Food is a necessity. Just like water and oxygen, you need nutrition to survive. Unfortunately, millions of Americans all across the country struggle to be able to afford this necessity. With housing bills to pay and facing an economy that is still pushing to right itself, life is much more difficult for these citizens than it should be. Luckily, there is some good news. If you or someone close to you is having a hard time affording food and some of life’s other vital components, the Food Stamps program is here to help.
What You Can Buy
Bread, cereal, dairy products, meat, fish and poultry: you should be able to enjoy all of these items in a given week. With Food Stamps, you can. Giving eligible Americans vouchers to pay for all of the above, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds and plants for growing food at home, beneficiaries no longer have to worry about themselves or their spouses or children going to bed hungry. However, there is a line drawn in the sand as to what can and cannot be purchased with these benefits. Alcohol, pet food, household items and medication are not acceptable purchases.
Eligibility for Food Stamps
Applicants who file a Food Stamps application and are accepted into the program will receive Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards, which is where your benefits will go each and every month, as long as you continue to qualify for benefits, and eligibility for Food Stamps is very inclusive. As of now, about 101 million people in the United States are enjoying a life that is a little easier because of Food Stamps assistance. This is because all you need to do to be accepted into the program is submit a Food Stamps application and meet the income requirements that are put forth by your state of residence. These eligibility requirements are based on household size in order to be fair to those who have many mouths to feed. In any case, given that each state has its own criteria for accepting applicants, it is important to get in contact with a state representative for specific information. These individuals will also be able to help you obtain emergency Food Stamps if you situation is dire.
How to Apply for Food Stamps
The process to apply for Food Stamps benefits varies by state. Some states require all applicants to submit a paper application in person at a local office, while others provide the means to apply online or by phone. Find your state Food Stamps page for specific information.
In any case, all applicants and every individual living under their roof should expect to provide proofs of identity which show the following information:
· Full name
· Date of birth
· Social Security Number
· Telephone number
In order to apply for Food Stamps, applicants must also provide all of the necessary financial information:
· Checking and savings account information
· Credit card balances
· Employment history
· Home equity
· Childcare expenses
· Utility bills (current and outstanding)
· Medical bills (current and outstanding)
· Income received by every member of your household
· Expected income for the near future
· Investment income
· Transportation expenses to and from work