October 21, 2019

How Does The Government Shut Down Affect Food Stamps?

As of July 1, 2011, the government of the state of Minnesota has been forced to go into a shutdown due to a disagreement about the states’ budget and where the funds should be designated. As of now the shutdown is not affecting any of the federally funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance to Need Families or TANF. The shutdown isn’t affecting other services like prisons, nursing homes, treatment centers, and of course public safety and health offices. It is still possible for residents to apply for food stamps quickly and easily and can even apply for emergency assistance if needed. There are special steps that needs to be taken in order to get the proper assistance. Applying for food stamps can be done in a variety of ways including by giving them a phone call through their specialized phone number 1-800-657-3698 or by visiting the local county government office. The eligibility requirements are very strict and all of the paperwork and proof must be filled out correctly before a resident is approved. There are special assistance programs for those over 60, which requires an entirely different set of documents. All of the documents can be found on the offical Minnesota government website. It is very easy to print out all of the necessary documents from this website, fill them out and then turn them in to the appropriate government agencies. Food support or food stamp benefits are still being giving to all of those residents who currently qualify and they are still accepting new applicants. It may take a few days before an appointment is set for you to review over your application and your documents since they are still actively busy. Once the proper forms have been submitted, a case worker will then review them and send a letter or call to set up the application review appointment. At this appointment it will be determined how much each applicant has qualified for as well as instructions on how to properly use the food support and where it is able to be used. Only certain foods and beverages are able to be purchased using the food support program. All Minnesota residents are relieved knowing that, as of now, the food stamps program is not being affected by the government shutdown.

How to Apply for Food Stamps

Services That Are Affected by The Shutdown

The Latest Information About the Shutdown

Frequently Asked Questions About Minnesota Food Stamps

Farmers Markets Accepting Food Stamps

“In a nation wide push to improve the health and well being of Americans, a growing number of farmers markets are accepting EBT/SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the federally funded program to which low income families and individuals can apply and receive money for certain foods and beverages. In recent years SNAP has been heavily criticized for the lack of healthy foods available to be purchased by the families on it.. The money is dispensed to an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card that is accepted at most grocery stores, a process which requires a card reader and extensive electronic or wireless connections – luxuries that are not readily available at in the local market atmosphere.

Farmers Markets Accepting Food Stamps

Many local organizations are assisting their towns with implementing their own solutions. In California The Ecology Center, an organization that works in urban development has worked with the USDA to create a general point of sale, where EBT customers can visit to scan their card and receive certificates, which they could in turn use to purchase goods from vendors at the farmers market.

Minnesota has a plan similar to that in California, with the help of state grants, by the end of 2011, thirteen farmers markets will accept EBT. Shoppers using SNAP can swipe their card and receive red tokens in the amount of one dollar apiece. These tokens can be used to purchase fresh produce, vegetables, fruit seeds, and plants. The tokens can not be redeemed for cash and vendor will cash in the tokens with the city.

California and Minnesota are not alone in taking initiative in improving the choices available through SNAP. Expanding the program to include healthier options is a priority on the national level as well. This is evident in President Obama’s proposed budget for 2012, in which four million dollars will be dedicated to funding card readers for farmers markets.

However, it is not enough to have the markets accept EBT cards, people need to know the option is available. In Utah, a token program akin to Minnesota’s, has been around for a few years but with relatively low participants. New York has developed a plan to draw EBT shoppers into the cities 65 farmers markets. For every five dollars spent using food stamps, shoppers will receive a two dollar coupon. The Healthy Bucks program has been very successful and participation grows every year. New York stands as a perfect example of how to educate people about the new options available and entice them into the markets.”

Additional information at:

KSL.com

City farmers markets offer food-stamp bonus

Food Stamps Accepted At Farmers Markets

Private Charity Doubles Food Stamp Value At Farmers Markets

More farmers markets take food stamps

Oregon Food Stamps Program

The Oregon food stamps program provides assistance to residents of the state or Oregon. Although the aid comes from the federal government, the funds are handled and dispersed by the state. There are several important things to know about this program, and here are a few to check out.

oregon food stamps

SNAP

If you are looking for information on federal assistance, you will come across the term, “SNAP”. SNAP is the new name of the food stamp program. It stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If you qualify for assistance you will receive an Oregon Trails card. This is very similar to a standard debit card and is actually and EBT card. EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer.

