The Indiana food stamps benefits program is a part of the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The mission of the SNAP food benefits program is to help low income people get access to food. The benefits for food stamps program aids in the prevention of the health conditions that can occur from malnourishment. The Indiana SNAP food benefits program lists certain items as eligible and ineligible to be purchased with food benefits. The amount of benefits for food stamps program enrollees receives depends on a variety of factors, mainly income levels. Once a food stamps benefits recipient completes the application process and is approved, he or she will receive an EBT card. When the recipient has access to his or her benefits card food stamps can be used to buy eligible food items. To learn more about IN SNAP benefits and how to use a benefits card, review the information below.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Indiana
The food stamps benefits card can be used to buy many different food items as a way to aid in the beneficiaries’ health. Most food items that are eligible to be purchased with Indiana SNAP benefits fall into the following categories:
- Dairy products
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Breads and cereals
- Seeds and plants
Food stamps assistance can be used to buy seeds and plants only if these items will be planted and grown for food. Junk food and luxury food items such as candy or live lobster can also be purchased with food benefits.
Items You Cannot Buy With Indiana SNAP Benefits
Indiana SNAP food benefits will not allow beneficiaries to buy ineligible items with their EBT card. Theseitems generally include those that are dangerous to one’s health or are not considered a food source for humans, such as:
- Pet food
- Household supplies
- Paper goods
- Medicine and vitamins
- Alcoholic drinks
- Tobacco products
While living seafood can be bought with Indiana food stamps, live animals like chickens cannot be bought with food benefits even if they will be used as a food source. Also, benefits from SNAP that are withdrawn from ATMs cannot be used to purchase ineligible items. Attempting to do so is considered a criminal offense. To further prevent this occurrence, ATMs in gambling facilities, adult entertainment establishments or liquor stores will not be able to access an EBT card.
How long does it take to receive Indiana SNAP benefits after enrollment?
All Indiana SNAP benefits applicants will have to submit their application and then be interviewed by the Indiana Department of Family Resources, Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Once this part of the food stamps enrollment process is complete, applicants will review information about their enrollment status within 30 days. Some IN SNAP benefits applicants can request emergency or expedited enrollment and receive benefits within seven days of submitting their application. The status of one’s food stamps application can be checked online. If an applicant is denied enrollment, he or she can appeal that decision.
All SNAP food benefits applicants must provide true and accurate information to the FSSA regarding their income, Social Security information, household living arrangements and other important information.
Indiana EBT Card Overview
If an Indiana food stamps applicant is enrolled in the program, he or she will be sent an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. This food stamps benefits card is called the Hoosier card or the Hoosier Work card in Indiana. The IN benefits card can be used for purchasing groceries as well as gaining access to other government assistance benefits such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The food stamps benefits on this card can be used as to buy approved items at participating grocery stores throughout the state. This card operates as a debit card and can be used at a cash register or at an ATM. However, it is illegal for food stamps recipients to sell or trade their EBT card for cash or any other good or service. Lost or stolen SNAP benefits cards should be reported to the FSSA as quickly as possible.
Benefits from IN food stamps are deposited into the beneficiary’s account every month. If the recipient uses up his or her monthly benefits, he or she will have to wait until the next month to receive more benefits.
Note: For more information on SNAP, download our complete guide.
Learn About Indiana SNAP Benefit Amounts
Indiana food stamps benefits are not evenly distributed amongst all food assistance recipients. The food stamps program is not meant to supply beneficiaries with all the food they will need each month. Instead, the program is meant to supplement the beneficiary’s existing access to food. Due to this, household size and income levels are the largest factors for determining SNAP benefits amounts that will be deposited to recipients each month. Generally speaking, those with higher incomes will receive less Indiana SNAP benefits than those with lower incomes. Also, larger families and households will receive more assistance than smaller ones. Able-bodied adults who do not have children or dependents will have to work to maintain their enrollment status in the program. The amount of food stamps assistance received will also vary if the recipient is elderly or disabled.