Connecticut SNAP Benefits
SNAP food benefits in Connecticut are a part of the federally funded program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formally called the food stamps benefits program, provides families and individuals with low incomes access to food. Connecticut SNAP benefits can be used to buy approved food items at grocery stores or farmers markets across the state. This program aims to prevent the disorders caused by malnourishment by providing affordable access to food. To keep with this mission, benefits for food stamps program can only be used to purchase approved food items. CT food stamps applicants can begin to receive SNAP food benefits after they have completed the simple application process. Once enrolled, beneficiaries will be mailed an EBT card. When they have received this benefits card food stamps can be used to buy food items with food stamps benefits.
Food Items You Can Buy With SNAP In Connecticut
Connecticut SNAP benefits can be used to by a large variety of food items available at participating grocery stores and farmers markets. Food stamps assistance can be used to buy almost all food items and non-alcoholic beverages. Below is a list of the major types of food items one can purchase with food stamps:
- Breads and cereals
- Dairy products
Benefits from the SNAP program can also be used to buy 'junk' food including soda, energy drinks and candy as well as 'luxury' items including lobster and steak. Seeds may be purchased with food stamps benefits if the beneficiary will use these seeds to grow plants for food.
Items You Cannot Buy With Connecticut SNAP Benefits
Since CT food stamps can be used to buy most food items, the program mainly limits SNAP recipients from using their benefits to buy non-food items or items that are harmful to their health. Benefits from food stamps cannot be used to buy:
- Beer, wine and liquor
- Cigarettes and tobacco products
- Medicines and vitamins
- Household and cleaning supplies
- Pet food
While food stamps assistance can be used to buy live seafood from the grocery store, these benefits cannot be used to buy livestock even if the beneficiary will use the animals for food. To further prevent SNAP food benefits from being used to purchase non-approved items, food stamps benefits cards cannot be used at ATMs in places of business that sell alcohol, medical marijuana, adult entertainment and gambling entertainment.
How long does it take to receive Connecticut SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Food stamps applicants will be made aware of their enrollment status within 30 days. Before the CT SNAP applicants can enroll, they need to fill out the needed forms and set up an interview with the Connecticut Department of Social Services. If the applicant does not have access to food, the enrollment period may be shortened to seven days. All food stamps beneficiaries will receive word by mail of their enrollment status. Also, they will receive a benefits card called an EBT card to use to purchase food with their food stamps benefits.
Connecticut EBT Card Overview
An EBT card is the food stamps benefits card that allows beneficiaries to purchase food at the grocery store. This government benefits card acts like a debit card and can be used at an ATM for cash withdrawal. However, cash withdrawn from the EBT card can only be used to purchase the food items mentioned in the section above. Be aware that trading an EBT card for cash from a third party is a criminal offense that comes with jail time.
Balances on CT food stamps benefits card can be checked online, over the phone or at the end of a receipt from an EBT card transaction. If a food stamps assistance beneficiary runs out of benefits on his or her EBT card, he or she will have to wait until the start of the next month for more benefits to be added to their account. If an EBT card is lost or stolen, the beneficiary needs to report the incident as soon as possible as any benefits used by someone else will not be replaced.
If a Connecticut food stamps enrollee has a disability that prevents him or her from easily getting to the grocery store, he or she can appoint another person to use the EBT card in his or her place.
Determining Your Connecticut SNAP Benefit Amount
SNAP food benefits vary between recipients. There are many determining factors that decide how much benefits from the food stamps program in CT a recipient will receive each month. The largest factor is income as the program is designed to help low income people. The number of people in the recipient's household will also have an impact on the amount of benefits received. For example, a parent of three children will receive more SNAP benefits than a single person with no children. Other costs, including housing, utilities and child care, are also factored in when determining the monthly benefits amounts. The food stamps benefits amount can change if a life event such as the loss of a job or the addition of a new family member occurs. Please note, those who are elderly or disabled may receive different amounts of benefits and have different eligibility requirements.