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Food Stamps

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Food stamp benefits offer healthy food options like fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat products to families on a limited income. It is easy to apply for food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Although the program is under a different name, the eligibility requirements, application and interview process, and amount of benefits remains the same. You can find out more by visiting your local Department of Health and Human Services or Social Services office.

Determine your Income Eligibility

There are a variety of eligibility requirements for SNAP benefits but your income is one of the most important. If you make too much money according to your income and how many members of your family there are, you will be denied outright. The limit changes every year, but most recently it was $1,174 a month for one person and an additional $405 for each additional person living in your home. If you make more than this amount, you will be denied benefits. However if you do not make more than this, you may still qualify.

Calculate your Benefits

If you have determined that your income and other money coming (other Federal benefits, social security, etc.) then you can calculate how much you will get for food stamps. Start by adding up all of your earned income for the household and subtracting 20% from that amount. So if you earn $1,000 a month, subtract 20% which is $200; you are now left with $800. Now subtract the current deduction. As of 2012, the number was $141 for 1-3 people or $153 for 4 people. For more than 4 people, contact your local health and human services office. You should now subtract any child care or dependent care expenses you have. You can also subtract medical expenses you have each month for adults in your household 60 years or older. If you have court-ordered child support payments, subtract that amount as well. If you are homeless, you can also subtract $143 from the amount. Now divide the final amount by two. Subtract rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and home owner’s insurance from the amount. This final amount is what you use to compare to the current limits for food stamps. To figure out how many food stamp benefits you will get, multiply your net income by 30% and subtract that number by the maximum monthly allotment. It also changes by the year so you will need to find the current limit. Check your county’s website as they may have allotment tables that make it easier and don’t require extensive calculations.

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