Step 1 (optional): Take the prescreening test here to find out if you may be eligible to receive food stamps.
Step 2: Apply in one of the following ways:
- Print an application here, and then mail, fax or deliver it to your local department of social services office.
- Pick up an application in person at your local department of social services.
- Apply online here.
Step 3: Look here to find contact information for your local department of social services.
Note: For assistance, please call: 1-800-332-6347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying For Maryland Food Stamps
In order to assist low income persons experiencing difficulty affording food items, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was made. SNAP is commonly known as food stamps, because in the past, colored stamps were disbursed and utilized to get food items. In 2010 alone, SNAP served more than 40 million men, women and children purchase enough to eat.
Lower income households located in the U.S. can apply for food stamps benefits regardless of their race, gender, religion, or background is. The typical individual was given $101/month from the SNAP program in 2008, helping them to purchase bread, milk, meat, vegetables, fruits and even garden seeds.
In order to be accepted into the food stamp program, you need to match several financial and situational requirements. Particular documents of proof of your eligibility are essential when you apply.
Maryland Food Stamp Requirements
One particular prerequisite that pertains to many, is that you can’t own any more than $2,000 in assets if you are under 60 years old. If you or somebody within your residence is at least 60 years old, that limit is increased to $3,000. Assistance from TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program), or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), don’t be counted as assets when applying for food stamps. What is counted as assets is any cash you’ve got, money you have saved in a bank account, or your vehicle (in some circumstances).
One more requirement is an income limit, that is influenced by how many persons you have living at your house when you are applying for food stamps.
A person’s expenses will also be taken into consideration when you request food stamps. If you’re paying for child or elderly care, rent, mortgage, or utilities; all of those expenditures will be taken into consideration. Certain medical related expenses may also be considered under certain instances.
All those that pass the requirements and have their application approved to start receiving SNAP benefits, will be sent an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. The EBT card may be used similar to a debit card to purchase food at particular grocery stores, convenience stores, or even farmer markets.
How Long Until I Am Accepted?
The length can vary from case to case depending upon the complexity of the case and the volume of applications that the office receives at any given time. However, you can be certain that you will receive notice whether you are accepted or denied within 30 days from the date that you submitted your application. If you need food stamps immediately, you may qualify for expedited service and receive benefits within 1 week.
In Maryland, the EBT card is called the Independence Card. With the Independence Card you can buy any food items, some beverages and even seeds and plants that will bear food for human consumption. There are some things that you cannot buy with your Independence Card. It is good to know what these things are before you get to a cash register and find that you can’t pay for some of your items. Here is a list of what you cannot buy with your Independence Card.
- Tobacco products
- Alcoholic beverages
- Some sports drinks that are considered nutritional supplements
- Pet food
- Household products (i.e. toilet paper, shampoo or mouthwash)
- Vitamin supplements
- Hot food (such as potato wedges from the deli case)