If you’re wondering when your October Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment will arrive, you’ll have to check with the agency in your state that issues benefits. Although SNAP is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program itself is administered at the state level, and each state and U.S. territory has its own monthly schedule for when payments are made.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. If you are eligible for SNAP benefits, they will be deposited monthly into your SNAP account. Payments are now made with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards instead of food stamps, although some states might have a different name for the cards.
Cards can be swiped at checkout in grocery stores, major retailers and other outlets, similar to debit cards. You will need to enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Depending on your state, you might also be able to purchase eligible foods online at participating retailers. To find out which retailers accept online EBT payments, visit this USDA page.
To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state where you currently live and meet certain eligibility requirements, including resource and income limits. These limits are updated every year, according to the USDA.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase the following food items:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, cosmetics and foods that are hot at the point of sale.
Your SNAP deposit schedule depends on your state. Payments are made on the same schedule every month and are usually distributed according to the last numbers of your identification number for your state’s program. However, some states distribute benefits on a particular date each month.
States also have different rules regarding payment days that fall on weekends or holidays. You can find different payment schedules on this USDA page or check with your state’s SNAP agency.
You can apply for SNAP through your state’s local SNAP office or on its website. You can also visit SNAP’s Application and Local Office Locators page to learn how to apply in your state. To locate nearby SNAP-authorized offices, use the SNAP Retailer Locator tool.
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