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If I’m a senior where do I apply for Social Security benefits, food stamps or other assistance?

Judy Royal
StarNews

Food stamps and housing and energy assistance are among the needs seniors may have but may not know where to go for help. Each North Carolina county operates its own Department of Social Services.

New Hanover County

1650 Greenfield St.

Wilmington, NC 28402

Phone: 798-3400

Web site: http://www.nhcgov.com/Pages/SocialServices.aspx

Pender County

810 S. Walker St. Burgaw, NC 28425

Phone: 259-1240

Web site: http://www.pendercountync.gov/government/departments/socialservices/

Brunswick County

Building B, 60 Government Center Drive. Bolivia, NC 28422

Phone: 253-2077

Web site: http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/Departments/CommunityServices/SocialServices.aspx

Here are a few of the programs you can access through DSS:

Food stamps

This federal program helps qualifying families buy food through use of EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. EBTs cannot be used for tobacco, pet food, paper products, soaps or alcohol.

U.S. citizenship or eligible foreign national status is required.

Here’s what you need to bring when you apply:

Photo ID, Social Security cards or numbers for all in household, proof of residence (lease, rent or mortgage receipts, utility bills), proof of income such as pay stubs, pension or SSI papers, bank statements or passbooks, utility bills, proof of unpaid medical prescriptions, proof of child care costs

Medicaid

Administered jointly by the federal government and the state, Medicaid pays medical bills for families with children, adults 65 and over, people who are sightless or otherwise disabled and pregnant mothers, who qualify economically.

Social Security

The U.S. Social Security Administration handles Social Security issues like pension payments, as well as the Supplemental Security

Income program. SSI makes payments to qualifying adults or children who are disabled or blind with limited income and resources.

A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that keeps someone from working or doing other important things, is expected to last at least one year or is expected to result in death.

Residents of New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties who need help with Social Security, need a card, have lost their card, or wish to apply for SSI benefits must visit the Social Security office in Wilmington, 1528 S. 16th St., 815-4733 or toll-free at (800) 772-1213.

Visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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