Food Stamps

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You may be familiar with the food stamps program in the US, but what you might not realize is that many states have renamed their food stamps program. In Florida, it is called the ACCESS program.ACCESS isn’t just restricted to food stamps but also provides cash assistance and medical assistance under the same program. Like food stamps in other states, individuals and families must meet certain qualifications to be approved for the ACCESS program such as being classified as very low income according to the income and number of people in the household.

What are Food Stamps?

Food stamps through the ACCESS program, let Florida residents feed their families from a choice of healthy foods. The program used to have paper vouchers but are now on a credit that you use like an ATM card. The food items you can purchase with food stamps are bread, peanut butter, cereal, meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and seeds for planting your own produce. The electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card will only work on certain items, so be sure you are using it for the food items you really need to make healthy meals. It does not work on tobacco, alcohol, or household items that can’t be consumed.

Eligibility Requirements

Florida has certain eligibility requirements you and your family must meet before they will provide you with food stamps. The main requirement is your annual income before taxes and before paying your bills. The amount varies depending on how many people are in your family. For example, if it’s just you, you can’t earn more than $14,079 but it is more if you’re a couple or have children in the home. They will also base your eligibility on your ability to work and how much your rent or utility bills cost each month. If you have been granted eligibility based on Florida’s requirements, you can continue with the application process.

Applying for Food Stamps

The ACCESS food stamp program is easy to apply online, which is the preferred way due to the inconvenience on both sides. If you don’t have Internet access, you can apply by phone, in person, by mail or by fax. For mailing or faxing options, you will need to download and print the application for ACCESS and make sure you have the right physical address or fax number to send it to. Fill it out in full, not leaving anything out otherwise it is going to get sent back and you will need to fill it out again. You will be contacted shortly after sending in your application about whether or not you qualify for benefits.

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