The present economic situation is challenging for all, especially for students; if their tuition expenses weren’t hefty enough, the cost of basic amenities have skyrocketed too. All in all, this increases the financial burden on their shoulders even more. Amongst these necessities come basic food requirements, which should not be compromised to cope with the inflating prices.
Thus, to help students with the rising cost of food, the government has introduced the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps. Learn about this program by reading the rest of the article and gain information regarding the eligibility criteria, steps for application, and the maximum amount one can get under it.
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Food Stamps for Students
Food Stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are there to provide an upliftment in the purchasing power of those with modest income levels. The same form of benefits will be given to varied eligible candidates complying with their respective requirements.
The government has made certain provisions to help them meet their essential nutritious requirements. Recent changes were made to the pre-existing policies of the SNAP after the struck of COVID-19 for a temporary period. The changes were mainly done to the eligibility criteria to exempt children from hardships that affected them during those hours.
The SNAP or food stamps will be given in the form of a card, and the benefits will be disbursed with the help of an Electronic Benefits Transfer(EBT) card. The money in this debit card can only be used to buy household items such as cereals, fruits, bread, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, etc, and cannot be spent on items like liquor, medicines, vitamins, etc.
These benefits are given for a temporary period and are supposed to be renewed to gain continuous support. The process for re-claiming the benefits generally tends to involve an application with fresh details and information.
Supplemental Nutrition Program(SNAP): Eligibility Criteria
Students eager to know whether they fit the eligibility criteria for the Supplemental Nutrition Program(SNAP) should check out the following conditions:
- If the student is enrolled for more than half-time in a university, college, or technical school, then they won’t be considered for this program. However, this condition no longer applies under exemptions like if the student is:
- Under the age of 18 and over 50 years old.
- Suffering from mental or physical disabilities
- working at least 20 hours a week.
- A participant in a federally financed or state study work program.
- Taking care of a dependent child.
- A single parent has to care for their children.
- Getting assistance in the form of temporary assistance for needy families(TANF).
- Certain restrictions are imposed on the household incomes of these students, which may vary as per the state.
- As of 2023, the limit on household income was $2,750 or $4,250.
- The eligibility requirements for different states are subject to change in terms of age limit, household income, or other criteria. Thus, make sure to gather full information on the subject depending on your state.
What is the maximum amount you can get if you’re a student?
The year 2024 will witness certain changes in the amount set for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP). The student can receive benefits based on the household income size and household size. The factors that affect the benefit amounts are given as follows:
- Income and size of the household
- Residential state
- Number of resources
The maximum amount fixed for a household with 4 in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia is $973 and the minimum amount given is $23. Other regions like Alaska, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii are set at an amount of $1,248, $1,434, $1,251, and $1,759 respectively.
Supplemental Nutrition Program(SNAP): Application Procedure
To apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Program the person will have to follow the following steps:
- The application procedure begins by finding the application page of your state. Find your state’s snap application form by visiting SNAP’s official site.
- Once you open the application page of your respective state the form should be filled with essential information like contact details, address, household income, etc.
- After making sure all the spaces required to be filled with relevant information are complete, submit the application form,
- If the above-mentioned steps are correctly performed then you should be expecting an interview to verify all the information correctly.
- Eligible candidates will get informed and later receive their benefit amount.
Be aware of the guidelines of your state, if you are an existing beneficiary and need to know your current balance of the EBT card then you do so by:
- Asking for a receipt from where you made payments using the EBT card, it is most likely for the stores to print out a receipt for you.
- Installing any specific application made available by your state especially dedicated to managing these expenses.
- Or by simply making contact with the state’s SNAP office.