Ways & How

how to qualify for food stamps

how to qualify for food stamps

The American federal government has this existing socialized program called Food Stamp or FS, which is designed to supplement the need of low-income constituents to buy basic foods to keep their good health. Although it is said that anyone can actually apply, not everybody knows how to qualify for food stamps. This program is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. While the Food Stamp is a program by the federal government primarily funded by the Food & Nutrition Services under the auspices of the U.S. Agriculture Department, the organization is manned by local agencies in individual states. Generally, it is the government that creates the mandated rules on eligibility. But the process of applying for the Food Stamp benefits still varies from one state to another. Should you wish to be part of this mainline socialized agenda, here are the steps you can run through.

  1. Determine if you are eligible. The income and resources of the household is the primary determinative factor as to whether or not you, as an applicant, are eligible.

    The resources like your cars, savings in the bank, stocks, credit union affiliation, and bonds are counted. However, items that are not counted include your house and the lot where it is built, retirement plans, Supplemental Security Income if any, and your temporary assistance for needy families if any.

    Generally, eligible applicants refer to those U.S. citizens or national and qualified aliens who are earning small salaries, working part time, the disabled, elderly, homeless, and those who are receiving public assistance on a regular basis. Use the Food Stamp pre-selection tool online to determine your eligibility.

  2. Secure an application form and proceed to your application. On the assumption that you are initially eligible, the next step is to apply, which can be accomplished in three ways. First, visit either the Social Security Office or the Food Stamp Office in your area and file your application in there. Second, you can apply online should your state so allow. Third, if for any reason you cannot apply personally, you can designate in writing your authorized representative to apply and to be interviewed on your behalf.

  3. Prepare the data and documents needed. Although the income and resources of your household are primarily considered, it is suggested that you call the Social Security Office or the Food Stamp Office and verify what other documents you are supposed to prepare for purposes of interview. As mentioned, because the Food Stamp is still a localized affair, your state might have other requirements.

    In particular, if you are employed, bring a certified statement of your gross income for the past month and your net total. If unemployed, show proof pertaining to your termination from work and the benefits you received, if any. If you are a college student, bring a proof showing your educational expenses, tuition fees and scholarship grant, if any. If self-employed, you should present your income tax return as well as your quarterly profit and losses report. You must also show the Social Security Numbers pertaining to each household member.

  4. Comply with the interview requirement. This requirement is not really mandatory because it can be waived on account of old age and lack of duly authorized representative. The interview can either be in person, through the phone, through your representative, or a home visit interview.

  5. Give them your FS EBT Card. Note that the accorded benefits of the program are now given via Food Stamp Electronic Balance Transfer Card, which functions akin to a debit card. In transacting, you simply swipe your card in any Point of Sale or POS, technically referring to any store, followed by your four-digit PIN. The total amount of your purchase will be deducted from your Food Stamp Account. Remember that all authorized stores across USA, except Guam and Puerto Rico, will be accepting your card. Meaning, you can transact in any store.

To date, on a monthly basis this program is successfully serving nutritious provisions to over 28 million individuals across America. The five items we identified on how to qualify for food stamps are very simple to follow. Any eligible individual or household can qualify for the Food Stamp Program without much delay. Besides, since this is a socialized program, each state is expected to facilitate, with utmost diligence, the papers of every aspiring applicant.


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