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Food Stamps


Food stamps in New York officially changed their name to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as of August 2012. This new name is the same for the majority of the US, though some states have their own name for it, like CalFresh in California. For New York residents, SNAP is available with monthly electronic benefits transfer cards that can be used for withdrawal or at grocery stores to purchase food items, milk, formula, and other necessities for nutrition. The eligibility requirements are based on income, household size, assets and some other factors.

What are Food Stamps?

Food stamps aren’t stamps at all, but benefits offered to individuals, couples and families who are on a very limited income. It is in place to help you and your family eat nutritious foods on a limited budget. When food stamps were first developed in New York, there were paper vouchers that you could use for things such as milk, bread, meat, peanut butter or cereal. These foods can still be purchased, though now they are on an EBT card which is similar to an ATM card. Your balance show sup each month which can be used in full or during several grocery shopping trips. It will return again at the beginning of the next month.

How do I Qualify?

In order to get a food stamps EBT card, you will first need to meet the state’s eligibility requirements. You will need to be either a US citizen or a legal non-citizen, be disabled or actively looking for employment, and be considered low income based on your annual income and how many people are in your family. There are strict income limits that vary depending on how many people are in your home. For example, if the limit for 3 people is $18,000 but between you and your spouse, you earn $19,100, you aren’t going to qualify for food stamps. Verify your eligibility before taking the time to apply.

Application Process

To apply for the food stamps program in New York, first make sure you meet all of the above eligibility requirements. If so, you have a good chance of being accepted into the SNAP food stamps program. First, decide how you want to apply. The state of New York gives you many different options including applying online, in person, by phone, by mail or by fax. Choose whichever method is most convenient for you and read the application thoroughly before filling it in and sending it. You will need to fill it out in full and expect to show documentation for things like your income, citizenship, children or pregnancy, address and other personal information.


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