Eligibility for food stamps is based on an applicant's income and other resources, such as savings and the value of any licensed vehicle. The federal government adjusts the income eligibility limits on an annual basis. To see if you qualify for the program, use the SNAP Pre-Screening Eligibility tool (see Resources).
Individuals seeking benefits must apply through their local SNAP office. Each state has its own application (see Resources).
Applicants must interview with a SNAP worker and provide various pieces of documentation, such as their driver's license, birth certificate, pay stubs, current rental agreement, utility bills, etc.
Once an applicant is approved, he will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which functions much like an ATM card. The approved amount of funds will be electronically transferred to the card each month.
Individuals receiving SNAP benefits must be actively seeking employment and must participate in any training programs that their local office refers them to. Special rules exist for the elderly and disabled.
Paper Food Stamps
Paper food stamp coupons are no longer issued. Existing paper coupons will be honored until June 17, 2009, after which they will become worthless.