Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: The Application
Each state has its own form for applying for supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP). The same form is also used for applying for the Expedited Service process. You can find the form for your state by going to: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/map.htm
Helpful hints for completing the application for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance are:
Take to your first meeting the documentation that will be asked for. For information on what to take with you when you submit the application, see: What To Take With You When You Apply For Food Stamps. If you can't get the information together quickly, it is worthwhile going to the office and getting the process started. You can provide missing documentation as soon as you locate it. The date you submit the application is important to the date by which benefits must start if you are eligible.
The forms generally ask if you have received Nutritional Assistance anywhere in the last two months. If your answer is "yes," the office will obtain that file to make sure you do not receive more than the amount to which you're entitled.
The law governing SNAP requires the interviewer to list your ethnic group as well as your primary language. This is done solely for statistical purposes and has no bearing on your eligibility for the program. If you are uncomfortable giving the answers to those questions, you may refuse to answer. If you refuse, the interviewer will enter his or her best guess as to your language and ethnic group.
When the people who admnister SNAP talk about your "liquid resources", keep in mind they are referring to:
- Cash on hand including uncashed checks.
- Money in checking, savings, money market or other liquid accounts.
- Money in savings certificates or certificates of deposit (CDs).
- Other items that can readily be converted to cash such as trust deeds, notes receivable, stocks or bonds.
When referring to income, SNAP considers the following:
- Wages and earnings from work.
- Payments from welfare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security, Veteran's Benefits, Unemployment, State Disability.
- Payments from pensions, retirement plans or disability benefits.
- Child Support payments.
- Payments from roomers.
- Cash payments as returns on investments.
- Other cash payments such as strike fund payments, cash gifts, and cash winnings.
Signature. The form must be signed and dated. Be sure you sign and date the form even if the information is not complete.
When you turn in your application, get a signed and dated receipt for the application. As noted above, the date you submit the application is important to the date by which benefits must start if you are eligible.