SNAP food benefits in Michigan, nationally referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, provides access to affordable food to low income families and individuals. The food stamps benefits program has been available in all 50 states for the last 40 years. This program helps prevent the diseases and disorders brought on by malnourishment. Due to this, SNAP benefits are used to buy approved food items from participating grocery retailers across the state. Some items will be ineligible to be purchased with benefits.
The benefits for food stamps program are accessed through an EBT card which is sent to the food stamps benefits beneficiary after being enrolled in the program. Once the beneficiary receives his or her benefits card food stamps can be used to buy approved food products. The amount of food stamps is determined by many features and factors. To learn more about Michigan SNAP food benefits and how amounts are decided, continue reading the sections below.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Michigan
Benefits for food stamps assistance cannot be used to buy every item available in the grocery store. Michigan SNAP can only be used to buy items that will provide nourishment to the beneficiaries. SNAP beneficiaries can buy the following items:
- Dairy products
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Breads and cereals
SNAP food benefits can be used to buy items that are sometimes deemed ‘junk food’ including snacks, candy, ice cream, soda pop and energy drinks. Seeds and plants that provide food to the recipient can also be bought with benefits. While food benefits are mainly used for items that provide sustenance, hot or prepared meals are not able to be purchased with food assistance.
Items You Cannot Buy With Michigan SNAP Benefits
The Michigan food stamps program has several regulations regarding what can and cannot be purchased with food benefits. In general, food stamps cannot be used to buy non-food items or items that are addictive or dangerous. MI SNAP beneficiaries cannot use their benefits to buy:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Tobacco products
- Pet food or supplies
- Household items
- Cleaning products
- Paper goods
- Vitamins and medicines
SNAP assistance also cannot be used to buy livestock. While these animals may be used for food, they are not considered an approved food item. However, living seafood is the exception to this rule. Using cash withdrawn from a food stamps benefits card to purchase one of these items could result in criminal charges.
How long does it take to receive Michigan SNAP benefits after enrollment?
The food stamps enrollment process generally does not take very long. Most SNAP applicants receive word of enrollment within 30 days of submitting their application. First, Michigan food stamps applicants must fill out the required application and submit it to The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. After this, the food benefits applicant will have to be interviewed in person to proceed with the application process. When this is complete, the applicant will be mailed information about their enrollment status. If the food stamps applicant is denied, he or she can file an appeal@. If he or she is accepted, then an EBT benefits card will be mailed to the applicant. Applicants in severe need of food can be enrolled in as little as seven days.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will require all food stamps benefits seekers to give a large variety of personal information such as their income levels and their living situation. Providing false or misleading information during the food stamps enrollment process is fraud and is a charge that can come with jail time. All applicants should give true and accurate information when applying for benefits.
Michigan EBT Card Overview
All MI SNAP enrollees access their benefits through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Each month, benefits from the Michigan Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are deposited into the beneficiaries’ account. The EBT benefits card can be used as a debit card at the grocery store or at approved ATMs. EBT cards cannot be used at ATMs located within liquor stores, medical marijuana outlets, adult entertainment establishments or gambling entertainment facilities.
Food stamps benefits are not meant to provide the beneficiaries with all of their nutrition needs. Therefore, beneficiaries may have to use other forms of payment for groceries if they use up their benefits. Food stamps beneficiaries cannot get their benefits early if they do run out; they will have to wait until the next deposit date to receive their benefits.
Any food stamps benefits used by someone who has stolen an EBT card will not be replaced by the government. So, all food stamps beneficiaries should keep their benefits card safe. Trading or selling an EBT card is considered a felony offense in Michigan.
Learn About Michigan SNAP Benefit Amounts
Michigan SNAP assistance amounts are determined by many features and aspects of the beneficiary’s life. Benefits amounts for food stamps are largely determined by income as the program is designed to help low income individuals. Therefore, enrollees who earn more will receive less benefits than those who earn less. Food benefits amounts are also decided by the size of the beneficiary’s household. For example, a family of seven will receive more food assistance than a family of four. There are different enrollment and benefits amount criteria for those who are elderly, disabled or already enrolled in any other government assistance program. In order to stay enrolled in the Michigan food stamps program, most able-bodied adults will have to work or be involved in a work program.