In Maine, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Family Independence. The program helps low-income households and people buy food to meet their basic nutritional needs. There are some general eligibility requirements, including residency and income tests.
Unlike most states, there isn’t a required application form in Maine. Instead, you can call your local DHHS Office for Family Independence to set up an interview. At the interview, you will provide all the information and sign the application once it’s printed. You may have to bring some documents verifying your residency, identity and financial situation. Typically, you will get benefits no later than 30 days from the date the application is completed.
After your interview, the OFI office will send you a notice with details about whether you will receive SNAP benefits. If you do qualify, it will tell you how long you can get SNAP benefits before you must reapply. Your benefits are issued electronically through the Pine Tree Card. This is an EBT card that is used like any debit card. Simply swipe and enter your PIN to make food purchases.
1. What work requirements are there to receive SNAP benefits?
Anyone in the household who is 16-60 years old and can work must register for, look for and accept work.
2. Can students receive food stamp benefits?
Most able-bodied students ages 18 through 49 who are enrolled in college or other higher-education institutions at least half time are not eligible for SNAP benefits.
3. Are there expedited benefits?
Yes. For those with no income or very little income, you may qualify for seven-day service.
4. How do I check my Pine Tree Card account balance?
To check your Pine Tree Card account balance, simply log on to their website and enter your information.
5. Are there items that I cannot buy with SNAP benefits?
Yes. Federal law prohibits you from buying alcohol, tobacco, household items, vitamins and medicines, pet food and hot foods with food stamp benefits.
Contact: Maine Food Stamps.