Alabama SNAP Benefits
SNAP food benefits in Alabama, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the official food stamps program available to residents throughout the state. Food stamps benefits are granted to qualified low-income individuals or families to provide them with nutrition assistance. Once an applicant has completed the application and interview for SNAP benefits in Alabama, and has been accepted, he or she will receive an EBT card with which to purchase acceptable food items. To find out more about the specific benefits for food stamps program members, including the acceptable foods they can purchase, read the information below.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Alabama
Alabama SNAP food benefits are designed to provide low-income families and individuals with nutritional assistance to maintain good health. SNAP benefits provide access to healthy food which can play a large role in preventing many diseases and medical disorders that could have otherwise been the result of malnutrition. However, to maintain this goal, food stamp benefits only cover certain types of food. Below is a list of the basic kinds of food items that can be purchased with food stamps:
- Dairy products
- Cereals and bread
- Meats, including seafood and poultry
Learn more about the foods that you can buy with SNAP benefits by downloading our comprehensive food stamps guide.
Items You Cannot Buy With Alabama SNAP Benefits
SNAP food stamps benefits will not cover certain food items or products, in keeping with the program's mission to provide healthy food to those who cannot afford it. As such, the existing benefits for food stamps program recipients do not include the following:
- Pet food
- Household supplies
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Cooked items eaten at the grocery store
The Alabama food stamp program does not cover the items on the list above, because they do not contribute to the overall health of the beneficiary. Household supplies do not keep a person fed, and alcohol and tobacco products have been shown to hurt the overall health of an individual. However, AL Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits still include some items that are considered 'junk food,' such as soda pop and certain unhealthy snack items (like candy and cookies).
How long does it take to receive Alabama SNAP benefits after enrollment?
After submitting an application for food stamps benefits in Alabama, an applicant for SNAP benefits should expect to hear back from the Food Assistance Division within 30 days. However, certain situations can expedite the SNAP benefits application process, such as if the applicant has very little money or has no access to food at the time of the application submission. In any case, once the applicant receives word of food stamps benefits eligibility, he or she (or the whole family) will have to meet with a worker at the Food Assistance Division to complete the enrollment process.
Once the applicants receive a benefit card food stamps can be used to purchase approved food items at accepting locations. Discover which locations typically accept food stamps by reading through our comprehensive food stamps guide.
Alabama EBT Card Overview
The electronic system that manages the transfer of SNAP food stamps benefits and other government benefits is called Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). When purchasing food with Alabama food stamps, the beneficiary can use his or her EBT card like a debit card. Each month, the predetermined amount of benefits set by the AL food stamps program is added to the beneficiary's food stamps benefits card so that he or she can purchase needed food items. By logging on to his or her online EBT account, the beneficiary can find out his or her EBT card balance and can check which stores and vendors accept SNAP benefits for purchasing food items. In Alabama, note that certain farmer's markets accept EBT cards.
Determining Your Alabama SNAP Benefit Amount
Alabama food stamps benefits are not distributed evenly to all beneficiaries. Certain situations can cause the amount of SNAP program benefits a member receives to be higher than that of his or her counterparts. The amount of SNAP food benefits an applicant will receive is based on his or her income level, his or her assets and his or her ability to work. The lower the income and asset levels, the higher the benefit amount the petitioner will receive. Also, able-bodied adults who do not have a dependent can only receive SNAP benefits if they work at least 20 hours a week.