Hawaii food stamps benefits administered as part of the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP food benefits help provide food to families and individuals with low incomes. Hawaii SNAP benefits allow nearly 200,000 people to have convenient access to food. Since the mission of the program is to prevent disorders and diseases caused by malnutrition, items that provide the beneficiaries with nourishment can be purchased with food stamps benefits. The amount of benefits for food stamps one receives depends on many variables and is determined during the enrollment process. When food stamps enrollment is complete, the recipient will receive an EBT card. Once the recipient has access to his or her benefits card food stamps can be used to buy approved food items from participating retail stores. To learn more about food stamps and how to get a food stamps benefits card, download our guide. For a quick overview of Hawaii SNAP benefits, read the following information.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Hawaii
Benefits from the food stamps program can be used to buy many items with the beneficiary’s EBT card. Most food items that provide sustenance to the SNAP beneficiary are approved, including fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, dairy products, meat, poultry and seafood. Benefits from the SNAP program in HI can also be used to buy seeds and plants that will be grown for food. However, farm animals such as cows or chickens that would be used for food cannot be purchased with food benefits. Living seafood is an exception.
Items You Cannot Buy With Hawaii SNAP Benefits
While food stamps benefits can be used to buy many types of food, there are certain items that cannot be bought with food stamps. HI SNAP benefits will not cover items that are meant to be eaten or any item that may be harmful to one’s health. SNAP food benefits cannot be used to purchase the following:
- Paper goods
- Household cleaning supplies
- Pet food
- Beer, wine or liquor
- All tobacco products
The Hawaii food benefits program still allows recipients to use their benefits to purchase ‘junk’ or ‘luxury’ items. These include candy, snack crackers, soft drinks and ice cream. Lobster and steak can also be purchased with food stamps. Please note, if a food stamps beneficiary attempts to use cash withdrawn from his or her benefits card to purchase any of the non-approved items listed above, he or she could face criminal charges.
How long does it take to receive Hawaii SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Hawaii food benefits enrollment is a straightforward process. First, SNAP benefits applicants must fill out the required application and submit it to the Department of Human Services, Benefit, Employment & Support Services Division (BESSD). After an interview with BESSD is completed, the applicant will receive notification of enrollment within 30 days. In some cases, food stamps benefits enrollment can begin much sooner. On the Hawaii food stamps application, the SNAP applicant will have to list a variety of personal information including his or her citizenship status and all sources of income. Those interested in applying for food stamps should make sure they fill out the required information before submitting the form.
Hawaii EBT Card Overview
Each HI SNAP benefits recipient will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Each month a prearranged amount of food stamps benefits is deposited into the recipient’s account. The recipient can use the EBT benefits card like a debit card at the grocery store. He or she can also use the card to withdraw cash from the benefits account at approved ATM machines. All Hawaii food stamps beneficiaries should keep their EBT cards in a safe location. If an EBT card is stolen, any SNAP benefits used by the thief will not be replaced by the government. Also, SNAP assistance recipients cannot get benefits deposited into their account more than once in a month. If a recipient runs out of benefits, he or she will have to wait until the next month’s deposit. The same EBT card can be used to access benefits provided by other government programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
SNAP food benefits cards cannot be used at ATMs inside gambling facilities, liquor stores, medical marijuana stores or adult entertainment establishments. Individuals caught selling their EBT benefits card for cash can face jail time.
Learn About Hawaii SNAP Benefit Amounts
Many different circumstances will determine the amount of food stamps benefits each recipient will receive on a monthly basis. The Hawaii SNAP benefits program primarily looks at income and assets to determine the benefits amount. Income from many different places including salary, alimony, child support and other government assistance programs will be viewed by the BESSD. Assets including property, bank accounts and investments will also be used to factor the benefits amount.
Food stamps benefits amounts are also established by the number of individuals in the household. For example, less Hawaii SNAP benefits will be given to a family of four than a family of seven. The amount of food stamps benefits received may vary if the applicant is elderly or has a disability. Able-bodied adults may have to work a certain number of hours each month to stay enrolled in the program.