SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is the largest federal assistance program, providing food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. While it’s overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, SNAP is administered at the state level.
Payments 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 different.
Cards can be swiped at the point of sale terminals in grocery stores, major retailers and participating farmer’s markets. Make sure to enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Don’t forget your sales receipt, which shows how much is left in your SNAP account. Depending on your state, you may also be able to purchase SNAP-eligible products online at participating retailers.
Benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, fish and poultry
- Dairy products
- Bread and cereals
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- 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.
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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. Make sure to check with your state’s program for your SNAP deposit schedule.
To find your specific payment date for SNAP benefits, visit your state’s SNAP program website. You can find this by typing the name of your state and “SNAP” into any search engine.
To be eligible for SNAP benefits, you must meet the required income and resource requirements, which are updated on an annual basis. Your state may also have additional criteria that you must meet. The amount you receive each month depends on your income and family size.
To apply for SNAP, you can find your local SNAP office or apply online by visiting the Food and Nutrition Service’s SNAP State Directory of Resources website.
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