Alaska Food Stamps (SNAP) Application Information

The main objective of the SNAP Food Stamps program is to ensure an improvement in the likelihood that the individuals who are eligible for SNAP will make choices that are healthy and that are within a trimmed budget as well as being able to choose lifestyles that are consistent with the present healthy dietary guidelines for Myplate and Americans. Detailed information about this can be found at http://dpaweb.hss.state.ak.us

For one to be able to receive the food stamps in Alaska, it is important certain requirements be met. All those who benefit from the program must be living in the state and be citizens of the US, eligible aliens or be US residents by nationality. Those who are able and are between 16 and 59 years in age are supposed to work or have themselves registered to perform duties. In case the applicants are jobless, it is necessary that they agree to take any kind employment offered and ensure that they participate fully in the Alaska Employment and Training Program if by any chance it is made available to them. It is good to note that one is not allowed to abandon work once he or she is employed so long as she or he is on the food stamps.

An eligible household should not be more than the asset as well as the household income limits. When the total of everyone in your household is combined, it must be less than both the net income and the gross income maximums. Gross income in this case refers to the total wages while the net income is simply the difference between the gross income and the total expenditures for childcare, housing and medical. The law enacted in 2011 forbade anyone to hold assets that amounted to $2,000 like bank accounts, stocks; real estate and cash not for sale and those who met this requirement were therefore eligible for the program.

The Alaska Quest Card

After you have been cleared, you get a monthly allotment by simply using the Alaska Quest just like you would use an ATM card at any store that is validated. There is no way you can use the food benefit stamps to purchase items that are not foodstuffs such as paper products, medicine, tobacco or alcohol. But there are approved participants from certain locations of the state that may be allowed to use their benefits to purchase subsistence hunting and fishing items.

The Food Stamp Program offers food remunerations to the low income families. The Federal government provides a 100% funding to the Food Stamp scheme. It pays half of the operational expenses of the Alaska Food Stamp program.

The Food Stamp benefits are issued by the Division of Public Assistance through the Alaska Quest Card. The total amount each household can receive every month is dependent on countable income as well as the size of the family. Qualified households utilize the Food Stamps remunerations to purchase food items from selected stores across the entire state.

Qualified applicants are supposed to pass an income and assets test. This monthly gross income test is held basing on a 130% of the current poverty standards in Alaska. The state has put in place special rules which allow for higher Food Stamp remunerations in remote areas as well as the use of the benefits to buy certain fishing and hunting subsistence equipment.

Eligibility Requirements

Residence

The entire eligible applicants must come from the Alaska state so as to be able to receive the Food Stamp benefits from the authorities in Alaska.

Relationship and Age

There exist no age limits that are specially set aside for the benefits. Both parents and children aged 21 years or under that are living together are considered as one family. Minors who try to apply independently must be staying apart from their parents. Persons staying together and who buy and prepare their meals together are also treated as one family.

Social Security Numbers and Citizenship

The applicant should be a US citizen or an alien who qualifies as a US citizen in order to benefit from the program. But in some cases, those who depend on an ineligible alien are always eligible for the program. All the family members must possess a social security or any kind of proof that may show one has applied for the same.

Job

To be on the beneficiary list of the Food Stamp program, those people who are able-bodied between the ages of 21 and 59 must be registered for work, actively participate in the Employment and Training Programs if given the opportunity, agree to any kind of job offers and they are not supposed to quit work at all.

Other Factors

Those people who go on strike must be eligible for resource and income one day before the commencement of the strike. In most cases, students at college must be made to work half the normal working duration, be enlisted in the work study, be responsible for their young dependents or be recipients of the Temporary Assistance. Criminals who have been convicted of drugs- related offences can not benefit from the Program. Persons that have been disqualified due to fraud, are also not eligible for a period of one year if the offence is their first, a period of two years for a second offence and if found guilty on a third account, they will not be eligible permanently. But those who depend on the disqualified individual may be eligible for the benefits of the program.

Resource Test

The eligible asset limit is $2,000 for most families and for those households with disabled members or are aged 60 years and above, their asset limit stands at $3,250.

Assets that are not considered are a home and all it consists of, poverty producing income, household items, real estate that has been tagged " for sale", the cash value of your life insurance, personal retirement accounts, personal poverty, college savings as well as vehicles which have an equity value that is less than $1,500. The other kind of vehicles that fall under this category include family transport vehicles that are used to take household members to and from work, the ones used as an income earner, for substance fishing and hunting, those used as homes for the family, the ones used in the transportation of disabled family member, and those used to carry primary source of heating, fuel and even water.

On the other hand, countable assets comprise of cash on hand, certificates of deposits, stocks, money in savings or checking accounts, bonds, lump-sum payments and real property that is not for sale.

Special rules are applicable to the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends.

Income Test

The Food program does not consider scholarships, loans and grants that are paid for fees and tuition, Native dividends, reimbursements, heating assistance, earnings for children who are under the age of 18 and are still in school and loans.

Countable income here includes public assistance benefits, wages, self employment, compensation given to workers, unemployment benefits, child support, social security, pension, SSI as well as the Senior Benefits' payments.

Deductions

The Food Stamp Program allows for deduction to be made on individual incomes which includes a 20% deduction on wages, standard deduction which amounts to $256 and which is given to families of one to five household members as well as $268 given to those with six or more members, another deduction that is meant for taking care of the dependent costs, medical costs above $35 for the elderly, or the physically handicapped members and utility or shelter deduction that should not exceed $749 in most of the households. There is no set limit of utility/ shelter deductions meant for families that comprise of either an elderly or a disabled person.

Maximum Food Stamp Benefits per Month

Family Size Urban Center Rural 1 Rural 2
1 $239 $304 $371
2 $438 $559 $680
3 $627 $800 $974
4 $797 $1016 $1237
5 $946 $1207 $1469
6 $1135 $1448 $1762
7 $1255 $1600 $1948
8 $1434 $1829 $2226
Each Additional $179 $229 $278


The benefit amounts are dependent on the size of the household, where the residence is located and the net income.

In most cases, when the household is big or when the net income is low, the Food Stamp benefit becomes higher. In addition, the Food Stamp program laws allow for families in certain regions to obtain a higher benefit.

Food Stamps Application Instructions

You will be required to fill out an application form which can be downloaded from the Alaska Social and Human Services website by clicking here, or you can request the application forms from the nearest food stamp office in your area, click here to find your nearest office.

Fill the application form and submit it either in person or send it by mail or fax. You will then be require to participate either in a telephone or face to face interview with the WIC officials.

The following documentation will be required during or before the interview:

  • Your income
  • Housing cost
  • Utility Bills plus any other documentation that can provide proof of your financial position.