The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was formerly called the Food Stamp Program. It is a public benefit that you can use to supplement your food budget to provide yourself and your family with nutritious food.
Food stamps (also called SNAP benefits) are received on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card which works like a debit card. Each month, your SNAP benefits are placed electronically onto that card. At the checkout counter, you swipe the card and enter a 4-digit PIN number to use your benefits to buy food.
JUST HARVEST CAN HELP YOU APPLY FOR FOOD STAMPS ON THE PHONE. CALL US TODAY AT (412) 431-8963.
What can I buy with food stamps?
You can buy any food product available at participating grocery stores, including seeds and plants used to grow food at home. If you are homeless or unable to cook, you can use SNAP benefits at participating restaurants. Some Meals on Wheels kitchens also accept food stamps. You can locate stores that accept SNAP benefits online at: http://www.snapretailerlocator.com/
What can’t I buy with food stamps?
You cannot use food stamps to buy any non-food product, fast food, hot foods, pet food, or alcohol.
How can I qualify for food stamps?
To qualify for SNAP benefits, your income has to meet certain income limits. There are two types of income limits: gross and net income.
Gross Income Limits: Gross income refers to all of your income before any taxes or deductions are taken out. In order to qualify for food stamps, your gross income needs to be below the amount in the table below.
Net Income Limits: Only families with 3 or more people need to meet the net income guidelines. Net income is calculated by subtracting certain expenses called deductions from your gross income. Deductions can include the following items:
- Shelter Costs: rent, mortgage, property taxes and/or homeowners insurance.
- Utility Allowance: a standard amount that is subtracted based on which utilities you pay.
- Child Support and Child Care
- Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses for anyone who is over 59 years old or disabled.
Asset Limits: As of May 1, 2012, the Department of Public Welfare has reinstated asset testing for all SNAP applicants and renewing clients. If you are determined to have assets totaling over the value of the set limit (listed below), you will not be eligible for SNAP benefits.
The asset limits are:
- $5,500 for any household that does not have an elderly or disabled member
- $9,000 for any household that has an elderly or disabled member
- Bank accounts
- Cash on hand
- The value of your second car
- A primary vehicle
- Income tax refunds
- Educational savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
- The home that you own and reside in
Just Harvest can help you to determine the status of your assets as part of our screening process. This is still a new policy, so you may have questions or concerns - please contact us to address those.
Can I Qualify Even If…
- I work? Yes!
- I am a student? Yes! Students can be eligible if they work 20 hours a week, have a disability, or have children.
- I receive SSI or other benefits? Yes! You can still receive SNAP benefits even if you receive other benefits.
- I am not a US citizen? Yes! All refugees are eligible for food stamps. Adults who have been permanent residents for 5 years and all children who are permanent residents are eligible. If are you not eligible for yourself, but you have children who are US citizens or permanent residents, you can apply for your children. Everyone you are applying for must have a Social Security Number.
How Much Can I Get?
The amount you get in food stamps is based on your net income. The minimum benefit amount for all households is $16 each month. The maximum benefit amounts are provided in the table.
You will not have to pay back any SNAP benefits that you are entitled to!
How do I apply?
If you are interested in learning more about our work with food stamps, or applying for benefits contact a Food Stamp Specialist at (412) 431-8963. For more information about food stamps and the application process, click here to download our brochure. You can also apply online through the COMPASS system, or contact the Department of Public Welfare directly.
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