Applying For Food Stamps Online

Applying For Food Stamps Online
Applying For Food Stamps Online

How to Apply for Food Stamps Online
By alexagape, eHow Member

Are you struggling with the economic downturn and need to apply for food stamps? Learn how to do it online. Things You'll Need:
  • Computer
  • Current paystubs for the last month
  • Social Security numbers for everyone in your household

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 1

The USDA's food stamp program is now called SNAP or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. This name better suits the program so that people can understand that it is a supplemental program. In other words it helps provide some of your food not all of the food you need to support your family. You will find some useful steps below for filing for food stamps the simplest way.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 2

The first step you want to take is to find out if you are eligible based on your income as this is the main reason people are not eligible. You can check the income maximums here http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm If your income is from forms other than wages from a job you should still apply as some forms of other income are excluded. Note that you need to use your gross income (before taxes are taken out) to determine if you are over the income limit.

If you are over the income limit but have children under five or you are pregnant you should apply for WIC or Women, Infants, and Children as their income limits are much higher here is a link to their website http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 3

Now that you have determined that you are within the income maximums you can look at you resources. You are allowed to have $2000 in resources or $3000 if your household has a qualifying disabled person. Resources include money in a checking or savings account, the equity value of stocks and bonds, some states use part of the equity value of your car and some exclude your car entirely, a house that you live in is excluded or if you are not living in it but it is for sale or income producing it is excluded, there are other things that are considered a resource and you will be asked about them when you apply.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 4

You are now ready to see if you can apply online. You can use the USDA's website to see if your County allows you to apply online. You can check here http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/applicant_recipients/apply.htm . If your County doesn't allow you to apply online you can find your closest office here http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/outreach/map.htm note that this link brings up addresses of outreach centers but at the top of the page you will find a link for the SNAP office nearest you.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 5

Once you have found the website for your County you will complete the information for everyone in your FOOD STAMP HOUSEHOLD. A food stamp household is everyone that is eating and sharing food costs with you. IF you have others living in your home you will still list them but list them as purchasing and preparing their food separately.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 6

After you have finished the online application you will receive a letter asking you to bring some documents to the local office. This can include things like ID, social security cards, paystubs, rent receipt, and utility bills to name a few. IF you don't have all of the documents at the time they ask you to come to the office you should still go to the interview and tell the worker why you don't have them yet.

Step 7

After your short interview your worker will tell you if you are eligible to emergency food stamps, if they don't, ASK! You may be asked to bring other documents back but the worker only needs to verify your ID, social security number and your income for emergency food stamps. IF you are eligible to emergency food stamps you will receive them within 5 days. The rule is that the worker gets the emergency case mailed by the 3 day period they are seen as meeting the rule so ask to pick up the emergency card at the office on the 3rd day.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 8

If you are not eligible to emergency food stamps your case will be processed within 30 days.

Step 9

Using food stamps are much easier to use than before as there are longer any paper food stamps, it is all electronic just like using your ATM card. This is much less embarrassing to use. Your food stamps will be added to your EBT (Electronic Benefit Transaction) card every month on your availability day. Your worker will tell you your availability day at your interview, if not ask what day your food stamps will be on your card every month. Your food stamps will continue for at least one year (some rare cases will be certified for only 3 months like if you are homeless). After the 1 year period you will be asked to recertify or reapply which means to complete a new application every year.

Applying For Food Stamps Online

Step 10

Your case will be reevaluated every 3 months or every month in some Counties. You will receive a form in the mail asking you if there have been any changes in your case. You will need to provide paystubs for the month they are requesting this is usually called the data month. If you are confused when you receive this form call and ask for assistance. Save all you paystubs to turn in. Make sure you answer each question and sign and date the form. The information on this form will be used to update the amount of food stamps you will receive.

Step 11

To determine the amount of food stamps you will receive you will use your income, rent, and utilities. Ask your worker at your interview if any of your income has been excluded so when you want to see how many food stamps you will get you will know what income to count. You can find the formula to figure out how many food stamps you will get here http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm right below the income maximums. Note that if someone in your household is not eligible to food stamps the amount of income, rent and utilities will be different.

Applying For Food Stamps Online
Applying For Food Stamps Online

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