Have you heard about the Food Stamp Program? It is a helpful organization organized by the state federal government to assist the livelihood of low-income families living in the United States. If you haven’t heard of this program yet living in the U.S., this is your chance to get information about it.
Food Stamp Program
The Food Stamp Program is a U.S. Food program. It was later referred to Food Snap (Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program). This program was developed by the U.S. government bodies to assist and support individuals living in the U.S. in the aspect of food to low-income families. Few other states also work with the local agencies to provide this ongoing nutritional education and training to SNAP recipients. Now you may be wondering if everyone is eligible to participate and benefit from this Food Stamp Program.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organized this program as a federal source of help to citizens under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The help is to distribute benefits through specific departments of states in the United States of America. Lately, the program has grown to be one of the biggest nutrition program ever administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, FNS. This will bring us to the eligibility.
Who Is Eligible For The Food Stamp Program Benefits
Before you can register for this ongoing beneficiary organization, you will have to know about the eligible participants:
- Only low-income earners are considered to take part in its service. For you to be considered a low-income earner, the members of the applicant’s household cannot own any resources that cost more than $2.250 at application, excluding the primary home and resources they do not have access to. Also, the resource limit is about $3.500 if everyone in the household is age 60 or over.
- If any of the household members have been convicted after august 22, 1996 in a Federal or state court or any crime related to illegal possession, then that member is eligible for the food stamp benefits.
- Any household member who is in violation of a contribution of probation will not receive food stamp benefit for themselves.
- The food stamp applicants must agree to apply for a social security number for all household members or the household member will not receive the Food Stamp benefits.
- Non-citizens can apply for this benefit only if they are lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
How Can The Food Stamp Benefit Be Calculated
The amount of Food Stamp benefit is calculated and determined by a few factors which include the size of your household and your entire household income.
How To Apply For The Food Stamp Benefit
Anyone may apply for this service but the Family Support Division (FSD) will verify if certain information provided by applicants are true while processing your application. You must have some certain information to get our application decision quicker. Also the FSD can help you get that information. This information includes:
Also, the state sends out the benefits to eligible persons or households on EBT cards. This card can authorize the payment of purchases of goods (which are mostly food items/ supplies). These benefits can be accessed also in all fifty states in the United States of America.
What Are EBT Cards
EBT cards are cards given to individuals containing the allotment he or she would receive from the program. If a person or household is eligible to benefits from the program, the allotment is sent to the individual or household in an EBT card. The EBT card is referred to as an Electronic Benefits Transfer card containing a certain amount of money that the Food Stamp program gives to an eligible applicant. This card can also function like the regular debit card.
Can Food Stamp Benefits Be Withdrawn As Cash
The Food Stamp program does not allow the benefits to be withdrawn as cash but can be used t purchase seeds and plants to grow food. These benefits cannot be used to purchase:
- Hot prepared foods.
- Food prepared to be eaten immediately.
- Non-food items.
But members of age above 60 may use this benefit to pay for their home-delivered meals and other elderly prepared meals.
What Can I Buy With My Food Stamp Benefits
These are some of the food items that can be purchased with Food Stamps:
- Meats, fish, and poultry.
- Dairy products.
- Soft drinks.
- Ice cream.
- Bakery items.
- Energy drinks with nutrition labels.
- Snack crackers.
- Seeds and plants.
Can I Access The Food Stamp Benefits If I am On The GI Bill
Few citizens who are in advantage of the GI Bill program, like the Military veterans are counted towards the income requirements for the Food Stamp program. Receiving the GI Bill does not stop you from being eligible to participate for Food Stamps outright, but it is included in the income during calculations.
Example on how to calculate the Food Stamp benefit.
A household family containing 7 members.
Total net monthly income = $2100
$2100*0.3 = $630
The maximum allotment for a family of 7 = $1022
$1022 – $630 = $392
Then the Food Stamp allotment for that family will be $392 monthly.
