October 24, 2020

How Do You Apply For Food Stamps?

Should you need assistance feeding your family, you may wish to apply for food stamps. The food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal program that assists you in purchasing groceries for your household. Although anyone can apply for food stamps, there are strict rules that govern who can receive them.

apply for food stamps

Do you qualify for food stamps?

All people may apply for food stamps. However, in order to receive food stamps, applicants must meet certain criteria in the following areas:

  • Citizenship status;
  • Size of household;
  • Amount of income received by household.

The following link will guide you to a screening tool that will assist you in evaluating whether or not you are eligible to receive food stamps: http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/

Must you be employed to qualify for food stamps?

No. Both the employed and unemployed may apply for and receive food stamps. Should you be unemployed, you may be required to participate in an employment or training program prior to receiving assistance.

Can you qualify for food stamps if you are a student?

Yes. Some students who apply for food stamps may also be eligible to receive this benefit. These individuals will most likely be required to be a participant in a work-study program, work a minimum of twenty hours per week, or be responsible for the care of a household member.

How do you begin the food stamp benefits application process?

In order to receive food stamps, you must first submit an application. Since these applications are reviewed on a state-by-state basis, you should contact your local SNAP office to submit your application. To locate your local SNAP office, click on the following link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/map.htm.

Currently, there are a few states that allow you to apply for food stamp benefits online. For a list of those states and a link to their online applications, click on the following link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/apply.htm.

Additionally, one may apply for food stamps at a Social Security office. Should you and each member of your household be receiving or applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security office will assist you in the application process and submit your application for you.

What information might you be asked to provide when you apply for food stamps?

  • Your driver’s license, ID, birth certificate or alien card;
  • Information regarding your household income;
  • Any Social Security benefits received by those household;
  • Proof of child care expenses;
  • Rent receipts or proof of your mortgage payments;
  • Records of your utility costs; and
  • Medical bills.

If your food stamps benefits claim is denied, can you appeal the decision?

Should you apply for food stamps and be denied, you can file an appeal. In order to appeal a claim that has been denied, one should contact their local SNAP office.

Also, should you feel that you are not receiving enough benefits or that your benefits were unrightfully taken away, you may contact your local SNAP office. Locate your local SNAP office at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/map.htm.

Questions about food stamps?

Should you need assistance with or have questions about how to apply for food stamp benefits, you can access a list of hot line numbers at this location:


Find out more: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hra/html/directory/food.shtml

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