ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get Food Stamps

Updated on July 12, 2010

How to Get Food Stamps

Food stamps -- the colloquial name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP -- are vouchers that participating households receive to help cover the costs of their monthly grocery bill. SNAP provides billions of dollars in food vouchers and nutritional support to over 30 million people each year. Though the program is federally funded, SNAP benefits are regulated and dispensed at a state level. Therefore, you will need to contact your state SNAP, Social Security or other welfare office to apply and get food stamps.

What You Need

To get food stamps, you will need some documents to prove who you are. If you are applying for food stamps for your entire household, you will also need documents for each individual member of your household to prove their identities, as well. At the very least, you should have:

  • Current, valid photo identification (such as your driver’s license or passport)*
  • Original or certified copy of birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Green card (if you are a permanent resident)

*For children under the age of 18, a passport, military card or school identification card will satisfy this requirement. For younger children not yet in school and for infants, no photo identification is required. However, you may have to bring your children with you to your local SNAP or Social Security Administration office for verification.

You will also need to show proof of your entire household’s income and available resources. For this, you will need:

  • Last four paystubs for each working adult
  • Most recent income tax return for each adult
  • Most recent checking/savings account statement(s) for every household member
  • Most recent utility bills to prove expenses (excluding cell phones, cable and internet)
  • Most recent mortgage or rent bill or statement
  • Most recent statements for other benefits you/other household members receive (like Social Security Disability, TANF or WIC)
  • Statements for any investments, trusts or bonds for each adult, if applicable

Where to Apply

To apply for food stamps, visit your local SNAP, welfare or Social Security Administration agency. You (or the head-of-household, if that is not you) must complete an application form, which will ask for each household member’s personal information. You must provide this information for every adult and child in your household for whom you are applying for food stamps. You will need to know each household member’s:

  • Full, legal name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Employer, if applicable
  • Total monthly income
  • Total available resources
  • Total amount of benefits received from other social welfare programs

When you are finished completing the application, return it to a representative at the office. You will then need to schedule a formal interview, which will likely occur at a later time. You must attend this interview if you want to get food stamps for you and your family. If there are young children in your household, remember to ask if you need to bring them with you when you return for your interview.

Your SNAP Interview

On the day of your SNAP interview, arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early, especially if your interview is scheduled early in the morning or immediately preceding lunchtime. Bring along documents for each of your household members that you previously compiled, along with anything else you think you may need. Be prepared to spend up to a few hours at the office, especially if you live in a highly-populated city or urban area. If you need to bring your children with you, bring snacks and small books or toys to keep them occupied in the meantime.

When your name is called, go to the window where you were directed to go. Here, you will sit down face to face with a SNAP or welfare agent. The agent will ask for your name and information, and then explain how the program works. Provide your identification and financial documents, which the agent will review and make copies for the office’s records. You will then discuss your household, your income, and what SNAP can do to help. When the interview is over, the SNAP agent will determine your eligibility. If you qualify, the agent will then tell you how much your household qualifies for in food stamp benefits and when those benefits will begin. You likely won’t receive any food stamps that day, but your benefits will arrive in the mail within a few weeks if you are approved. As soon as you receive your food vouchers or EBT card, you can start using your benefits.

It is very important that you remain honest throughout the entire interview. If you conceal information about your household size, income or resources, SNAP can terminate your benefits and you will have to pay back anything you were not supposed to receive immediately. The state can also temporarily or even permanently suspend your benefits for other programs, like TANF or Social Security benefits, if you are caught lying.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)