Can I Collect Food Stamps on My Income?
The food stamps income program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is available for low-income households who meet certain eligibility requirements and can provide this information in writing to their local agency who will verify the household circumstances. "Can I collect food stamps on my income?" is not an easy question to answer. The government takes things other than your income into consideration before reaching a decision.
What is the Food Stamps Income Guideline
The food stamp guidelines state that the monthly income for a family of 4, before taxes cannot be over $2389.00. After taxes and allowances are made for childcare, shelter costs, and other necessary expenses, the family income cannot exceed $1838.00 a month. Able-bodied adults who apply for food stamps income must also meet certain work requirements and prove that they are seeking employment.
Households cannot have more than $2,000 in "countable resources," unless someone over the age of 60, or a disabled person resides in the home. In these cases, the amount is elevated to $3,000. Countable resources include bank accounts, cars, cash, and other property that you do not live on. The food stamp state guidelines are many, so you need to know as much information as possible. Food stamp limitations will take into account any stocks, or bonds that you may have, prepaid burial insurance plans, student loans, grants, or scholarships, retirement benefits, and Veterans benefits. If you have any of these, they may be added as income when you are applying for food stamps income.
The food stamp state guidelines may change from year to year, and they are very hard to keep up with. The best way to find out if you fit the qualifications for food stamps before you fill out an application is to access the internet and type in "food stamps guidelines" and your state. You should be able to find out what questions will be asked in your state. There are also food stamps income benefit estimators, at these websites. You will be able to put in your income and expenses and get a good idea if you will be eligible for SNAP.
You do not have to be on welfare to get food stamps benefits. You can be working or have another income such as a pension or Social Security. Sometimes, you do not have to be a citizen of the United States of America. Before you begin the process of an application for food stamps you should have the following information:
- Proof of income from all sources in the family
- Housing expenses such as mortgage or rent
- Average utility bill, including gas, electric and water
- Childcare expenses
- Child support income
- Property owned other than where you live
- Proof of any cars that are owned or have loans
- Credit cards that you may have
Having to apply for food stamps is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people are out of work and are facing hard times. Be sure to check the rules for your state before applying for food stamps; it will save you a lot of time and headaches.