Utah SNAP Program Benefits
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Utah SNAP food benefits, also referred to as food stamps, are available to applicants who meet all program eligibility requirements and complete the application process successfully. Food stamps benefits can be used to purchase specific food items approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is important for beneficiaries hoping to use SNAP benefits to know the approved and unapproved items for purchase, as well as authorized retailers that accept benefits as payment. The amount of benefits for food stamps program issued to each beneficiary varies depending on the program applicant’s household characteristics and financial situation. Approved program applicants will receive a Utah benefit card food stamp, also called an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which can be used as payment for approved food items. To learn more about how the food stamp benefit card works, which food items can be paid for with benefits and how benefit payments are calculated, you can download our guide. The information below is a though overview of SNAP benefits available in Utah.
Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Utah
SNAP food stamp benefits in Utah can be used to purchase food items that are meant to be prepared and eaten at home. Since the UT food stamps benefits program is dedicated to providing financial assistance for low-income families that need to purchase healthy foods throughout the month, all non-food items are off-limits for purchase with benefits. At participating retailers, the food stamp benefit card can be used by beneficiaries to purchase many food items, including foods in the following categories:
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Grains, breads and cereals
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
Additionally, SNAP food stamps can be used to buy seeds and plants that will eventually produce food to be eaten by the household, including herbs, fruits or vegetables. Live seafood, such as lobster or shrimp, can be bought using UT food stamp benefits, but live animals and birds are unapproved items for purchase with benefits. SNAP benefit card holders who are interested in purchasing energy drinks can only use benefits to do so if the energy drink has a nutrition label and not a supplement label. When using Utah food stamp benefits at an authorized retailer, the beneficiary should only attempt to purchase items that are approved by the USDA to prevent coming out of pocket for unapproved items.
Items You Cannot Buy With Utah SNAP Benefits
While authorized retailers may have shelves stocked with non-food items, Utah SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for these items. The USDA only approves the purchase of food items when using a food stamps benefit card as the payment method. Household items, including toiletries and personal hygiene products cannot be paid for with food stamps benefits. SNAP food stamp benefits cannot be used to pay for pet food or supplies and hot foods that are meant to be eaten in the store. All alcohol and tobacco products are ineligible for purchase with food stamp SNAP EBT cards because they do not contribute to the health and well-being of the program beneficiary and his or her family members. Additionally, SNAP food stamp benefit cards cannot be used to purchase vitamins, supplements or medications because they cannot contribute to providing nutritious meals prepared in a beneficiary’s home.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Utah SNAP Benefits After Enrollment?
While an incomplete application for Utah SNAP food benefits may be turned in to start the process, a completed application will be required before a petitioner can receive benefits. Additionally, identification and other requested documentation is required for submission to the Department of Workforce Services before food stamp benefits are calculated and issued. The date an application for UT food stamps benefits is submitted is the starting date for benefits, once the applicant is approved for the program. However, the delivery of the food stamps benefit card may take up to 30 days after application submission.
Some SNAP benefit applicants may qualify for expedited benefits, allowing them to receive a benefit card within seven days of applying. To qualify for expedited SNAP food stamp benefits, an applicant must show low income relative to the number of household members, little to no assets and submit identification to the Department of Workforce Services office. After the first SNAP food benefits payment is made, the applicant may be subjected to additional documentation submission and application completion, if requested, to continue receiving benefit payments.
Utah EBT Card Overview
Utah SNAP benefits are issued on an EBT card called a Horizons card. Authorized retailers that accept SNAP food benefits can easily be identified by locating the Horizons or EBT logo on a displayed sign or sticker. Upon approval into the SNAP benefit program, a beneficiary will receive the Horizons card in the mail and is responsible for following the enclosed instructions to complete the registration process and set up a personal identification number (PIN). Once registration is complete, the UT food stamps benefit card can be used just like a debit card at the credit card machine upon checkout. To access SNAP food stamp benefits, the beneficiary will need to choose the EBT payment method and enter his or her PIN. The transaction total will be deducted from the beneficiary’s food stamp benefit account balance.
Each month, the Horizons UT food benefit card is automatically loaded with the beneficiary’s benefit payment amount. The balance of the SNAP benefit account can be checked by calling the Horizon card help desk or using the online customer portal. The help desk can also assist beneficiaries in ordering a replacement benefit card food stamp or changing the PIN associated with the card.
Determining Your Utah SNAP Benefit Amount
To determine the amount of Utah SNAP food benefits an approved applicant should receive, the Department of Workforce Services looks at several pieces of household information provided on the application. The amount of food stamp SNAP benefits issued to a beneficiary can depend on:
- The household’s income and earnings.
- Monthly expenses and recurring bills.
- Ages and characteristics of household members.
- The minimum and maximum benefit amounts in the SNAP program guidelines.
The UT benefits for food stamps program bases benefit payments on claims made in the application. Household changes should be reported to the Department of Workforce Services to ensure SNAP benefit payment accuracy.