Get SNAP card [food stamps] to cut down food costs
Among a slew of programs available to assist low income families weather a tough spot in their life, SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – is one of the most helpful. Getting approved for SNAP benefits provides a family an electronic benefits transfer card which could be used at the nearby retailers for buying food items. These cards have replaced the well-known food stamps for a few years now but the program which is in place for several decades continues to supplement the needy with nutritious food every day. Do make note that some food items – generally, the ones which can be readily consumed at the store – are categorized as ineligible to buy through SNAP. You can find a list of the eligible and ineligible items by visiting the USDA web site and reading their SNAP section.
Applying for SNAP card:
1. You can choose to apply for SNAP over the Internet if your county has the online registration in place. As of today, some counties and states do not provide this facility, and if you happen to live in one of those places, you will need to visit the SNAP office near you to get application form, fill it with required information and turn it in,
2. In order to determine your eligibility, make use of the online pre-screening tool at USDA.gov,
3. Answers to any queries can be easily obtained by calling the toll-free SNAP hotline number. As an alternative to getting application form in person, it can also be ordered via mail by calling the local office in charge of administering the benefits. Take note of all proofs that need to be submitted to help the administrators verify the information filled in application. Required documentation includes but not limited to tax returns, pay stubs, savings account statements and utility bills,
4. Once approved, the SNAP card will reach your door within 30 days of the applied date. Applicants who have not received any response within 30 days of application are suggested to report the same to concerned authorities. Those who are deemed ineligible will receive a written notice mentioning the reason for rejection.
If you need immediate food assistance, make use of the expedited food stamps program which is aimed at helping families in crisis. As opposed to receiving the card within a month of application, expedited program helps families receive the benefits in a week of time and requires very minimal documentation,
5. If your income has come down drastically after having received the benefits card, report the change to the administering authority as this can lead to increased amount of benefits. In addition to the decreased income, other changes which affect your financial standing can also be reported so as to see if you become eligible for a further increase in food benefits. Not reporting the changes immediately would mean you will miss out on getting additional benefits that you are eligible for,
6. Rejected applications are allowed to request a hearing and appeal against the decision. In order to find out the exact procedure for arranging a hearing, make use of the information in the notice they send you.