Michigan Food Stamps (SNAP) Application Information
The Food Stamps program is in Michigan is now called SNAP. The SNAP program assists people who lack enough income to pay for healthy and nutritious food. In Michigan and other states, the recipient is given a specified amount per month that can only be spent on certain authorized foods. SNAP benefits in Michigan are issued through a card similar to a debit card known as Bridge Card. The card is used just like any ordinary debit card and it can be used in all the other states.
In Michigan, the Food Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Human Services. The cost of the program is shared by both the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Michigan's Department of Human Services (DSS) determines applicant's eligibility.
Your application determines your eligibility. Eligibility requirements include:
- Income - Your countable income includes wages, self-employment earnings, rental income, child support, social security benefits and veterans benefits is taken into account.
- Expenses - There are some allowable expenses such as shelter, obligated child support, disability expenses and medical support. This does not affect your eligibility in anyway.
- Employment status.
You can check your eligibility status online through MARS (Michigan Assistance and Referral Service) website here.
Once you are approved, you will receive an EBT card to use when purchasing only approved food. A predetermined monthly amount is deposited in your EBT card.
Remember to report any change of your financial status through the MI Bridges portal website here, or by contacting a local SNAP agency.
Eligibility depends mainly on the financial income of the applicant and household size. There are limitations on the type of food that can be purchased with the EBT card. Basically, you can purchase any food or food product fit for human consumption.
More information about eligible food items may be obtained by visiting the Department of Human Services website here.
In the state of Michigan, assets are not considered when applying for food stamp eligibility. A family becomes eligible for food stamps if it has low-income or has high expenses. Eligible income is calculated by adding gross income and subtracting program-approved deductions. Eligible income include:
- Wages from employment (after taxes)
- Unemployment or disability income
- Child support
- Social Security or pension/retirement income.
Income from household members under the age of 18 years, loans or scholarships, or Earned Income Tax Credit money is not counted as income.
Expenses and Deductions
Michigan residents are eligible for SNAP benefits if the household income does not meet a certain level. The level is determined after a case worker reviews such things as the gross income of all adults in the household. Certain expenses may be deducted from income considered for food stamp eligibility. Allowed expenses include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes and homeowners insurance. Individuals paying court-ordered child support may deduct it from their monthly income. People caring for a dependent child or disabled adult, may deduct all medical expenses over $35 from their income. These expenses may include prescription or over-the-counter drugs, doctor visits, medical supplies and health insurance premiums.
Food Stamps Application Instructions
There are several ways through which one can apply for the Healthy and Well Kids Iowa program, these include:
If you prefer to visit in person, or want to mail in an application form, you can request a printed form or talk to a representative who can fill out a form for you by calling 1-855-ASK-MICH.
You can apply online for food stamps by visiting the MI Bridges portal from the Department of Human Services website www.mibridges.michigan.gov/access/.
To start the application you need to keep handy basic information such as your social security number, income and resource information, and household size. You may also be required to prove the income of other family members living in your household. The purpose of the application is to determine your eligibility; extra information may be required by the case worker. You will also undergo a one on one interview with a case worker that will also determine your eligibility further. After your application is processed, you will be contacted by a DHS representative to find out more information and see what you qualify for.
Emergency SNAP Benefits
Application process can take about 30 days, but in an emergency situation the process can take a week. In order for applicants to be considered for emergency benefits, they must have less than $100 in cash or savings and a monthly income of $150 or less, or an income that does not cover housing costs. Seasonal workers between jobs are also eligible for emergency benefits.
The maximum allotment amount for one person is $200 per month according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Maximum amounts increase by approximately $150 to $160 for each additional family member.
Locating Food Service Points
SNAP is the official name for the food assistance program in Michigan and each county has multiple SNAP authorized locations. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website here.
You can also contact 1-855-ASK-MICH to inquire about the program and benefits that you may qualify for.
You can also contact a local office by consulting the County Composite Directory of DHS offices or their website here. Each of these listings has an address and number for a local agent near you.