Georgia SNAP Benefits
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The Georgia food stamp benefits program, known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program nationally, provides low income people with food assistance. SNAP food benefits are federally-funded and ran individually by each state. Access to SNAP benefits help prevent people in need from suffering from the negative effects of malnourishment. Due to this, benefits for food stamps program can be used to purchase almost all food items found at a grocery store. To prevent these government benefits from being used outside of the purpose of the program, certain items cannot be bought with food stamps. To be enrolled in GA SNAP food benefits program, applicants must follow a simple application procedure. Afterwards, food stamps enrollees will have access to their benefits through an EBT card. Once the mail has delivered their benefits card food stamps can be used to buy items at the grocery store. Find out more about food stamps benefits and how benefits amounts are determined by downloading our guide. Review the information below on SNAP benefits in Georgia for an overview.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Georgia
SNAP food benefits can be used to buy many items as long as they provide nourishment to the beneficiary. Georgia SNAP benefits can be used to purchase the items listed below:
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Cereals and breads
- Fish and seafood
- Meat and poultry
Despite much political debate, food stamps assistance can also be used to buy items considered ‘junk’ food including candy, cookies, soft drinks and energy drinks. Seeds and plants can be purchased with benefits from food stamps if the enrollee can grow these items for food. However, livestock such as cows or chickens cannot be bought with food stamps benefits while living seafood can. Food items that are only used for decorative purposes, such as Halloween pumpkins, cannot be purchased with these benefits.
Items You Cannot Buy With Georgia SNAP Benefits
The Georgia SNAP program has a few restrictions on what can be bought with benefits. Food stamps benefits generally cannot be used to buy non-food items and unhealthy items. The following items are considered ineligible items for the food stamps program:
- Pet food and supplies
- Cleaning products
- Paper goods
- Tobacco products
- Alcoholic drinks
Benefits from SNAP cannot be used to buy meals that are either eaten at the store or are already prepared at the time of purchase. Furthermore, the food stamps benefits card cannot be used to withdraw cash from a government benefits account if the ATM is located inside a business that sells alcohol, gambling entertainment or adult entertainment.
How long does it take to receive Georgia SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Georgia food stamps applicants will not have to wait long to be enrolled in the SNAP program. Most receive word of their SNAP benefits enrollment status within 30 days of applying. First, food stamps applicants must fill out the needed form and submit it online or to the Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). The DFCS will ask all applicants to be interviewed before continuing with the enrollment process. Applicants for food stamps benefits in extreme need may be enrolled as soon as seven days after submitting their application. All Georgia SNAP applicants will be asked to provide a variety of personal information including proof of identity, citizenship status and monthly income. Before starting the food stamps application, it is recommended that the applicant gathers all the important information needed. Find out how to prepare for your SNAP interview to increase your chances of approval by downloading our complete guide to the food stamps program.
Georgia EBT Card Overview
Once a SNAP benefits applicant receives word of his or her enrollment, an Electronic Benefits Transfer card or EBT card will be sent to him or her. This Georgia food stamps benefits card is used at qualifying grocery stores just like a debit card. Each month, a prearranged amount of SNAP benefits is deposited into the beneficiary’s account. The beneficiary can use the benefits by either using the EBT card at check out or by withdrawing cash from an approved ATM.
All food stamps beneficiaries are encouraged to keep their EBT card in a secure location because if someone steals an EBT card, all purchases made with the beneficiary’s benefits will not be paid back. The benefits card’s balance can be easily checked over the phone.
All SNAP enrollees should be aware that selling an EBT card for cash or purposefully using cash withdrawn from an EBT card to buy ineligible items is considered a criminal offense and can come with jail time.
Determining Your Georgia SNAP Benefit Amount
Not every GA food stamps recipient will collect the same amount of benefits as other recipients. A variety of factors help determine the food stamps benefits amount a beneficiary receives. Income combined with number of people living in a household are the largest factors for determining the benefits amount. For example, a recipient who is working part time will receive more SNAP benefits than recipient who is working full time. Yet, a parent of three children will receive less benefits than a parent of six children. The amount of benefits from SNAP food stamps will vary if the enrollee has a disability, is a senior citizen or is enrolled an another form of government assistance. Able-bodied adults will have to work in order to maintain enrollment in the program.