t have time to think or talk to someone you trust. Don’t pay. It’s a scam.
  • The caller usually tells you which gift card to buy. They might tell you to put money on a Google Play, Target, or iTunes gift card — or send you to a specific store like Walmart, Target, or CVS. Sometimes they tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers won’t get suspicious. If so, stop. It’s a scam.
  • The caller asks you for the gift card number and PIN. The scammer uses that information to get the money you’ve loaded on the card. Don’t give them those numbers. It’s a scam. You’ll lose your money, and you won’t be able to get it back.

If you paid a scammer with a gift card, tell the company that issued the card right away. Keep the card and find any receipts you have. Then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Phony package delivery notices

Scammers know people receive unexpected packages this season and will send realistic-looking delivery failure notifications so you’ll follow up and reveal personal info. Before you hand over information on the internet, head to your local post office or call the delivery service to verify the notification.  These notices can be by fake email or door hangers. 

Avoid Holiday Job Scams

To keep your money and personal information to yourself, follow these steps: 

  • Don’t pay to get the job. Scammers may promise you a job — if you pay them. But no legitimate job will make you pay for expenses or fees to get the job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Never give personal info up front. Some scammers will try to get your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number as soon as you’re in contact.
  • See what others are saying. Search online for the name of the company plus the words “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” You might find they’ve scammed other people.
  • Talk to someone you trust — before you take a job offer or business opportunity. What do they think?

Fake charities

These crop during major disasters and around the holidays. Leaflets and phone calls from organizations with familiar-sounding names will ask you to open your wallets for a good cause. To be safe, don’t give to any charity with whom you didn’t start the contact.  Check legitimacy through the North Carolina Secretary of StateCharity Watch, or Charity Navigator.

Beware of “person in need” and grandparent scams.

Scammers pose as a grandchild, friend or relative stranded or otherwise in trouble and need money quickly and quietly.  They may ask for money by mail or gift card.  Don’t be pressured, hang up and call another relative or friend if you are still concerned to help you investigate.

Old school pickpocketing

Crowded malls and shopping centers are havens for pickpockets. To combat this threat, it’s best to wear purses across the body and wallets in front pockets or inside a closed jacket. Consider leaving the house with the bare minimum, like your ID and debit or credit card (the latter which offer fraud protection and security features not available with cash).

The more you and loved ones know about scams, the easier it is to spot and avoid them. If you need help, contact the Advocacy Center’s Consumer Protection Team for more information.

Additional Resources

FDIC: Avoid Scams While Shopping Online for Bargains

Federal Trade Commission: Job Scams

Skadden Fellow Joins our Veterans Legal Services Unit

Nevah Jones joined the Advocacy Center as a Skadden Fellow in our Veterans Legal Services Unit in September.  In addition to serving as an attorney for low-income veterans in need of service-related payments and benefits from VA, Nevah will expand our existing medical-legal partnership to include legal training for clinicians providing care to veterans.

Nevah will focus on educating clinicians about what is legally necessary to craft a medical opinion in support of a veteran’s VA claims, as veterans have a higher burden of proof when submitting medical documentation for service-related disability benefits.  She will advocate to address potential systemic issues in the initial stages of medical assessment that may result in payment or benefit denials for those to whom it is lawfully due. In addition, Nevah will also work with clinicians to identify health care barriers for veterans living with racial trauma stemming from military service.  Racial discrimination within the military contributes to mental health conditions that may result in less than honorable discharge characterizations.  Veterans who seek to upgrade their discharge characterization to access treatment or service-related benefits need credible medical evidence of their race-based trauma.

As a 20-year veteran of the Air Force, Nevah feels a unique connection to this work:

“In the military, I saw injured servicemembers pressured to ‘soldier on’ instead of seeking the medical care that they needed. Those same individuals were then disciplined and discharged when their untreated ailments made it difficult to do their jobs. I regret that I could not do more for my airmen then. It is because of them that I am singularly focused on getting veterans access to necessary health care and benefits today.”

Read Nevah’s full bio

If you are a clinician or attorney interested in learning more about these educational and legal efforts, please contact Nevah.

Food and Nutrition Services Change: October 2022

UPDATED: FEBRUARY 2023

Almost all Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) households, known as SNAP nationwide, will see an increase in their FNS benefits on October 1, 2022. These changes will be made automatically; households did not need to take any action. For more information, visit:  SNAP Benefit Changes.

Why will FNS benefits increase in October 2022?

Almost all FNS households will see an increase in their FNS benefits to account for changes in the cost of living.  Maximum FNS benefits, which are tied to food inflation, will increase by about 12% starting October 1, 2022. This increase is about $26-$31 per person per month.

The table below shows maximum FNS benefit amounts for households ending September 30, 2022) and what the new maximum benefit will be starting October 2022:

Household SizeOct 2021-Sept 2022
Maximum FNS Benefit
Oct 2022-Sept 2023
Maximum FNS Benefit
1$250 $281
2$459 $516
3$658 $740
4$835 $939

In addition, North Carolina is still providing monthly pandemic-related Emergency Allotments to FNS households. This is typically a supplement of up to $95 if households are already receiving the maximum or close to the maximum. These supplements are added to households’ EBT cards later in the month than their regular monthly allotment. Households will see a decrease in their total monthly benefits when the temporary pandemic-related Emergency Allotments end in North Carolina. PLEASE NOTE: February 2023 will be the last month households will receive this extra payment.  

What happens after the Emergency Allotments ends?

The total amount of FNS benefits you receive each month will change when North Carolina stops issuing Emergency Allotments.  February 2023 will be the last month households will receive this extra payment.  

In general, your monthly FNS benefit amount may change based on your household’s circumstances, such as your income, the number of people in your household, and certain expenses you pay for.

You should continue reporting changes in your household circumstances to your local Department of Social Services (DSS).  

How can Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy help?

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy fights to help families put food on the table and avoid food insecurity. We can help by:

  • Providing representation in appeals of overpayment claims, including Intentional Program Violations (IPVs), Inadvertent Household Errors (IHEs), and Agency Errors (AEs)
  • Disputing incorrect calculations of overpayment amounts or monthly benefit levels

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy also advocates for policies at the state and federal level that promote equity in and improved access to food support programs and resources.