The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SNAP, is an updated version of what used to be known as Food Stamps. As the biggest program against hunger in the U.S., SNAP is intended to help eligible people and families with low to no income that suffer from inadequate nutrition. Even though it is a federal program, each state has its own local agencies to put it to practice.
In the past, the program allowed you to apply for food stamps or coupons of different values ($1, $5 and $10). In 1990, with the help of private companies, SNAP switched methodologies and began to provide aid through an Electronic Benefit Transference, also known as EBT cards.
Consider the following 5 things you need to know before applying for SNAP:
SNAP is available to all kinds of people and families that meet the requirements, regardless of how many members the family has or their ages.
We recommend you visit your local library and access the pre-screening tool with one of their computers. Or, if you rather do it by phone, you can call Food Source and ask to talk to an adviser about the SNAP benefits.
Keep in mind that you may also check eligibility and apply for the emergency SNAP benefits, which will be given to you within 7 days of requested. In this case, the best option is to go directly to your local SNAP office.
To be eligible, your situation must be compatible with at least one of the following 3 scenarios:
If you are not only applying for food stamps for yourself but also for your entire household, you should add their names in the form. This is because you buy and prepare the meals for all of you, so they also need to be covered in the benefits given to you.
Spouses and kids under 22 years old must submit only one application as a household.
If you want to ask for information or apply to the SNAP program, select one of the following methods:
As soon as you apply, you will get an EBT card on the mail. However, don’t freak out if its balance is worth $0 — this is normal. Only when your request is approved will you start seeing the SNAP benefits accredited.
Applying to get SNAP benefits takes time and you should be patient. After you apply, the agency will call you to verify your documentation. If you are eligible for emergency SNAP, you the process may be faster. If not, your local SNAP office will contact you after 30 days to notify the approval or denial of your application.