Top Ten SNAP Benefits FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions about Food Stamps)

I receive a large amount of emails from people who ask specific questions about the food stamp program. I do not mind answering the emails, but I figured that other people might have the same questions, but they do not ask. So...I decided to compile a list of the most frequent questions I receive about SNAP benefits.

1.      Can I get food stamps even though I do not have children?
Yes.  All types of households receive SNAP benefits if they are eligible. 
2.       Can I get food stamps even though I have a job?
Yes.  If your working salary is low enough, and you are otherwise eligible, working people may still receive SNAP benefits.
3.       How do I become eligible to receive food stamps?
SNAP benefits eligibility is primarily based on the income of your household.  Please see the longer post titled “What is Considered to be a Household for Food Stamps” for further clarification.  Even though eligibility is income based, most applicants are not asked to provide bank statements, or any other financial documents up front.
4.       How do I get food stamps as quickly as possible?
If you are in a situation where you need food badly, and you have little or no money, you may be eligible for an emergency process called expedited food stamps.  The following is a list of three criteria you must meet to be eligible for expedited food stamps:
·         Your monthly housing expenses are more than the amount of income and money you currently have in the bank.
·         Your monthly income is less than $150¸and your bank account is less than $100
·         You are a migrant worker, and you have less than $100
If you believe you are eligible for expedited food stamps, and you do not receive them, you have a right to notify a supervisor.
5.       I am a homeowner; does this mean I cannot get food stamps?
You can still get food stamps if you own a home.  The home that you live in is not considered an asset when your eligibility is calculated.
6.       I am not a US Citizen; does this mean I cannot get food stamps?
Many non-citizens are eligible to receive food stamps.  If you do not have documentation for yourself, you still may be able to apply for food stamps for other eligible family members.  In addition, children who are born in the United States can still receive benefits even when their parents are not citizens.
7.       Is a permanent address required to receive food stamps?
No, you do not have to have a permanent address to receive SNAP benefits.   Homeless individuals are more than likely eligible to receive expedited food stamps.
8.       I live in a house with other people; do I need to apply for them as well?
This depends on whether or not you buy and prepare food with the people you live with.  The answer to this question comes down to deciding what your household consists of for food stamp eligibility purposes.  Please read the larger post titled “What is Considered to be a Household for Food Stamp Eligibility for further clarification.
9.       How long does it take to get SNAP benefits?
The process can take up to 30 days.  If you are eligible for expedited food stamps, you should receive them within 7 days from the date you turned in your application.
10.   Can I use my EBT Card to purchase fast food with my food stamps?
A very limited amount of states will allow this, and usually only under certain circumstances.  For example, if you live in the state of Arizona, and you are homeless, disabled, or elderly, you may be eligible to use your food stamps at certain restaurants.  Their program is called the “Restaurant Meals Program” and you must specifically apply to the program.  Contact your local human services agency, to find out if there is a program like the Restaurant Meals program in your area.
11.   Why do I see people using their EBT card in restaurants if my state does not allow it?  (Bonus Question - Goes Along with Question #10)
An EBT card is not used for food stamps solely.  Some people receive TANF benefits (cash assistance) on their EBT cards as well.  So, when they are swiping at restaurants or using their card to buy non-eligible food stamp items, they are probably using their TANF benefits.

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I just was approved today in California ..I already have my ebt card...how long before I get my benefits deposited on to my ebt card

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  3. I live in louisana what do it mean when they say their waiting on verfication

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