Are you in need of more food stamps money than you’re currently receiving now? However, you may not know that there are several ways to get more food stamps funds each month! This article is here to guide you.
Before we get into the details of how to maximize your food stamps budget, we want you to know that the tips we’re recommending here are all very legal. And as such, they’re part of the food stamps regulations!
Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has always been controversial.
It’s meant to help ensure that everyone gets enough to eat, and the program assures applicants that they have the right to be treated with “dignity, consideration, and respect.”
You can use these funds to buy groceries, seeds, produce-bearing plants, fresh produce, and even certain gift baskets!
Maximum Food Stamps Allotment
The amount you receive each month in benefits is called your allotment. This is the amount of money being provided for you to buy food based on your income and household size. There is one formula used to determine your allotment.
First, there are predetermined maximum allotments a household can receive. These amounts are based solely on household size. The following table shows the current maximum amounts.
Another important factor is the actual amount of income taken into consideration for eligibility. It is expected that a household will spend roughly 30% of their net income on food during a month’s time.
While this is not an exact figure and some households may regularly spend more or less than 30%, that is the standard used to figure eligibility.
Therefore, your net income is multiplied by 0.3 in order to come up with your 30% amount. That amount is then subtracted from the maximum monthly allotment allowed for your household size.
The difference is what you get each month in benefits. Here are a few examples to demonstrate how this formula works.
Family of 5
Net monthly income of $1800
$1800 x 0.3 = $540
Maximum allotment for a family of 5 = $771
$771 – $540 = $231
SNAP monthly allotment = $231
Family of 4
Net monthly income of $2200
$2200 x 0.3 = $660
Maximum allotment for a family of 4 = $649
$649 – $660 = -$11
Although the difference is only off by $11, this family would not be approved for SNAP benefits.
Understanding the formula used to determine the monthly allotment can allow you to determine the amount of your own benefits assuming you are approved for SNAP. This is the same formula used regardless of which state you live in.
The food stamps office uses a mathematical equation to determine exactly how much money you will receive in food stamps. The first step to getting more food stamps is learning how this math works!
Step One: Find your gross income.
The first step is to identify your gross income. Gross income is what you earn before any deductions or taxes are taken out.
Step Two: Calculate your net income
Your net income is what remains after expenses and deductions. In order to calculate your net income, the SNAP office will subtract your eligible expenses and any deductions that you claim. We’ll talk more about deductions in just a bit.
Step Three: Identify the family’s expected contribution.
Since SNAP rules expect families to contribute 30% of their remaining net income toward food expenses, the agency will calculate 30% of the final income determined in Step Four. If you have no remaining net income, your contribution will be $0.
Step Four: Determine the monthly food stamps amount.
In order to determine how much money you’ll receive in food stamps, take the maximum allotment for your family size and deduct your family’s expected contribution. If it’s $0, then you’ll receive the maximum allotment.
Things You Can Do to Get More Food Stamps
There are several basic mistakes that people make when they apply for food stamps. Some people include extra people in their household and get penalized for reporting their roommate’s rent.
Others fail to report income changes. Far and away, though, the most common mistake is not taking advantage of the deductions that are available to you.
Over 95% of People Don’t Claim These Deductions
Deductions play a critical role in determining how much you’ll receive in your monthly food stamps allotment. The algorithm relies on yournet income, which means what is left over after your expenses.
Failing to list expenses and deductions is the #1 reason why people don’t get more food stamps funds! Although you should never make false statements to the SNAP office, there are many expenses and deductions that people simply don’t claim.
This deduction exists because we all have certain unavoidable expenses, like toilet paper. Rather than itemizing all of these little expenses, the government has determined it’s easier to just issue everyone a standard deduction amount.
The amount of the standard deduction is a fixed amount based on your household size. In 2018, the standard deduction is calculated as follows:
Standard Deduction Amount
You don’t have to do anything to claim this one because it’s automatically given to everyone.
If you are earning money from a job, then you will automatically receive the earnings deduction. This amount is equal to 20% of your earnings.
This deduction is designed to compensate for work-related expenses, payroll taxes and other associated costs. It’s also a work incentive because it favors people who are currently working.
Statistically, more than half of the food stamps households with children receive this deduction. Overall, this deduction is used by 32% of food stamps households.
Child Support Deduction (only 2% use this!)
If any member of your household is legally obligated to pay child support, then you can receive a deduction for the full child support amount. Only 2% of all food stamps households claim this credit!
If you’re paying for child support but you didn’t notify the office, then you may be eligible for more food stamps funds each month!
Medical Expense Deduction (only 5% use this!)
If you have a disabled person or a senior in your household, then you can deduct that person’s out-of-pocket medical expenses! Shockingly, only 5% of households claim this credit.
Anyone who is at least 60 years can use this deduction. It is also available to disabled persons of any age, as long as that person meets the USDA definition of disabled.
1. What if I disagree with my food stamp allotment?
The first course of action would be to call your worker to discuss why you are receiving the specified amount of food stamps. If you still disagree, you have the right to request a Fair Hearing by calling 1-800-342-3334.
2. What day of the month can I begin to use my food stamp benefits?
Your benefit availability day corresponds with the last number in your food stamps case number. For example, if your case number ends in an 8 [F1111118 AZ], your benefits should be available beginning on the 8th day of each month.
3. Will my food stamp benefits expire at the end of the month?
No. Your food stamp benefits will carry over from month to month, and are good for up to 365 days.
Finally, to get more food stamps right away, you need to contact your caseworker immediately! Start by calling or visiting your local government agency that administers food stamps.
You can ask to have your food stamp amount recalculated at any time, to get more.
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