The Oklahoma SNAP food benefits program, also commonly referred to as the food stamps program, was implemented to assist low income families in providing healthy and nutritious meals prepared at home for themselves and family members. Food stamps benefits are issued to qualifying applicants through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, making it easy for them to use benefits at authorized retailers in the state. SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase approved food items so program beneficiaries should review which items cannot be purchased using benefits before shopping. The benefits for food stamps program amounts may vary by household due to information provided on the application about characteristics and family members. The Department of Human Services issues a benefit card food stamp to eligible applicants after reviewing the application for eligibility and using a specific formula to calculate benefit amounts. To learn more about the food stamp EBT card, items approved for purchase and how benefits are calculated, review the information below.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Oklahoma
SNAP food stamps in Oklahoma are awarded to beneficiaries so they can provide healthy and nutritious meals to their families throughout the month while dealing with temporary financial hardship. Since the program focuses on assisting these families with grocery bills and food expenses, there are specific items that can be bought using SNAP food stamp benefits and some items that are off limits. The approved food items that can be purchased using the food stamp benefit card in OK include:
- Breads, cereals and grains.
- Meat, poultry and fish.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Cheese, yogurt and milk.
Food stamp program benefits can also be used to purchase seeds or plants that will produce items useful for consumption by household members, such as herbs, fruits or vegetables. OK SNAP benefits can be used at authorized retailers that accept EBT cards as payment, including many local participating farmer’s markets. Select participating restaurants may provide low-cost meals that can be paid for with SNAP food stamps for beneficiaries who are elderly, disabled or homeless.
Items You Cannot Buy With Oklahoma SNAP Benefits
Oklahoma SNAP food benefits cannot be used to purchase all items available at local participating retailers. Since the food stamps program benefits are awarded to beneficiaries to assist them in providing healthy meals to family members, all non-food items are unapproved for purchase using benefits. OK food stamps benefits cannot be used to buy any of the following:
- Household items and pet supplies
- Toiletries or cosmetic products
- Tobacco products, such as cigarettes or cigars
- Alcohol, including wine, beer or liquor
- Vitamins, medicines or supplements
SNAP food stamp benefits also cannot be used to purchase hot food items or foods pre-prepared and meant for consumption on store premises. ‘Junk food’ items like cookies and candy, and ‘luxury food’ items like lobster and steak can be purchased using OK SNAP benefits, but beneficiaries are encouraged to only spend benefits on healthy foods that can allow their monthly food budget to stretch and provide plenty of nourishment for the household.
Note: Get more out of your monthly EBT allotment by utilizing these tips to stretch your grocery budget. Download our complete guide to the SNAP program to learn more.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Oklahoma SNAP Benefits After Enrollment?
To receive Oklahoma food stamps benefits, an applicant must have his or her application approved by a Department of Human Services representative. Additionally, an in-person interview must be completed by a representative and all requested documentation submitted to the office in a timely manner. Once an applicant is approved and all steps in the application process are completed, the SNAP food stamp benefits are issued to the beneficiary by mail. OK SNAP benefits are usually awarded within 30 days after submission of the application, if the applicant completes all additional steps and presents adequate documentation in a timely manner. Some program applicants may be eligible to receive emergency SNAP food stamp benefits if they can prove their urgent need for food financial assistance to a DHS representative. Oklahoma benefits for food stamps program may be issued within seven days of application submission if an applicant shows extremely low household income, high monthly expenses and a small number of assets and resources.
Oklahoma EBT Card Overview
The OK benefit card food stamp is also called the Oklahoma Access card and is issued to all eligible beneficiaries. The EBT card is simple to use and is the only way for beneficiaries to gain access to their food stamp program benefits so they can make approved purchases at authorized retailers. Participating retailers can be identified by looking for a sign that communicates the acceptance of food stamps, EBT benefits and the Quest benefits card. To use the food stamps benefits card, the beneficiary will simply swipe the card at the cash register’s credit card machine, just as a debit card would be used. After choosing EBT as the payment method, the beneficiary will be prompted to enter his or her personal identification number (PIN) as a security measure before food stamp program benefits can be deducted from the account. After using SNAP food stamps to complete the transaction, the beneficiary will be provided with a receipt that shows the amount of benefits used and the remaining account balance. Additionally, SNAP food benefit account balances can be checked by beneficiaries using an online portal and benefit amounts are deposited directly into the account each month automatically.
Learn About Oklahoma SNAP Benefit Amounts
The amount of SNAP food benefits awarded to an approved beneficiary depends on household factors including monthly income, expenses and family member characteristics. Not every beneficiary approved to receive Oklahoma SNAP food stamps will be issued the same amount of benefits each month. A beneficiary who has a low income, high monthly expenses and many household dependents will receive more monthly SNAP benefits than a single beneficiary earning a higher income with less expenses. Changes within the household, such as an added income stream or a household member moving out, will affect the amount of OK food stamps benefits amount and should be reported to the Department of Human Services as soon as possible.