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Food Stamps

Getting Food Stamps

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You can get food stamps by filling out an application and submitting it to your local food stamp office. You can obtain a food stamp application from any social security office, and in some states you can download a food stamps application online.

In order to get food stamps, you must first meet federal and state eligibility guidelines. First, your household gross monthly income — which includes all cash payments to your household — must be 130% or less of Federal poverty guidelines. These guidelines change year to year as the federal poverty rate is continually adjusted. Second, your net household monthly income — gross income minus approved expenses — must be 100% or less of Federal poverty guidelines. Third, your household “countable” resources — such as bank accounts (but excluding home and property) — must not exceed $2000 ($3000 if a member of the household is age 60 or older).

If you meet these eligibility guidelines and are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to get food stamps. Once you fill out your food stamps application, it will take the food stamp office several weeks to determine your eligibility and the amount of food stamps you qualify for. Once you qualify for food stamp benefits, you will receive your food stamps in the form of an electronic benefit transfer, also called an EBT card, which operates a lot like a debit card. You can use your EBT card to purchase food at approved food establishments, such as groceries, markets, and convenient stores.