Florida Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP Application Information
Low-income people can buy food with the help of Florida Food Assistance Program. People unable to buy healthy food can use this program to purchase food necessary for good health. Typically, food assistance program helps families living and cooking meals together. Once a household has qualified for Food Assistance Program, it will receive food assistance based on number of people living in the household and the amount of money household has after subtracting certain expenses.
Florida Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP provide food for the needy. Anyone with low-income can apply as long as he or she meets basic eligibility criteria for the program. Individuals applying for Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP will have to provide proof of their citizenship and residency in order to qualify for the program. Residents of Florida and citizens of U.S. can receive benefits through the program. Noncitizens with qualified status can also receive benefits through this program.
In order to qualify for Food Assistance Program, households will have to meet certain income and resources criteria. Typically, a household with gross income at 200% of Federal Poverty Level will qualify. Households with unqualified members, elderly, and disabled will have a slightly different income and resources criteria for the program.
You can easily apply for Food Assistance Program online by clicking here. You can also go through a prescreening process to check if you qualify to receive benefits.
Not all kinds of food can be bought with assistance from this program. Beneficiaries will not be allowed to buy foods such as vitamins, medicines, household supplies, pet food, tobacco, alcohol drinks etc.
Not anyone convicted of drug trafficking or running away from a felony will be able to qualify for Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP. Similarly, noncitizens without a qualified status will not be able to qualify for these foods assistance programs. Anyone breaking Food Assistance Program rules will also become ineligible for future.
In order to receive benefits under Food Assistance and SUNCAP, one has to be a resident of state of Florida.
Only U.S. citizen or noncitizen with qualified status can receive benefits under Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP.
Social Security Number
Individuals seeking aid through Food Assistance Program will have to ensure that they are providing their Social Security Number. In case of individuals being under 22, a proof that they have applied for SSN will be enough.
Applicants, not working or participating in a workfare program and between the age of 18 and 50, will only be eligible to receive food assistance for 3 months during each 3-year period.
Individuals, buying and cooking food together, seeking food assistance through this program will have to be considered one household for the purpose of this program.
Income and Deductions
In order to qualify for Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP, a household should have gross income 200% of the Federal Poverty Level while net income should be 100% of Federal Poverty Level. However, if a household has a disqualified member, it will have to meet a gross income test at 130% of Federal Poverty Level.
A household will have to subtract certain deductions and expenses from its gross income in order to determine right income for the purpose of this program. Allowed deductions include:
- 20% straight deduction from income earned
- Deduction of $147 for a 1-3 person household
- Deduction of $155 for a 4 member household
- Deduction of $181 for a 5 member household
- Deduction of $208 for a 6 member household
- Cost of child care for working parents
- Medical expenses above $35 for disabled and elderly household members
- Shelter and utility costs
Child Support Payment
In order to obtain food assistance for children, parents or relatives will have to cooperate with Child Support Enforcement Office. If parents or relatives do not cooperate with the office without a genuine cause, food assistance through this program will not be possible.
Individuals already eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Cash Assistance will automatically qualify for resources eligibility. On the other hand, households with a disqualified member should not have more than $2,000 in assets. Whereas, a member of a household is elderly or disabled, household can have assets up to $3,250 and still qualify for Food Assistance Program.
Some assets don't count when calculating resources for a household. These include home, household items, burial plot (one for each member of household), life insurance policies, and one vehicle per household.
Can Students receive benefits from Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP?
Typically, students are not eligible to receive assistance through this program. However, if a student is mentally or physically ill, receives Temporary Cash Assistance, participates in State or Federal government sponsored work and study program, or taking care of a person under the age of 6 in household will be allowed to apply for Food Assistance Program.
What kind of food can you buy?
Households qualifying for Food Assistance Program will be able to buy different kinds of foods including diary, poultry, meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, cereals, bread, and even seeds for growing your own food. However, households will be unable to buy pet food, grooming items, alcohol, tobacco, vitamins, or medicines with Food Assistance Program.
Food Assistance Program and SUNCAP Application Instructions
To apply for Florida Food Assistance Program, you can use any of the following options:
Before you go ahead and apply online, you should go through a prescreening process to ensure that you meet all the qualification for applying to the program. You can use THIS link for prescreening.
To apply online, you will be required to register first. You can register at THIS link.
You can create an Electronic Benefits Transfer account to receive your benefits electronically. You can create your account HERE.
If you already have an unfinished application, you can complete it by going back to it. Use this link to complete your unfinished applications.
If you have already e-singed your application but have something to add to it, you can use THIS LINK to add comments to your application.
Apply in Person
You can apply for Food Assistance Program by applying for SSI at a Florida Social Security office.
If you get qualified for SSI, you will be automatically converted to SUNCAP.
You can also contact special SUNCAP unit by dialing 1-866-762-2237.