Florida food stamps are given to its residents who are in need of government assistance to buy nutritious food for their family. The food stamps are provided to qualified low income families under the government program called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known or SNAP. Florida food stamps distribution is managed and implemented by Florida’s Department of Children and Families.
The SNAP local government assistance is distributed only to qualified low income families. A household has to apply to and meet the requirements before they can avail Florida food stamps. The application will be carefully evaluated based on numerous factors.
Below are list of factors that you have to satisfy in order to qualify for Florida food stamps.
- Proof of identity
A person who wants to avail food stamps from the local government of Florida must be able to present documents that can prove his identity such as Social Security ID, driver’s license or birth certificate.
- Work Requirements
You must be willing to work for your food stamps. Applicants who are eighteen to sixty years old, physically and mentally fit are required to complete twenty hours of work every week to be able to avail of food stamps. People who are eighteen to fifty years old with no children who do not want to participate in the workfare requirement program can only receive food stamps for three months every three year period. Senior citizens and people with disability are exempted to this requirement.
- Gross Income
The total gross income of the entire household should be 130% lower than that of federal poverty requirements. Gross income pertains to your earnings before tax and other deductions. In 2011 the gross income of allowed for a household with four members is $29,055.
- Net Income
The total net income of your household must be 100% lower than that of the federal poverty guidelines. Net income refers to your earnings less tax and other deductions. In 2011 the limit net income for family of four is S22, 350. This limit is applicable only to families who do not have a disabled or senior citizen member in their household.
A household can be exempted from the gross income and net income requirements if the majority members of the household are living by means of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF or Supplemental Security Income or SSI.
To avail Florida food stamps or SNAP program you must be a resident of Florida. You may use your driver’s license, passport or military ID to prove that you are a full time resident in Florida.
You must be a citizen of the United States. An immigrant, naturalized citizen and qualified non-citizens who are permanent residents of Florida may avail of its food stamps.
- Social Security Number
You must have a Social Security number when applying for Florida food stamps. Your Social Security number is a unique set of numbers designated to you by the government. This unique set of numbers is used in various government programs as reference number for identification and recording purposes. If you do not have a Social Security number a proof that you have already applied for one would suffice.
All members of the household who are of legal age must submit their Social Security number.
- Child Support Requirement
If you are claiming food stamps for dependent children or minor members of the household you must first establish paternity, maternity or guardianship through birth certificate or coordination with the department.
- Asset Requirement
Your entire household’s total current assets such as savings and time deposits and checking accounts must be lower than $ 2000 if you have a senior citizen or a disabled member of the household this amount can be extended up to $ 3000. Your car and home is not included in the computation of assets provided that their combined value is lower than $ 8500.
Filing for food stamps or SNAP program can be done in numerous ways such as through fax, online or by going directly to Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Online applications usually get results within seven to thirty working days.
Approved applicants are given Florida food stamps through an EBT card also known as the Electronic Benefit Transfer card. This card can be used in selected establishments where you can do your food shopping. EBT card can only be used to buy nutritious food products which are specified by the SNAP program.
Florida food stamps are used by the local government to help families get through during difficult times. It is important that you understand that food stamps help many families and individuals get through the day without starving, so to help uphold this purpose it is important to remain honest when claiming or filing for your Florida food stamps.
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