The average benefit in the United States is a little over one hundred dollars, for one person, per month. The average family benefit is about two hundred and twenty dollars. Your benefit amount will be determined by the size of your family, and your total household income. The maximum you may receive is six hundred sixty eight dollars per month.

When you buy groceries that are approved for the program, all you need to pay for them is the card. You swipe it at the register area and enter your PIN number. As long as there are enough funds in your account to cover the cost, you will receive your groceries with a receipt. On your receipt, you will see the balance in your account.

Applying For SNAP Benefits

Although some states allow you to fill and file an application online, it is not possible in this state. However, you can go online and download a form to fill out. This will save you a trip to a local SNAP office. After you fill out the form, you can mail it in or fax it in. You also can take it to your local SNAP office.

When the SNAP office receives your form, they will determine if you are eligible and will set up an appointment for an interview. If the interview is successful, you will be approved for funds. This will provide you with a means to pay for groceries. However, there are some things that you cannot buy with your card. Here are some of the things that are on the forbidden list.

1. Alcohol such as beer, wine, and whiskey.

2. Tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars. This also includes items like smokeless tobacco and pipe tobacco items.

3. Any kinds of pet foods. It does not matter if it is for cats or dogs, or if it is in a can or a bag.

4. Nonfood things like paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry soap.

5. Medicines and supplements, and this includes vitamins, too.

6. Items which are already prepared like ribs or rotisserie chicken.

7. Snack items like potato chips and candy.

Summary

The Oregon food stamps program is now called SNAP. You can go to the state website and download a form to apply. However, you will need to send it in or bring it to a SNAP office. If approved you will receive a debit card, and the limit will be set by income and family size. You can buy groceries for your family, but not any nonfood items, at the grocery store. You also cannot buy already prepared and cooked items and snacks.

Read more: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/assistance/foodstamps/foodstamps.shtml

Food Stamps Eligibility – Are You Eligible?

Many people will fall on hard times this year. The job market continues to be difficult for many people and there may not be much one can do, for now. However, help is available from the federal government, and you have a right to many benefits to assist you and your family in times of difficulty. Here are some things to know about food stamps eligibility.

food stamps eligibility

SNAP

Food stamps are now called SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This new name for the program reflects recent changes that have been made. There are several things to consider, to find out if you qualify for this form of federal assistance.

Your Net Worth or Total Resources

To determine if you qualify for assistance, your total resources will be considered. In most cases, those total resources should not exceed two thousand dollars. If a household member is over the age of sixty or disabled, the amount is raised to three thousand dollars. However, several things will be counted, when considering your total resources.

Exclusions

Your home and land will not be figured in your total amount for resources. Also if you are receiving SSI payments, these will not be included, and most pensions plans will not count toward the total, either.

Vehicles

In some cases, your licensed vehicle will not count toward the total resources allowed. However, the vehicle must meet certain qualifications. These qualifications are listed below.

1. Vehicles used to make a living – this may include a work truck for hauling materials.

2. If you have a long distance to travel for work, your vehicle may not be included. However, this does not cover normal commuting.

3. Vehicles used as a home. For example, you may live in a RV type of home.

4. Transporting the disabled. Vehicles like special vans or any vehicle that transports a disabled family member will not count.

5. Vehicles with little equity – if you still owe on your vehicle and the total value is under $1500, it will not be used to figure total resources.

6. Each adult household member will be allowed one vehicle with a value of more than $4650.

7. Household members under 18 may have a vehicle to get to school, work, or to look for employment.

Income to Consider

The total income of the household is considered when determining qualifications. If your income is over the set limits, you cannot receive SNAP. However, it you are disabled or receiving public assistance of some kind, these things will not count.

Special Tools

The process of figuring income qualifications can sometimes seem complicated and hard to understand. There are many different scenarios to look into for income qualifications. It is best to go to the website of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and download their pre-screening tool. This will allow you to input your personal information and it will compute all of the necessary factors. Remember, this is only a tool for pre-screening and it is not an actual application.

Summary

Determining food stamps eligibility can sometimes be a complicated process. The best thing to do is visit the website of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. While there, you can download their tool to help you determine if you qualify or not. All you have to do is put your personal information in, and it will do the rest.

For more information, click here: http://dss.sd.gov/foodstamps/eligibility/