The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the food stamp program, provides temporary relief to low-income families. Once you are approved for food stamps, you can purchase a variety of groceries using your EBT card. Keep track of your allotment and the length of your certification period so that you are prepared for your recertification interview at the end of your term.
When you are approved for the food stamp program, you will receive a letter stating how long you will receive benefits. This time frame is called your certification period. At the end of this period, you must interview with your caseworker to determine if you are eligible to continue receiving benefits. Interviews are conducted by phone unless you request an in-person interview.
The amount of money issued to your household when you are approved for food stamps is called an allotment. Your allotment is determined primarily by your income and the number of people in your household. This money is distributed on the same day each month of your certification period. Knowing your distribution date helps you plan meals and shopping trips effectively.
All money received for food stamps can be accessed using your EBT card. Your EBT card works like a debit card, with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). SNAP forbids program participants from sharing their PIN numbers to prevent unauthorized use. If you are caught sharing your EBT, you can be suspended from the food stamp program.
Your food stamp balance can be checked a number of ways. You can call the hot line number on the back of your EBT card, log in to your EBT account online or view a copy of the last receipt you used to purchase groceries. Always confirm that the amounts are correct on your receipt and report any errors in your balance to your caseworker.