Maryland SNAP Benefits
Maryland SNAP food benefits, known state wide as the Food Supplement Program, helps families and individuals in need get access to groceries. Formally called the food stamps benefits program, this government assistance program is officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP benefits are used to buy approved items that provide nourishment to the beneficiaries. The benefits from food stamps program help prevent the negative health consequences that come with undernourishment. SNAP food benefits in MD can be used to buy approved food items at most food retailers.
Food stamps benefits In Maryland are accessed through an EBT card. After an enrollee completes the food stamps application process, he or she will be mailed an EBT card. Once the beneficiary has the benefits card food stamps benefits can be used to buy food. The amount of SNAP benefits each enrollee receives is determined by many factors and aspects of the enrollee's life. To find out more about MD food stamps benefits and how benefits amounts are determined, continue reading the information provided below.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Maryland
Food stamps benefits cannot be used to buy all items available at qualifying grocery stores. Maryland SNAP benefits are used to purchase items that provide nourishment including:
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Seeds and plants
SNAP food benefits can be used to buy living seafood but live animals such as chickens or cows cannot be purchased with food stamps. However, living seafood can be purchased with food benefits. Hot meals or prepared items cannot be bought with MD SNAP benefits as government assisted food benefits are meant for food to be taken home to be eaten by the beneficiaries. Any seeds or plants bought with benefits from SNAP must be used to provide food to the enrollee, such as a tomato plant.
Items You Cannot Buy With Maryland SNAP Benefits
Since the food stamps program in Maryland exists to provide low income people with food, many non-food items are not to be purchased with government benefits. Also, SNAP benefits cannot be used for harmful or addictive substances like cigarettes and alcohol. The following list contains details of which items are not approved by the SNAP program:
- Household supplies
- Soap or cleaning products
- Paper products
- Pet supplies
- Cigarettes and tobacco products
Also, MD food stamps cannot be used to buy food that will only serve as decorative pieces such as a Halloween pumpkin. Attempting to use money from food assistance to buy any of these unapproved items could result in disenrollment from the program or even criminal charges.
How long does it take to receive Maryland SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Enrollment in the MD SNAP benefits program is a simple process that includes filling out an application and sitting for an interview with the Maryland Department of Human Services. Food stamps applicants will receive notice in under a month's time from when they first submitted their application. In cases of severe need, some applicants can be enrolled in as little as seven days.
If the food benefits seeker is enrolled in the program, he or she will be issued an EBT card. If declined, the applicant can file for an appeal. The EBT card and other important food stamps information will arrive by mail.
Those applying for food stamps will asked to provide many points of important information about their income, citizen status, living situation and much more. Intentionally giving false information during the SNAP enrollment process could result in legal issues and criminal charges.
Maryland EBT Card Overview
Each month, those enrolled in Maryland Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive a certain amount of food benefits deposited into their account. These food stamps benefits can be accessed through the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. This benefits card operates like a debit card and can be used at ATMs and at cash registers.
Every MD food stamp enrollee should keep their EBT card in a safe place. If someone steals this card and uses the enrollee's benefits, those benefits will not be replaced. Lost or stolen benefits cards should be reported immediately.
Please note, SNAP beneficiaries who sell or trade their EBT cards for cash or other goods will face charges for food stamps fraud.
Determining Your Maryland SNAP Benefit Amount
Not every food stamps recipient in Maryland will receive the same amount of food assistance benefits. SNAP benefits amounts are largely determined by level of income, with higher earners collecting less benefits than lower income enrollees. Household size is also another important factor. For example, a family with six members will most likely receive more food assistance benefits than a family of three. Income and household size may vary for those who are elderly or who are disabled. Most able-bodied adults who are SNAP recipients must work or be enrolled in an employment program to continue receiving food benefits.
MD SNAP benefits are not intended to supplement beneficiaries' entire food supply. If a SNAP food beneficiary runs out of benefits, he or she will have to wait until the next deposit. However, major life events such as the loss of a job could increase the amount of benefits one receives.