Applying for food stamps can be a very overwhelming and embarrassing task. Knowing what to expect throughout the entire application process can help alleviate some of the stress and embarrassment involved with applying for food stamps.
The first thing required by the food stamp office is an application. Most counties have an online application process. The electronic application allows the process to get started the moment the application is submitted. Paper applications will be accepted, but the process will take longer than an electronic application. Most food stamp offices have computers available for applicants filling out electronic applications. Workers will be available on hand to answer any questions about the application you may have.
After the application is submitted a verification letter will be sent with any documents that are needed to process the application. Documents will be needed to verify identity, citizenship, and household income. You may be required to show: driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, or visa. Having these documents available to submit with the application or shortly after will allow the approval process to start immediately.
A face to face interview or telephone interview will take place after the application is submitted. The face to face or telephone interview is to obtain any additional information needed based on the documents received. It is therefore important to submit all required documentation quickly so any discrepancies can be discussed at this time. The interview is also used to verify information and ensure no major changes have taken place. The interviewer may ask about finances and equity at the time, such as how much cash is maintained in checking or saving accounts, how much equity is in a house or car, and how much is paid monthly for utilities. If the interviewer determines more documentation is needed they will tell you right away or mail a letter stating the documentation needed for further processing.
Once all documents are received and the interview is completed, the application will start the final processing. A letter will be mailed upon approval or denial of the application. If an electronic application was completed you may check the status of the application online. Be sure to keep all information on hand to reapply after the initial approval period ends. The approval period can last between six months to a year. The approval process to reapply is not as lengthy or as detailed.
It is important for those that are in need, to learn to Apply Food Stamps, it is a very helpful and useful method of getting through rough times.