Below shows the maximum monthly allotment allowed base on the size of a family:
Family with a number of 1 member = $194
Family with a number of 2 members = $357
A Family with a number of 3 members = $511
Family with a number of 4 members = $649
Family with a number of 5 members = $771
A Family with a number of 6 members = $925
Family with a number of 7 members = $1022
Family with a number of 8 members = $1169
Then for Each additional person = $146.
These prices are not fixed as they may be increased or decreased by the governmental bodies.
The maximum monthly income limits per family are as follows
Family = 1. Monthly amount of income allowed = $1,718.
Family = 2. Monthly amount of income allowed = $2,326
A family = 3. Monthly amount of income allowed = $2,933
Family = 4. Monthly amount of income allowed = $3,541
Family = 5. Monthly amount of income allowed = $4,149
For each additional person, add: $608
States Food Stamp Benefits
The Food Stamps Program is also recognized in different states. There are different programs a citizen can benefit from. Below are the states and the different names they go by. They are:
- Alabama Food Assistance Program in the state of Alabama.
- Alaska Food Stamp Program in Alaska.
- Arizona Nutrition Assistance Program in Arizona.
- Arkansas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Arkansas.
- CalFresh in California.
- Colorado Food Assistance Program in Colorado.
- Connecticut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Connecticut.
- Delaware Food Stamp Program in Delaware.
- District of Columbia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is in the District of Columbia.
- Florida Food Assistance Program.
- FoodShare Wisconsin.
- Georgia Food Stamps.
- Hawaii Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Idaho Food Stamp Program.
- Illinois Food Stamp Program.
- Indiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Iowa Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Kansas Food Assistance & Nutrition Program.
- Kentucky Food Benefits/EBT.
- Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Maryland Food Supplement Program.
- Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Michigan Food Assistance Program.
- Minnesota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Missouri Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Montana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Nevada Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- New Hampshire Food Stamp Program.
- New Jersey Food Stamp Program.
- The New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- New York State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- North Carolina Food Stamp Program.
- North Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Nutrition Assistance For Puerto Rico.
- Ohio Food Assistance Program.
- Oklahoma Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Rhode Island Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
- South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Tennessee Food Stamp Program.
- Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- The Minnesota Food Assistance Program.
- Utah Food Stamp Program.
- Vermont Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
- Washington Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- West Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Wyoming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The above listed are different names that the Food Stamp programs are being referred to in different states of the country. The process of application is the same. Every applicant can mail, fax, or send a signed copy to any of the local county offices closest to their area of residence in the state.
The Food Stamp Application Form
Participants are to get the form online. And on this form, the required information included is:
- Birth information and gender
- Marital status
- Social security number
- Ethnic origin
- Specify a deformity
- Medical status (presence of a medical condition or pregnancy)
- Preferred language
- State and city of residence
- House address (permanent and temporary)
- Specify address status (whether temporary, homeless or corresponding to your mailing address)
- Specify mailing address
- Phone number
- The housing status (whether traditional, private, public, employer-provided or otherwise)
- Applicant’s signature and date
- Authorizing another person to help you apply and get your benefits
- Authorized person’s information (phone number, address)
- Domestic violence occurrence
- Information on people in the household if applying for a household (names, gender, birth date, social security number, and relationship to you).
- Presence of children under 18 years of age. Specify their names.
- Presence of borders in the household.
- Foster care payments for anyone in the household. Specify the person.
- Specify if anyone in the household is a resident or intending to leave the state.
- Citizenship/ nationality of those in the household.
- Specify the mental and physical disabilities of anyone in the household.
- Specify the working status of everyone in the household.
- Any child support court order or legal obligation on anyone of the household.
- Specify if anyone in the household has a child or any adult dependent care expenses.
- Specify if there is any health insurance you have, anyone in the household that is 60 years of age and above have or any disabled person in the household has.
- Any kind of health insurance.
- Specify any out of the pocket medical expenses.
- Kind of housing expenses.
- Utility expenses
- Specify cash in the bank for you or every other person in the household.
- Specify life, burial, or prepaid funeral insurance.
- Mention any buildings, land real estate or burial plots you or any other person in the household may bath.
- Specify any pension or retirement account for you or anyone in the household.
At the end of the form is a penalty and individuals will face if he or she defaults by providing false information just because of the Food Stamp benefits.