The economy is slowly recovering and more people are going back to work. Despite this, millions of people are still struggling to get by. Vulnerable households on low incomes can apply for SNAP Program / Benefits. These benefits are designed to help people afford nutritious food, while their financial situation stabilizes. More commonly known as food stamps, SNAP is responsive to changes in need, therefore people who fall into a pit of economic adversity can get financial relief quickly.
In 2010, the average person using SNAP was receiving $133.79 per month and the average household was receiving $289.61 per month. Approximately 76 percent of households using the SNAP Program / Benefits comprised a child, elderly or disabled person. Eligibility for the program is dependent on gross income and the rules require participants to be at, or below, 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
Where Can SNAP Benefits Be Used?
Food stamp benefits are transferred to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account once a month. The amount is based on the applicant’s circumstances. To access these funds, you must take your EBT card to the nearest SNAP retailer. SNAP retailers are carefully selected, because only certain items can be acquired with these benefits. The retailer needs to sell food that fits into the four staple food groups.
What Can Be Purchased with SNAP Benefits?
To ensure people do not abuse the system, there are limits as to what a person can buy with their food stamp assistance. Fraud activity within the food stamp system is relatively low thanks to the strict guidelines. As of 2012, the trafficking rates were one percent. All food products are available, but the following items are not:
- Vitamins and medicines
- Cigarettes and tobacco
- Beer, wine and other types of alcohol
- Ready-to-eat food
- Hot food
- Non-food items and household products
How Long Does the SNAP Program / Benefits Last?
The answer to this question depends entirely on the size of your household, your gross and net income, and the number of people living in the household. Employment status and health status will also be taken into consideration. Adults aged 18-50 with good health are likely to receive assistance from the SNAP Program / Benefits for three months. Once these three months are up, the recipient must submit a renewal application. At this time, any changes in circumstances will be taken into account. The typical benefit period ranges