Missouri SNAP Program Benefits
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Missouri food stamps benefits are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP food benefits are funded by the federal government but are managed by each state separately. SNAP benefits help provide low income families and individuals access to food. The program aims to prevent the medical issues that can result from undernourishment. The benefits for food stamps program are intended to be used to acquire approved food items. The food stamps program has several restrictions concerning what can and cannot be bought with food assistance.
Food stamps applicants in MO must first complete the enrollment process before receiving notification of their enrollment status in the program. When an applicant is accepted, he or she is issued an EBT card. Once the beneficiary has the benefits card food stamps can be used to purchase food at approved retailers. Each SNAP beneficiary receives a certain amount of benefits based on his or her needs. To find out more about Missouri SNAP food benefits and the food stamps enrollment process, read the information below.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Missouri
SNAP food benefits can be used to buy many types of food including fruits, vegetables, dairy, breads, cereals, meats, poultry, fish and seafood. Missouri food stamps can also be used to buy plants and seeds that provide food such as a tomato plant. Living seafood can also be bought with food benefits. While many disagree, junk food items can still be bought with food assistance including candy, ice cream, snacks, energy drinks and soda pop.
Items You Cannot Buy With Missouri SNAP Benefits
Missouri food assistance can be used for many items. However, items that are addictive or damaging to one’s health or are not food items cannot be bought with benefits. Food stamps benefits cannot be used for the following items:
- Household supplies
- Cleaning products
- Paper goods
- Pet supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Hot meals
- Beer, wine and liquor
- Cigarettes and tobacco products
SNAP benefits also cannot be used to buy living animals such as chickens or cows even if they will provide food to the enrollee. Hot meals are not covered by the food stamps program because it is aimed at helping beneficiaries have access to food that will be taken home to be prepared and eaten. While vitamins and medicines can be helpful to a beneficiary’s health, these products are not considered food items so they cannot be bought with food benefits.
How long does it take to receive Missouri SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Food stamps applicants must submit their applications to the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division (FSD). Then FSD will then schedule an interview with the applicant. Most SNAP food benefits seekers will be notified of their enrollment in 30 days. Some may be enrolled sooner depending on the level of their need.
The food stamps application process requires benefits seekers to provide many points of personal information such as their income levels, their assets and their living situation. Lying during the food stamps enrollment process is considered fraud and comes with serious criminal charges. All MO SNAP applicants should report as truthfully and accurately as possible when filling out the food stamps application and during the benefits interview.
If a SNAP applicant is denied, he or she can appeal the decision. If an applicant is accepted, he or she will be sent an EBT card.
Missouri EBT Card Overview
MO food stamps recipients are issued an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This benefits EBT card is used like a debit card at the checkout at participating grocery stores. Unlike some states, Missouri food stamps benefits cards cannot be used to withdraw cash from the recipient’s benefits account.
Each month, the recipient receives a predetermined amount of SNAP benefits to use for food. If this card is lost or stolen, then the beneficiary should report it as soon as possible. If food a SNAP recipient’s property is destroyed during an emergency situation such as natural disaster, he or she can receive more benefits deposited on to the EBT card. Food stamps benefits do not need to be used each month, however, if benefits are not used in a 12-month period, then the beneficiary could face disenrollment.
Determining Your Missouri SNAP Benefit Amount
Many factors help determine the SNAP food benefits amount a recipient receives. Income and assets of the food stamps enrollee will be looked at during the enrollment process. Income from employment, alimony, and child support are looked at as well as the assets including property and bank accounts when determining the benefits amount. Generally, those with greater incomes and asset amounts will receive less Missouri food assistance than those who have less income and assets. Household size is also a deciding feature. Larger families will collect more food benefits than smaller families.
Many able-bodied adults enrolled in the food stamps program will have to work to retain their enrollment status. Those who have a disability or are elderly will have less strict enrollment and benefits amounts criteria. Large changes can increase one’s food stamps benefits amount such as receiving a pay-cut or adding new family members to the household.