Missouri Food Stamps (SNAP) Application Information
How to Apply for Food Stamps
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Many families living in the state of Missouri find it difficult to buy quality food after they've paid for utilities, childcare and transportation. Such families can apply for Missouri Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), previously Food Stamps, and start buying healthy food.
The amount of benefits provided through the program is based on Thrifty Food Plan of State Department of Agriculture (USDA). The department decides about the amount in accordance to the analysis of food cost provided by the U.S Department of Labor. Since the Department of Labor revises its recommendations each year based on inflation rate and predictable economical growth during the year, the amount of SNAP benefits also changes accordingly.
In order to receive benefits, one has to meet SNAP eligibility requirements. Generally, a household meeting income and resources requirements will qualify to receive benefits. Households can try a pre-screening tool available at Department of Social Services (DSS) website to see if they meet the requirements before they start completing the application. Applications for the program are available online for download. You can also apply online after creating an account with DSS online application website.
The households meeting the program requirements will receive the benefits through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The card works just like a debit card. You can use the EBT card at various stores around the country and buy food items with it. Beware that you are not allowed to buy certain food items. Moreover, you are not permitted to handover your card to someone else to use it on your behalf. If you are disabled or can't use the card yourself due to some other reason, you should apply for an additional card. This way, you can have someone else using the additional card. All the transactions will be brought forward to your original card.
With your EBT card, you can easily buy food products fit for human consumption. However, you cannot buy medicines, hot food and cigarettes with it. Moreover, you can't buy beer or liquor with your EBT card. If you grow plants that are then used for preparing food for the family, you can buy seeds with your EBT card using SNAP benefits. Although EBT can't be used for paying for home delivered meals, elderly can pay for such food through their SNAP benefits in most cases.
You can also apply for replacement of Food Stamp benefits in case you've lost or the food is destroyed due to a natural anomaly, where it was beyond your control to save the food. You'll have to conact your local DSS office to request for replacement. You can also fax application to your local office. Download the application for Replacement Request here.
To receive benefits through SNAP in state of Missouri, you'll need to meet certain eligibility requirements.
- You must be a resident of state of Missouri
- You must be a U.S citizen or a qualified alien
- Your household income should be below the maximum income limit for SNAP. The gross monthly income should be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to apply.
- Your resources and assets should be within the SNAP limits
Income and resources eligibility
A household will have to meet income and resources related requirements in order to receive benefits through SNAP. Income limits for the program depend on the size of your household. For household size 1, the annual income limit is $14,160. For household of two, the limit is set at $19,128. The income limit will increase for households with more members.
Households looking to apply for SNAP benefits, will also have to make sure that they meet resources and assets related requirement. The families living with elderly or disabled can have assets up to $3000 but for households without such persons, the resources and assets should not be more than $2000. When computing resources, you will have to include money in bank accounts, cash, real estate, and any other resources that are not exempted for eligibility.
Although you can be pretty sure about your eligibility once you go through all the requirements and analyze your situation accordingly, you can never be 100% certain until you apply for the program. You will receive the final verdict on your eligibility after you apply and you have been interviewed for the program.
Nevertheless, you can click here to try pre-screening tool to see whether you meet eligibility requirements or not. Again, it provides only an estimate and passing eligibility test through the pre-screening tool does not guarantee a SNAP benefits. The final decision for determining the eligibility lies with DSS.
Food Stamps Application Instructions
If you think you're eligible and the pre-screening tool gives similar results, you can apply for SNAP benefits in the state of Missouri.
You can apply online for Missouri SNAP benefits. To apply online through Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS). Click here to begin your Online Application. Once you've created the account, you can apply for benefits online. You can even complete the online application in more than one session. With your secure account, data will be saved for later retrieval.
Before you start completing the online application, please make sure that you have the following documents/information with you:
- Social security number for household members
- Birth dates of household members
- Amount of assets
- Income and its proof
- Child care expenses
- Shelter and medical expenses
- If anyone in the household has insurance, including employer sponsored insurance, you'll be required to provide details about it.
Apply through Mail
Make sure that you've attached all the necessary documents with the application. You can mail your completed applications to DSS county office. You can find mailing address of your county office by clicking here.
Apply in person
To apply in person for the program, you'll have to locate a DSS country office near you. You can get directions for your local DSS office at this link. Walk into the office and handover your completed applications. Alternatively, you can obtain applications and complete them in the office.