The short answer is no, although it certainly makes things easier.
There are numerous other ways to verify identity and claim welfare and food stamps.
The website FRAC.org gives some helpful information on the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP:
“The SNAP/Food Stamp caseworker is required to verify your identity. 7 CFR 273.2(f). There are many ways, however, that you may verify your identity. A photo ID is only one way. You should not be denied SNAP/Food Stamps simply because you do not have a photo ID. To prove who you are, you can use such things as a work or school ID, an ID for health benefits, an ID from another social services program such as TANF, wage stubs, a birth certificate, or a voter registration card. The SNAP/Food Stamp caseworker can also verify your identity by calling a “collateral contact” who can confirm you who are. Shelter workers and employers are examples of possible collateral contacts. If you have no paper documentation of who you are, you should ask the SNAP/Food Stamp caseworker to call a collateral contact.
“Homeless households are not required to verify where they live. If you are living in a shelter, however, it may be helpful to bring a letter to the SNAP/Food Stamp office which is written by a shelter employee and says that you are living in the shelter.”
Christine McNamee and Gwen Stahl, at the New Hanover County Division of Social Services, helped with the question on welfare, which North Carolina calls Work First.
They listed 15 documents that could help establish identity for a Work First subject. Applicants need to supply two of these documents to support their claim on N.C. residency:
1. Driver’s license or ID card
2. Rent receipt
3. Utility bill
4. Motor vehicle registration
5. Documentation from an employer
6. Closed bank account or termination of employment from another state
7. Tax records
8. Registration with an employment agency
8. Children’s school records
9. Food stamps/Medicaid documentation
10. Records from health care provider
11. Written declaration from collateral contact
12. Voter registration card
13. VA or military documentation
14. N.C. school records diploma
15. Document from foreign consulate
Date posted: September 18, 2013
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