Food Stamps

Missouri Food Stamp Program

With Missouri food stamps, in-state residents are able to purchase a variety of healthy foods and beverages. In many cases, program enrollees may not have been able to afford these items before enrolling in this initiative, which makes these funds critical for most beneficiaries. The program’s official name is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but it is also widely known as food stamps. Individuals use both terms interchangeably to describe this public assistance program.

SNAP in Missouri serves a number of low-income households each month. Although food assistance is available in all parts of the country, each state manages its own program. The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) oversees SNAP in this state, and it keeps track of whether or not statewide efforts are following federal food stamp regulations. In particular, the Family Support Division (FSD) directly oversees SNAP. The information below explains some of the rules petitioners need to be aware of before and after they submit their program applications. Additional sections discuss what steps claimants need to take to access their benefits once they are enrolled in the MO food stamps program.

What are food stamps in Missouri?

SNAP food benefits in Missouri are available to candidates who demonstrate to the DSS on their applications that they are in need of financial support. This program’s goal is to supply low-income families and individuals with benefits they can use to purchase groceries each month. Once claimants enroll in the program, they may use their food stamps benefits to buy groceries for their households at most supermarkets, convenience stores and other approved retailers. Furthermore, by supplying claimants with funds to buy groceries, this initiative aims to help end hunger across the United States.

Missouri Food Stamps Requirements

Missouri food stamps requirements pertain to a few important aspects of a claimant’s circumstances. For example, in order to qualify for the program, candidates need to be Missouri residents. Even though these food assistance benefits are available throughout the country, petitioners may only apply in the states where they live. Additionally, the MO requirements for food stamps indicate that claimants must have household resources that fall below a certain threshold. Specifically, most families must possess assets that equal $2,250 or less. However, households with disabled individuals or members who are older than 60 years of age may have resource limits that total up to $3,500. Excluded from these asset totals include:

  • Petitioners’ primary family homes.
  • Household automobiles.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Prepaid burial plots.

Furthermore, food stamps eligibility requirements indicate that claimants need to have Social Security Numbers (SSN). However, candidates who do not yet have this information may still petition for SNAP if they agree to apply for these numbers. In any case, applicants need to remember that these requirements pertain to all of the people who live in their households and who would also utilize their SNAP benefits.

How to Apply for Food Stamps in Missouri

When researching how to apply for food stamps in Missouri, it is important that claimants remember they have two ways of completing this process. First, candidates may submit an online food stamps application. This virtual application is available through the state’s website. Second, petitioners can apply using a paper application. This document is also available online or at local FSD offices. Afterward, applicants can return these completed forms to the FSD by dropping them off in person, as well as by mailing or faxing them to the department.

In any case, candidates who apply for food assistance need to be aware that the department will require them to provide documentation that supports whatever information they declare on their claims. Petitioners are not required to submit all of these documents along with their applications because they will have the opportunity to do so during the interview portion of their application process. However, the longer it takes for candidates to submit their proofs of eligibility, the longer it could take for the FSD to process their applications. In any case, candidates should include copies of the following documents along with their SNAP applications:

  • Identity – Driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, voter registration card
  • State residency – Utility bill, a copy of their rental agreements, proof of mortgage payment
  • Immigration status – Proof of status or immigration, military identification card, immigration court documents
  • Income – Pay stubs, retirement checks, disability benefits, alimony, child support

Preparing for the Missouri Food Stamps Interview

It is necessary for applicants to complete an MO food stamps interview once they file their application with the DSS. These interviews take place either by phone or in person. Generally, claimants wonder, “What do you need for the food stamps interview?” Petitioners must be sure that they bring copies of whatever documents they did not submit when they first applied for SNAP. However, it is also a good idea to bring copies of any documents that were already submitted in case anything needs to be verified. Failing to supply proof of facts included in the applications will cause additional delays when it comes to the FSD evaluating candidates’ petitions.

How to Use the Missouri EBT Card

“How long does it take to get a Missouri EBT card?” is one of the first questions petitioners ask when they learn they have been approved for SNAP benefits. EBT, which is short for electronic benefits transfer, describes the method the DSS uses to distribute funds to program enrollees. Claimants who have never received a Missouri EBT card will receive these cards in the mail.

Typically, the DSS sends these cards once the department has approved the applicants for the program. Once claimants have their cards, they may begin using them at point-of-sale machines at many approved retailers, including farmer’s markets and supermarkets. These tools work like credit and debit cards, and petitioners should be sure to check their EBT card balance before they plan to use these cards. This will help ensure that enrollees always have enough funds available in their accounts to cover the total cost of their purchases.

How to Appeal a Missouri Food Stamps Denial

When claimants receive a food stamps denial in Missouri, they have 90 days to file their appeals. Filing these petitions signals to the department that the applicants disagree with the state’s rulings and wish to have another official re-evaluate their applications. Petitioners who have their food stamps application denied need to provide the department with a reason that explains why they wish to have someone else examine their claims. Once candidates submit their requests, the state will notify them regarding when their hearings will take place.

How to Renew Your Food Stamps in Missouri

Candidates must file an MO food stamps renewal application if their benefits are about to expire and they would like to continue receiving SNAP funding. Generally, the DSS awards claimants with food stamps for 12- or 24-month periods. When enrollees are nearing the end of their claim periods, they may either renew food stamps online or submit paper applications to the FSD. Regardless of how petitioners choose to complete this task, they must be sure to report to the department any changes in their household composition or finances, as well as immigration or state residency status.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What income do you need to have in order to be eligible for food stamps in Missouri?

Whether you qualify for food stamps and the amount you are able to receive in benefits directly relates to your maximum monthly income and the number of person in your household. Below is a list of the maximum monthly income as it relates to the number of members in your household:

1 $1,276
2 $1,726
3 $2,177
4 $2,628
5 $3,078
6 $3,529
7 $3,980
8 $4,430
9 $4,881
10 $5,332
11 $5,783
12 $5,234
13 $6,685
14 $7,136
15 $7,587
16 $8,038
17 $8,489
18 $8,940
19 $9,391
20 $9,842

How long will I be eligible for food stamps in Missouri?

You will receive food stamps benefits for as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. If you are required to reapply, you will receive a letter telling you so.

Does my EBT Card ever expire?

EBT Cards do not have expiration dates. However, they may become inactive if they are not used for 12 months. With proper care, your EBT Card should last for several years but if you ever need to replace your card or have it reissued, you can call 1-800-997-7777.

 Can I use my Missouri EBT card in another state?

Yes. You may use your EBT card in any other state as long as the grocery store participates in the food assistance program. However, if you move out of Missouri, you must notify the Family Support Division.

Helpful Links : You can visit the Missouri food stamp website here.