Indiana Food Stamps Application Information
How to Apply for Food Stamps
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The Food Stamp (SNAP) program is not a welfare program; however it enables low-income families to purchase wholesome food. To become a SNAP beneficiary in Indiana, you must go through the Division of Family Resources in your county. Once you have qualified, you will receive a benefit card that works like a debit or credit card. You are able to use your food stamp benefits to supplement your family's income and purchase food at vendors across Indiana.
The Food Stamp SNAP program in Indiana has an objective of helping residents get the food that they need based on a healthy diet and wholesome food chain. Once you qualify, food assistance benefits are deposited electronically to your EBT card each month. EBT card is equivalent to cash and works at any SNAP authorized vendor. SNAP programs benefit low income families by giving them a certain amount for food that they otherwise would not receive. There are specified types of food that you can buy or what the EBT card will pay for.
You can find out more information about these specifications on the official Indiana Food Stamp Program website: www.in.gov/fssa/.
Indiana residents must meet SNAP eligibility guidelines otherwise Family and Social Services Administration may decline their application request.
- Eligibility based on Income Guidelines: Net monthly income of a household must be at or below 100 percent of the specified Federal Poverty Level in order to qualify for SNAP benefits in Indiana. The amount a household can make depends on how many people will be receiving benefits. For example, a household of two people can have a net monthly income of up to $1,215 while a household of seven people can have a net monthly income of up to $2,773.
- Eligibility based on Asset Limits: Countable assets of a family must be below $2,000 for you to qualify for SNAP benefits. If a household has either a senior member aged 60ears or older or disabled, the asset limit is $3,000. Items not counted as assets include child support, spousal support, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Eligibility based on Immigration Status: Adult immigrants that are lawful permanent residents (LPRs) must undergo a waiting period of five years before they can receive food stamp benefits. However, if the immigrant household has children benefits may be given to the children immediately.
In order to qualify for SNAP benefits the applicants must meet the following requirements:
Non-financial requirements for the program:
- Eligible applicants must be residents of Indiana
- U.S. Citizens
- Must be part of the Indiana Manpower and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) program. IMPACT is a body that helps poor people with education, job search, job training and job placement. SNAP applicants are asked to begin their job search as soon as they enroll for food stamps. For people who do not find employment right away, a caseworker will help them develop a plan to find employment and become self reliant. A case worker may place some applicants in unpaid community service jobs with non-profit agencies.
Asset and gross income limits:
- Households must have less than $2,000 in assets to qualify for SNAP
- Household with a member who is at least 60 years old or disabled the asset limit is $3,000.
- Household income must be below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty level, based on household size. This ranges from $1,174 a month for a single-member household, to $4,822 for a 10-member household.
You can inquire more about eligibility from the Family and Social Services Administration website: www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/.
Food Stamps Application Instructions
SNAP benefits can be applied online via the Indiana Benefits Portal. Online application allows residents to avoid a trip to a COFR branch, and residents may take up to 30 days to complete the application. Using this system, applicants can track down the status of their online application electronically. They may also receive email notifications regarding their submission. However, the application process sorely depends on your county. You can find a list of Indiana counties serving your area on this website: www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/hotlines and start your application process by clicking on an office near you.
Here is a link to the benefits portal for food stamps: www.ifcem.com/HCSSRequest/en_US/
You can schedule an interview with a caseworker. Questions about members of your household, assets and income will be asked. After your case has been determined, you will be notified by mail about whether your application has been approved.
Alternatively, residents may fill out a paper application which they must submit to their local health services office with the title Application for Food Stamps. This application form may be downloaded from : www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/3100, or obtain a paper application in person at a County Office of Family Resources branch near you. Indiana food stamp applicants may submit their application in person, or they may mail or fax it to their local COFR.
After submitting an application online, in person, fax or by mail, an Indiana FSSA agent will request for a one on one interview with the applicant within 30 days. During the interview process the following documents are needed to provide proof of identity:
- Utility bill to prove residence
- Recent pay stubs to show your income status
- Social Security Number
Once the applicant provides all requested documentation and meets the eligibility criteria of the program, an Indiana social services worker will provide the resident with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase specified groceries.
Finding Food Service Locations
Every county has multiple SNAP locations. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal site locator website: http://www.in.gov/. You can contact your specific county to learn more about the SNAP retailers in your area as well as ask for a paper form or any other information about related cash assistance programs or the IMPACT Program. Simply go to the DFR Directory of Local Offices here and select your county.