Want to avoid any worries about feeding your family? Applying for food stamps might be the solution that wipes those worries away by making it affordable to stock your kitchen.
If you need help right away, some programs may direct deposit a short-term loan into your bank account.
Food stamps are no stranger to the public, as most people have heard of them before. While many people still use the food stamps moniker, the more formal name for this government benefit is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
Food stamps can come with a stigma due to past beliefs on the program. Now, however, SNAP is common. Many families use it to get back on their feet and ensure their children stay fed.
You can do the same, as there’s no need to worry about what others might think of you using this assistance. Best of all, they’ve changed how food stamps function, as you can now get a card you can swipe to pay for your groceries.
SNAP’s Primary Function
As you can tell by its name, SNAP aims to supplement the nutrition of those in need. Although it may not intend to buy all of your food, you can get some sizable benefits to make grocery purchases that grow with the number of people in your household. For instance, a family of four could get a maximum benefit of $646, which could ease your food worries quickly.
The “nutrition” part of SNAP’s name is essential, as you will have certain restrictions when making purchases. Things that are considered luxuries, such as hot or prepared foods, supplements, vitamins, tobacco, or alcohol cannot be bought with SNAP benefits. You can, however, buy foods to fill your fridge and cupboard, such as poultry, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, and so on.
How To Receive SNAP Benefits
SNAP was created to help low-income families with food. Keeping this in mind, you will have to pass specific requirements for this food assistance program. One of the most essential requirements deals with income.
Your household’s gross and net income will be checked to ensure they fall within the program’s limits. If you fear your family earns too much money to qualify, know that you can deduct expenses to lower your income, such as housing costs, childcare costs, and more. If anyone in your household receives SSI or TANF benefits, that could help you qualify automatically.
Beyond income, your resources will also be looked at. A resource is often considered cash or bank accounts, instead of your home and your first car. If anyone receives SSI or TANF, this resource calculation can be bypassed.
Once income and resources are considered, you will also have to pass the test of either having a Social Security number or applying for one in the past. This applies to all household members.
Lastly, you may have to meet work requirements to get SNAP, especially for anyone between the ages of 18-49.
Since requirements may change according to location, your best bet is to contact your local SNAP office now and ask any questions you may have. Then you can begin the application process.