Food stamp offices administer benefits to low-income individuals and families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs. SNAP provides assistance for purchasing food through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card.
The food stamp office, better known today as a SNAP office, provides an EBT card to qualified and approved applicants. Individuals must meet various requirements before they become eligible for benefits. Most SNAP offices are located within larger Social Security offices in cities, although some local county offices are set aside specifically for SNAP processing.
Most individuals can fill out a SNAP application online through the food stamp office website, then take their completed applications to food stamp offices for final processing. There are also paper application forms available at the food stamp office itself. Once the applicant has completed the proper forms, an appointment is made with a caseworker.
The caseworker determines eligibility for SNAP benefits, based on residency status, income level, financial status, and housing requirements. Once eligibility has been determined, a monthly benefit payment is disbursed through an EBT card supplied to the applicant at the food stamp office. It may take up to 30 days to begin the benefits payments, although the process is usually much faster.
The EBT card issued by a food stamp office can be used to buy food at grocery stores and certain participating restaurants. Some items such as alcohol, vitamin supplement drinks, and hot prepared foods aren't eligible for purchase under the food stamp program. Since the state only grants benefits for a limited period, usually 3 to 6 months, the recipient must return to the food stamp office periodically for evaluation and qualification, assuming they need continuing benefits.
Yes. Food stamp offices are located within large Social Security offices in a city or town. Food stamp offices often combine SNAP, general relief, and other welfare assistance programs together for the convenience of low-income individuals and families. Some food stamp offices also exist solely to administer SNAP benefits, but all benefits offices are administered by government agencies.
It's important to remember that the name for food stamps changed to Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in 2008, so food stamp offices are now known officially as SNAP offices although the colloquial term "food stamp" is still in use. Therefore, you can find your local food stamp office by searching through this site using the term "food stamp office" as well as by using the term "SNAP."