Georgia Food Stamps Application Information
How to Apply for Food Stamps
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Georgia follows federal guidelines to determine eligibility for social services programs, including SNAP Food Stamps. If several people in a household qualify for Food Stamps, the head of the household applies for the program and lists the names and Social Security numbers of all adults in the household. For food stamp purposes, any adults in the house who purchase and prepare food together are a household even if they are unrelated.
The funds allocated for SNAP can be used to purchase many types of food items sold at approved retail stores. Prepared foods, such as hot deli sandwiches and precooked meals ready for consumption are out rightly ineligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. This rule can however be exempted when some homeless individuals may be approved for precooked meal purchases if they do not have the ability to store or cook food.
Foods Authorized to be purchased using SNAP benefits:
- Fruits, Vegetables and Grains: In Georgia, food stamps can be used to purchase all kinds of fruits, vegetables and grains. Food stamps may be used to purchase these items at participating stores and farmer's markets. You can also use your food stamps to purchase seeds that produce fruits and vegetables.
- Food Supplements: A food supplement, or dietary supplement, can be purchased with food stamps in Georgia. Acceptable food supplements that can be purchased with food stamps include Ensure and PediaSure. If you are not sure if a dietary supplement is covered by your food stamps check with store personnel.
- Ice and Water: Ice and water may be bought with food stamps in Georgia. Bottled water and bags of ice are eligible for purchase as long as they are intended only for use outside of the store. However, ice or water cannot be purchased with food stamps if they are meant to be consumed in the store.
- Canned and Dried Goods: All canned and dried foods are eligible to be purchased with food stamps, as long as they are for human consumption. Pet foods are not authorized to be purchased with food stamps. Examples of acceptable foods in this category include soups, canned meats and canned vegetables.
- Packaged Meat: Food stamps can be used to purchase meat from participating stores. However, meat has to be intended to be consumed outside the store. Meat products read for consumption do not qualify in most cases for food stamp purchase. Packaged meats such as chicken, ground beef and pork chops may be purchased. Consult the store personnel for restrictions on meat purchases with food stamps, if you are unsure.
Restricted Food items:
It's a fact that there are a great number of items food stamps can be used to purchase buy there are restrictions too. Food stamps may not be used to purchase household products, alcohol, vitamins or medicines. In addition to those items, you may not purchase cigarettes or other tobacco related products.
Before receiving SNAP Food Stamp benefits in Georgia, you must meet SNAP's income limits. The requirement states that families must not exceed two sets of monthly income limits, gross and net. Gross income is the total of all income earned by the entire household, while net is the amount remaining after deductions.
Georgia mandates that healthy SNAP beneficiaries participate in work or school related activities in order to keep their benefits. You must participate in any one or a combination of the following activities as a condition of their SNAP eligibility:
- Secondary Education
- Job Search / Job Club / Job Readiness
- Community Service
- On-the-Job Training
Mandatory applicant requirements include:
- Adults aged between 18 years and 59 years who are not receiving unemployment insurance or SSI.
- Working 30 hours or less per week
- Must not be a parent or guardian to a child less than six years old.
- Children below 18 years old
- Adults above 60 years old
- Parent/guardian of child below six years old
- Unemployment insurance applicant or recipient
- Persons working more than 30 hours per week at federal minimum wage
- Caregiver of a person with disabilities
- Persons with health issues that affects their ability to participate
- Pregnant women in their fourth, or later, month of pregnancy
Georgia counties require non-exempt SNAP recipient's to take part in community service or engage in on-job training if they are not in already school or sufficiently employed.
Reporting Changes Affecting Eligibility:
All SNAP participants must report any increase in their monthly gross income. SNAP beneficiaries are required to complete a review process after every 12 months. Most recertification and report forms will be mailed to you. You may not be required to report any other changes, but they may choose to report changes such as:
- Addition of a household member, and their income.
- Increase in other household expenses, such as shelter costs, daycare costs, etc.
Food Stamps Application Instructions
The following documentation will be required during the application process and interview
- Proof of identity e.g. driver's license, alien status
- Social Security numbers for all household members
- Proof of income
- Current bank statements
- Utility Bills
- Proof of dependent care expenses
- Proof of medical expenses not paid by another source
- Proof of obligation and payment
Georgia residents who are interested in applying for SNAP Food Stamps must complete an application and return it to their local County Department of Family and Children Services. The application form can also be downloaded at www.dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/foodstamps then mailed to your local County Department of Family and Children Service office. You can opt to return the form through an authorized representative.
Georgia allows online applications by visiting COMPASS at www.compass.ga.gov/. Georgia COMPASS allows applicants to apply for Food Stamps online and also check their al eligibility courtesy of the Pre-screening tool. Applicants, who create an account in Georgia COMPASS, can check the status of their application online and make changes to their household circumstances through Georgia COMPASS.