As economic conditions worsen, more and more people are being forced to apply for social benefits such as food stamps. This article provides the basic information, requirements and qualifications necessary to obtain assistance from the federal food stamp program.Qualifying For Food Stamps
Food stamps are a federally funded benefit. Anyone can apply for food stamps. To get food stamps, you and the other people in your household must meet certain economic conditions. Everyone who is applying in your household must have or apply for a Social Security number and be either a U.S. citizen or have a qualified alien status.
You can obtain food stamp eligibility applications at your local Social Security office. You will likely be later interviewed by a food stamp service representative and will be required to present your driver’s license or state identification card, birth certificate or alien card when you meet with your representative.
You will also need to demonstrate proof of income such as cancelled checks or pay stubs for each member of your household. Since the allotment of food stamps are usually determined by household income, additional information might be asked of you or the other people claiming under you.
It is advisable to put together an itemized list of your home expenses such as the amount you pay for rent and utilities, and such items as medical bills, necessary car payments and daycare expenses. Make sure you are as complete as possible and include all sources of income and expenses.Household Income Requirement
Under the current program, in order to receive food stamps, an applicant’s monthly household income cannot exceed $2,000. However, the limit jumps to $3,000 if any member of the applicant’s household includes a person 60 years of age or who is medically or psychologically disabled. Income is construed broadly to include all personal resources an applicant may have such as cash, bank accounts, stocks and many other forms of personal and real property.
Also, the income of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program are not counted against the food stamp income limit for purposes of qualifying for food stamps.
Finally, a food stamp applicant who is homeless can request and obtain immediate and advanced processing of their food stamp request. Otherwise most applicants can expect a formal response to their food stamp application request within thirty days. Deepening Recession Might Be Worse Then Anticipated
Given the ever deepening recession, the dismal availability of credit, double-digit unemployment, and a record deficit, many more people today more then ever before are reaching out for social assistance - and there is no more basic form of social assistance then food.
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