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Is it legal for DSS workers to reveal the identities of people who are applying for or receiving food and nutrition services?

Vicky Eckenrode

LaVaughn Nesmith, director of the New Hanover County Department of Social Services, said that under the Food Stamp Act, the agency has to restrict the use of information about those who apply or receive benefits to only certain circumstances.

Those include if someone administering food stamp or other assistance program needs the information, if eligibility for another program is being checked, if workers directly connected with nutrition education and outreach efforts need the information, if law enforcement officials are investigating a Food Stamp Act violation or parole or probation violation.

If a recipient agrees to their information being released, case files can be shown to people outside the program administration or if a written request is made by a responsible member of the household.

The information is not available for the general public, Nesmith said.

User-contributed question by:
Bobby Jordan
Bobby Jordan

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