Food Stamp Requirements

With the economy still in a slump and the job market currently posting dismal statistics, many American families are turning to the government for help. One federally funded program that is especially helpful to many people is the food stamp program. If you or your family needs help, there are a few things that may help you apply for and receive food stamps.

You will need to either visit your local social services department or locate the food stamp program on the official website for your state. Most states do have online applications.

The income requirements do vary by state. The number of people in your household will be considered as will the cash value of your personal property or any investments that you may have. It is important to include all of your financial information on your application because failure to do so may disqualify you from the food stamp program.

You may need to furnish pay stubs or tax records to accompany your application. You will also be asked for the amounts of your outstanding bills for necessities, like rent, electricity and water. Your income will be balanced against your expenses and your family’s needs to determine your eligibility. This will also be the major determining factor of how much money you will receive in food stamp benefits per month.

If you have roommates or live with other family members, you must also include their information on your application. Though their presence may not determine your eligibility, the amount of money that they contribute to the household might. If you do not include this or if you have inaccurately reported this or any of your other financial information, you could be denied benefits.

If you are approved and your inaccuracies are discovered, you may end up facing charges for welfare fraud and you will have to repay the money you received in benefits either in full or in part as determined by the social services department in charge of the food stamp program.

If your situation is more desperate, you may be eligible for emergency food stamps. This will fast track your application and get your benefits to you within a few days instead of the weeks or longer backlog of current applicants. To meet these requirements, you will most likely need to prove that you have either no income or insufficient income to provide your family or yourself with food.