Oregon SNAP food benefits recipients have been approved to receive financial assistance to pay for food because they have met all program eligibility criteria. Food stamps benefits can be used to buy food items that will help create healthy and nourishing meals for beneficiaries and their family members at home. There are specific approved food items that can be bought with OR SNAP benefits, while other items cannot be purchased using benefits. Benefits for food stamps program are calculated based on the information given to the Department of Human Services on the application and in the interview. Beneficiaries may receive different amounts of SNAP benefits based on their household characteristics. All benefits are issued via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) benefit card food stamp called the Oregon Trail Card, which can be used to access benefits at any authorized retailer in the state. To learn more about food stamps, download our guide to SNAP. An overview on the PA food stamps program can be found below.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Oregon
Food stamp SNAP benefits are issued to beneficiaries so they can provide meals to their families that contribute to their well-being, happiness and productivity. The OR food stamp benefit program educates beneficiaries on the importance of cooking nourishing meals, strategies for stretching the monthly food budget and the health guidelines that should be followed to maintain a well-balanced diet. With an emphasis on health and nutrition, Oregon SNAP benefits can only be used on approved food items available at authorized retailers. Local retailers and farmer’s markets that accept the food stamp benefit card can be found online or identified with a sign indicating they accept Oregon Trail cards as payment. The types of approved food items that can be purchased with food stamp benefits include the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, including poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Grains, such as cereals and breads
- Seeds or plants that produce consumable food items
Live seafood, including lobster and shrimp, can also be purchased with food stamp benefits in Oregon, but live animals or birds are not acceptable purchases. While the food stamp benefit program encourages all beneficiaries to consider healthy choices when using food stamp SNAP benefits, ‘junk food’ items like chips, soft drinks, candy and ice cream are still considered acceptable items to purchase using benefits.
Items You Cannot Buy With Oregon SNAP Benefits
Oregon SNAP food benefits cannot be used to purchase non-food items, including household products, pet supplies, toiletries or cosmetics. The goal of the food stamp benefit program is to assist low income families in providing food to their families, so using benefits for non-food purchases is not acceptable. Since alcohol and tobacco products do not contribute to health, SNAP food stamps cannot be used to purchases these items. Additionally, supplements, vitamins and medications cannot be purchased with food stamps benefits in OR. Pre-prepared hot foods or foods meant to be eaten in the store cannot be purchased using food stamp benefits because the program encourages beneficiaries to prepare all meals at home. Special occasion cakes or gift baskets must be sold with less than 50 percent non-food items or decorations if purchased with a food stamp benefit card. Gift baskets cannot contain any alcohol or tobacco items.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Oregon SNAP Benefits After Enrollment?
The sooner a qualified food stamps benefits program applicant turns in a completed application to the Department of Human Services, the faster he or she will receive benefits. In most circumstances, food stamp benefits in Oregon are issued to an approved program applicant within 30 days of application submission. The SNAP food stamps program applicant is also responsible for completing an interview with a Department of Human Services representative and turning in all requested documentation before benefits can be issued.
Some program applicants may qualify to receive OR food stamps benefits within seven days of applying for the program. If an applicant can show that he or she has an extremely low income, several high monthly expenses and little to no assets available, expedited SNAP food stamps may be issued to the household. The additional SNAP benefit application steps, including an interview and presentation of documentation, still needs to be completed by beneficiaries who received expedited benefits. However, these program enrollees can complete the tasks after the first food stamp benefit payment has already been sent.
Oregon EBT Card Overview
The only way for SNAP beneficiaries to access food stamp benefits is with the EBT card, or Oregon Trail card. This Oregon food stamp benefit card works like a debit card and can be used at the credit card machine during checkout at an authorized retailer. SNAP benefits are accessed when the beneficiary chooses the EBT payment option on the credit card machine and enters his or her personal identification number (PIN). The SNAP food benefits used in the transaction are deducted from the beneficiary’s account balance automatically. A beneficiary can check the balance of the OR food stamp benefit EBT card and confirm that monthly benefits have been transferred into the account by looking at the retailer’s receipt or calling the Oregon Trail card customer service department. The PIN associated with the SNAP benefit card can be changed through an online portal.
Learn About Oregon SNAP Benefit Amounts
The amount of Oregon SNAP food benefits issued to an approved program applicant depends on several factors including:
- Household income.
- Monthly expenses.
- Date of application.
- Number of dependent and contributing household members.
When analyzing the amount of SNAP food stamp benefits awarded to a beneficiary, the Department of Human Services representative will use all facts provided in the application and interview to determine the monthly payment. Changes to a beneficiary’s financial status or household composition can also change the amount of OR food stamps benefits issued. Therefore, beneficiaries should report any change to the Department of Human Services promptly to avoid an overpayment or underpayment of food stamp SNAP benefits.