Food Stamps

Delaware Food Stamp Program

The Delaware food stamps program is a federal initiative that bridges the financial gap that deters some families from buying nutritious groceries. Food stamps is the former name for the current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, both terms are used today to describe the program. Similar to manifestations of this public benefits program in other parts of the country, SNAP in Delaware is funded through federal assistance. However, each state is required to uphold its local branch of this food assistance initiative.

The SNAP food stamps funds are managed by the Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) and its Division of Social Services (DSS) throughout the state. It is this department’s duty to evaluate all petitioners’ applications and determine who qualifies for program benefits. Likewise, the DHSS allocates SNAP funds to enrollees once they have been accepted into the program. In order to make this process more accessible to applicants, the sections below explain these food stamp requirements for eligibility. Included in the information is also a summary of ways petitioners may use their benefits and what appeal options claimants have if the DHSS denies their applications.

What is food stamps in Delaware?

SNAP food benefits in Delaware are dispensable to claimants who meet the state’s introductory eligibility requirements. These prerequisites relate to topics such as petitioners’ citizenship and overall familial income levels. Furthermore, these maximum food stamps benefits award amounts are determined in proportion to the number of individuals living in households. Regardless of family size, claimants who believe they are eligible to receive SNAP benefits in DE should apply for support through the DHSS. Once applicants have successfully enrolled in the program, they are permitted to access critical funds that can help enable them to feed their family members.

Delaware Food Stamps Requirements

There are two key Delaware food stamps requirements that petitioners must meet if they wish to collect SNAP benefits in the state. These requirements for food stamps relate to both financial and personal characteristic criteria.

First, in order to collect SNAP funding, claimants are required to be either U.S. residents or foreign-born petitioners who legally live in the country. The next food stamps eligibility prerequisite enables the DHSS to assess petitioning families’ collective household incomes. In order to qualify for food assistance in DE, applicants must demonstrate that their monthly gross earnings do not exceed 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). These totals are in relation to how many people live in the claimants’ households. Therefore, the monthly income limits for food stamps petitioners are as follows:

  • Individuals who live alone may not earn more than $1,287.
  • Two-person families must earn less than $1,736.
  • Three-person units need income that totals less than $2,184.
  • Families with four members are required to earn less than $2,633.
  • Households with five people need to earn less than $3,081.
  • Family units with six members cannot have incomes that exceed $3,530.
  • Seven-person family units are ineligible if they earn more than $3,980.
  • Individual households with eight members cannot earn more than $4,430.

Income guidelines for food stamps also encompass larger families as well. In order for these petitioners to determine their eligibility, they must add an extra $146 to the eight-person total for each additional member of their families.

How to Apply for Food Stamps in Delaware

Potential petitioners may want to know how to apply for food stamps in Delaware if they feel they are eligible for benefits. Claimants have the options of submitting an online food stamps application or filing a paper application with the DHSS. Candidates who elect to apply for food stamps online will find that this method is simpler and more convenient. The web portals are accessible at all times of day, and petitioners without their own computers or internet access may consider applying for SNAP online at:

  • Local libraries.
  • Hospitals and health care facilities.
  • Community centers.

Once petitioners decide how they would like to apply for food assistance in DE, they must prepare to submit their materials. Claimants must be ready to provide the following information when they file their SNAP applications:

  • Contact information
  • Home address
  • Household income
  • Utility expenses
  • Immigration status

Preparing for the Delaware Food Stamps Interview

Participating in a Delaware food stamps interview is obligatory for all claimants who wish to be considered to receive SNAP benefits. Claimants who wonder, “What do you need for the food stamps interview?” should note that they need to bring proof of the following items for their conversations with the DHSS:

  • Identification for all household members
  • Home addresses for the petitioning households
  • Income earned or stipends collected for all family members within the previous 30 days

Furthermore, candidates who remember what is required for food stamps in terms of enrollment eligibility may also consider bringing documents that verify the facts they indicated in their applications.

How to Use the Delaware EBT Card

“How long does it take to get the Delaware EBT card?” is a question SNAP candidates often wonder once they have been admitted into the food stamps program. The department issues these cards to claimants once it formally recognizes and accepts that the applicants’ petitions are valid. The Delaware EBT card, which stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer, is the tool the DHSS uses to distribute monies to claimants each month.

Since all transfers are completed and managed online, claimants simply need to log into their digital accounts in order to check their EBT card balance and review their account statements. These devices operate like other debit cards. Therefore, claimants may make purchases with their SNAP funds at any location that has been approved to accept the cards.

Enrollees may ask, “What can I buy with my EBT card?” after they receive their Delaware Food First card in the mail. Claimants are permitted to use their SNAP funds to purchase the following types of foods:

  • Fruits: Candidates may use SNAP to buy various canned, frozen and fresh fruits.
  • Vegetables: Enrollees may use food stamps to buy vegetables in various edible forms.
  • Meats and seafood: SNAP beneficiaries may use program funds to buy different types of seafood, beef, pork and poultry.
  • Dairy: Food stamps awardees may use program benefits to buy milk, cheese and yogurt.
  • Grains: From breads to cereals and rice, SNAP beneficiaries have a variety of starch foods they may purchase using their program monies.

Awardees may also use their DE EBT card to buy non-essential groceries. For example, claimants are permitted to use SNAP funds to buy snack foods, cookies, cakes, candies and ice cream. However, beneficiaries are unable to use food stamps to buy:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Ready-made meals.
  • Soaps
  • Paper products.

How to Appeal a Delaware Food Stamps Denial

After claimants experience a Delaware food stamps denial, they have the right to request fair hearings through the State Hearing Office. The purpose of a hearing is to have a new state representative examine the claimant’s petition to see if he or she may actually be eligible to receive benefits.

Petitioners who have their food stamps application denied must request these determination appeals in writing. Next, the DSS prepares a summary for the State Hearing Office, which explains the office’s reasoning for the determinations it issued. Afterward, the State Hearing Office examines these summaries and sends notifications to claimants. These notifications inform the applicants when and where their hearings will take place. Once these steps in filing the food stamps appeal process have concluded, applicants must wait for their scheduled hearings to take place and for decisions to be made.

How to Renew Your Food Stamps in Delaware

Just before enrollees’ SNAP claims are about to expire, beneficiaries must submit a food stamps renewal form in Delaware to continue receiving benefits. Similar to when applicants first filed petitions for SNAP, they have the opportunities to renew food stamps online or by submitting paper applications to the department. In any case, it is imperative that enrollees make sure to file their food stamps renewal application before their claim periods expire. Missing this deadline will result in applicants experiencing temporary losses in benefits until their new petitions can be successfully filed with the DHSS.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

Below is the amount of monthly income a household must have in relation to members in the household in order to qualify for food stamps.
1 $1,287
2 $1,736
3 $2,184
4 $2,633
5 $3,081
6 $3,530
7 $3,980
8 $4,430

How can I check my eligibility status?

Once you’ve applied for food stamps in Delaware, you can use Delaware “ASSIST” to check your application status, learn about benefits, re-apply for benefits and much more. You can start using the ASSIST program by visiting assist.dhss.delaware.gov.

What other programs are offered through ASSIST?

They are several services offered through Delaware ASSIST, including:
Long Term Care
Medical Assistance
Food Supplement Program
Cash Assistance
Child Care Assistance
National School Lunch Program
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Food Bank
Helpful Links: You can visit the Delaware Food Stamp website here.