The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance for low- and no-income households. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees it, SNAP is administered at the state level. Each state also has its own SNAP deposit schedule.
Benefits are deposited monthly into SNAP accounts, which are linked to EBT cards. Some states have different names for EBT cards, so yours may be called something else.
Cards can be swiped at checkout in grocery stores, major retailers and participating farmers markets just like a debit card. Make sure to enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Depending on your state, you may also be able to purchase SNAP-eligible products online at participating retailers. You can find participating online retailers in your state here.
Benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items, including seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements or nonfood items.
Your SNAP deposit schedule depends on your state. Payments are usually distributed according to the last numbers of your identification number for your state’s program. However, some states may distribute benefits on a particular date each month. States also have different rules regarding payment days that fall on weekends or holidays. Check with your state’s SNAP agency for your deposit schedule.
You can apply for SNAP through your state’s local SNAP office or through their website. 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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