As a single mom, you likely need financial help whenever you can find it. With the rising cost of groceries, you may have considered looking to the government for help with feeding your family. Depending on your income and the size of your family, applying for food stamps may be one option.
Food Stamps for Single Mothers
The USDA backs the Food Stamp Program. It is designed for low-income people to allow them to buy healthy foods. The program is organized on a state level, so you will apply with your state’s department of health if you qualify. Each year, the amount of assistance that you can receive changes each year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan. This is determined by an average of how much food costs for a household.
If you are approved for the Food Stamp Program, you will be issued a card that resembles a debit card. This provides you with a way to use the food stamps without embarrassment. To use the card, simply present it as you would a credit card when paying for your groceries. Most grocery stores are part of the Food Stamp Program.
To determine whether or not your family qualifies for the Food Stamp Program, the application will ask questions about your assets. Assets, such as your car, home, and money you have in the bank, are all counted when you apply. Even if your monthly income qualifies you for food stamps, having many assets may cause you to not be approved.
Your income will also be counted when determining whether or not you are eligible for the program. Gross incomes can be 130% of the poverty level or lower to qualify. If figuring based on your net income, you can be at the poverty level or lower to qualify. The size of your family will determine whether or not you qualify. These limits are substantially lower than the limits for some other government food assistance programs, such as WIC.
Applying for Food Stamps for Single Mothers
Determining eligibility for food stamps becomes complicated when all of the deductions are considered. For instance, if someone has a severe medical condition, deductions apply. Some states allow you to deduct some of your housing and shelter expenses. Childcare deductions are also available. The best way to determine if there are enough deductions for you to qualify is to talk to your local food stamps office. You can also use their pre-screening tool and find out before hand if you are eligible for receiving the benefits without going through the legthy application processes. It is mostly based on your family income.
If you are qualified, you will be given a set amount that you can spend each month on groceries under the Food Stamp Program. Any money that you spend on groceries above that amount is your responsibility. Also, some foods are not covered, and you will have to pay for those with your own resources if you choose to purchase them. However, as you know, single moms can use all of the help they can get, so even if the food stamps money does not cover all of your expenses, it can sure help that ever-increasing grocery bill.