Elderly citizens don’t always have to rely on government programs to ensure that they are well taken care of, but when they do, it can often seem complicated to access benefits. Food stamp programs in each state have different requirements, from fluctuating asset limits to simply accessing an application. Additionally, if you have trouble operating on a computer, you may find the online application process to be quite confusing, although it’s supposed to make things simpler. For that reason, many social security offices also help with food stamps, since the two go hand in hand. In fact, you may not even realize that you are eligible for food stamps even if you have accepted social security. If you are currently not receiving food stamps but you are living on social security, then you could be missing out on hundreds of financial aid for your groceries each month.
Are You Eligible?
You need to be a legal resident of the United States. If you are currently receiving benefits from other government programs, you are probably eligible for food stamps. You must have a social security number or qualify as a legal alien. In general, you cannot have more than $3,000 in your household. However, your social security benefits are not counted as part of this number. Your home and land also do not count against any eligibility. Cars and trucks are different depending on how they are used for your home. For example, if you have two cars used for work, you may only be able to have one car in your state, the other would be considered in your asset limits.
Applying Through Social Security
Government programs often go hand in hand. If you currently work with a social security office, they can also help you apply for food stamps. These offices should be able to supply you with an application and help you fill out the form, even working with you to file online at an office. Every social security office is supposed to also provide this assistance. When you do apply, you’ll need to know some information about yourself and your household, such as how many are in your household, the names and birth dates of all those in your household, social security numbers for yourself and others in your household, permanent address and contact number. Income information and asset information will also be necessary to provide.
What Affects How Much Assistance You Receive
As mentioned earlier, your social security benefits do not count towards your income. If you have a retirement plan or you do receive other money from stocks or savings, this will be counted as assets and will change your eligibility or lower what you receive each month for assistance. There is a prescreening tool through the USDA online through the Food and Nutrition Service. Other factors that will change the amount will depend on the number of people in your household.
Social security offices understand that working with elderly individuals can help them solve problems that may be difficult to voice. If you are dealing with hunger problems, you can get aid each month and also receive hot meals from local organizations that accept food stamps.