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Food Stamps

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The food stamps program is available in every state in the US but it is slightly different in each state. In Alabama, food stamps are formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)and offers nutrition through monthly benefits to individuals and families who qualify. The eligibility requirements are determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and therefore will be the same for all states. Eligibility is usually determined by income compared to how many people are in the household and must survive on that income.

What are Food Stamps?

Food stamps aren’t a new concept in Alabama or the country by any means, though they have changed somewhat over the years. Food stamps, in general, are benefits offered to you and your family for purchasing food, milk, and seeds in order to feed your family nutritious meals. They used to be in the form of paper vouchers for the different food items you would be able to purchase for that month. However in the last few years, Alabama has switched to electronic benefits, via the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. This card works just like an ATM card where you can withdraw funds from an ATM machine or use the card at the grocery store. You have a list of foods you can purchase with the EBT card, such as fruits and vegetables, bread, peanut butter, dairy products and meat. You can also buy seeds to grow your own produce for consumption.

Eligibility Requirements

All government programs have eligibility requirements and the SNAP food stamps program in Alabama is no exception. In order to qualify for food stamps in Alabama, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being low income or having a disability. As of 2012, your annual income must be less than $14,079 for one person, $18,941 for two people, and so on. The more people in your household, the higher the income limit is because there are more mouths to feed. You can earn up to $48,113 a year and still get food stamps if you have 8 or more people in your household. Aside from the income requirements, you might be eligible in other ways such as being pregnant or having a disability that keeps you from being able to work. Alabama’s SNAP program also requires you to either be a US citizen or a legal non-US citizen. If you came into the country illegally and can’t verify your current eligibility status, you won’t be permitted to receive food stamps.

Applying for Food Stamps in Alabama

Alabama offers a variety of different ways to apply for the SNAP food stamps program. The quickest and easiest ways to apply are online or over the phone. However you can also apply by mail, in person or by fax if you prefer. You will need to have access to the application and send it to your local County Department of Human Resources (DHR) office to be processed. They will review the information and contact you if your family qualifies for benefits.

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