Wondering, how to apply for food stamps? You´re not alone! If you´ve never applied for food stamps before, the process can be overwhelming and confusing, but don´t worry, we´ll show you what you need to do.
- 1 What is Food Stamps?
- 2 Who Qualifies for Food Stamps?
- 3 Applying for Food Stamps by State
What is Food Stamps?
First of all, what is food stamps?
Food stamps is also called the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program and it´s a federal program that the United States runs to help people purchase food when they can´t do it on their own. You will receive the money on an EBT card which operates very similar to a debit card but it can only be used to make qualifying food purchases.
Who Qualifies for Food Stamps?
You should apply for food stamps if you are low-income and having a hard time purchasing food on your own or having a hard time meeting your other bills. This program serves people who meet certain income and research requirements.
Sometimes you may be surprised just how high those income limits are. So in our experience, it´s always worth looking into because as long as you´re honest on your application the worst they can do is say no.
You will be asked for a lot of information when you fill out your food stamps application. If you gather all of the information that you´re going to need before you begin he process, it shouldn´t take more than about 30 minutes to complete the application.
So before you get started make sure you read this so that you know what you need to find.
What do You Need?
You will need information about your household members including their Social Security numbers, income and assets. You will be asked about any vehicles, real estate, stocks or other assets that are owned by any member of your household.
You will also be asked about your household expenses such as housing and utilities. If you have a disability, you may be able to more food stamps every month. If you can prove that you have certain medical expenses, gather any evidence you have of expenses such as dentures, eyeglasses, prescriptions, vitamins and transportation to your medical appointments.
We´ve made it easy for you! First, you´ll need a few things…
- Driver´s License or Government ID
- U.S. Citizenship or Immigrant Status
- Social Security Number
- Proof of Earned Income (pay stubs, tax forms)
- Total Monthly Income (pay stubs, child support). Proof of Unearned Income (SSI, Child Support, Unemployment).
- Total Monthly Expenses (rent/mortgage statement, utility bills). Proof of Residency (utility bills, mortgage or rent agreement).
- Medical Expenses Statements.
You may be also be able to receive more food stamps if you can prove that you have unusually high utility bills or other major expenses. That´s because your food stamps allotment is determined by deducting you expenses from your income. If you can prove that you have higher than usual expenses, you may be able to receive extra food stamps every month.
Applying for Food Stamps by State
Once you have gathered all the information you need, you are ready to fill out the application. You can choose to do this in person at your local welfare office. But the easiest way we have found to apply for food stamps is to do it online.
This is where it gets complicated because although the food stamp program is available throughout the United States and is federally authorized, it is administered by your local state which means that each state has its own application website, with its own criteria and rules, sometimes the application is 2 pages, sometimes it’s 26 pages. It really depends on where you are, but fortunately we have a list of all those state application websites and the information you need on this website.
1. Make sure you´re elegible for benefits.
Use the eligibility tool on the website according to your State to check it. Below is the list of each State’s website, so you will be able to choose yours without any problem.
2. Create an account to submit a SNAP application
After verifying that you are eligible, you will need to create an online account on your State’s website in order to complete the SNAP application online.
You may also be able to apply for food stamps by mail or at your local Office.
Begin by providing your personal information: name, address and phone number.
On your application:
- enter the name
- birth date
- SSN for each household member
After your account is setup, you can start a new application for SNAP benefits.
3. Provide your total monthly household income information
Fill out the employment and income information for each member. You´ll be asked to provide employer name, pay schedule, pay wageweekly hours.
4. Provide monthly expense information
You´ll be asked to provide… Shelter expenses such as rent/mortgage and taxes.
Plus, childcare expenses such as daycare, babysitting, and summer camp. Medical and care expenses for any elderly or disabled household members.
5. Complete any missing information on the application
Be sure to review your application for accuracy before you submit it!
6. Submit your application online
Congrats! You´ve successfully applied for Food Stamp benefits! If approved, you´ll recevie benefits within 30 days!
After you complete your application, you should receive your food stamp card and first disbursement within 30 days. In some cases, if you have very few resources or are in an emergency situation, you can speed up the process and receive it in 7 days.
On a monthly basis, you will receive your food stamp money on the same day each month. Now, some states disperse them for the first time based on your case number or the last letter of your last name or the date of your application, but we have all that information for you on this website.
Thank you for reading this article.