Cuts in Benefits Affecting Eppicard and Food Stamps

With the United State economy posting record levels of employment no seen since the great recession began in 2008, politicians in Washington and Capitol Hill have been looking at the federal government’s spending and trying to roll back most of the increased spending that was approved to deal with the unprecedented recession that the country experienced. Naturally, the programs that got the most increase are the ones that are targeted the most. The two programs that were drastically increased were Food Stamps (SNAP Benefits) and Unemployment Benefits. Not only were these two programs increased in terms of spending but the rules were also relaxed to deal with how long it was taking people to return to the workforce or find a job and how much government they needed to survive until they got back to their feet. For example, the amount of time people could stay on unemployment got extended several times by congress because of how many people were without work and were struggling finding a job. Now that unemployment is close to 5% at the national level, with some states experiencing unemployment rates under 5%, congress is looking at rolling back some of those benefit extensions to save money and trip the federal budget.

"cuts in eppicard and SNAP"

Food stamps have also been impacted by this. In most states, legislatures are eager to show they are trimming spending, especially in this election year and one program that gets the most heat from politicians is food stamps. That’s because there is this perception out there that people on food stamps are trying to live off the government for free and therefore there should be cuts to get people to work. That’s even in the face of overwhelming evidence that these cuts negatively impact the most vulnerable people in society, including households with children. That has not stopped politicians from trying to use the program as some sort of scapegoat. One of the issues at stake is how the food stamp receiving population swelled tremendously during the great recession. That’s because work rules were relaxed so people who were able bodied were allowed to receive benefits due to the unprecedented nature of the recession. Now that there is work to be had, politicians are trying to kick able bodied people from receiving food stamps or cutting how long they could receive the benefits for. The question is whether people will go hungry that really need the help. For example there is a whole group of people whose jobs have left the country and there is no way of getting those jobs back. These people just don’t have the skills for today’s workforce. What will happen to them? They need job training and support while they acquire new skills for new careers. Kicking them off food stamps will literally cause the bottom to fall underneath them.

How to Qualify for Food Stamps

What are the requirements to qualify for food stamps? There are several requirements that anyone thinking of applying for SNAP benefits must meet. The first and obvious one is the income requirement. This is based on a households gross monthly income and net monthly income after you deduct allowable expenses from the gross income. Most households must comply with this requirement and details of that can be found here. There are certain exemptions to the income requirement. If you have a household that has anyone receiving TANF or any other cash assistance from the government, then the requirements changes. You should contact your states food stamps management department for more details about the various exemptions to the income requirements. For example in the state of California, the Calfresh program, which is their food stamps program has the following requirements for income as outlined in the table below:

"California Income for SNAP"

As you can see, the income requirements increases with the number of people in the household. The more people you have at home, the more they expect more people in the house to work, unless you have a house full of children, and even there, they expect the parents to be working to meet the minimum income requirements for that household. In addition to the income requirements, there are other criteria you have to meet in order to qualify. The first is that you have to be a US citizen. Certain immigrants may qualify but that depends on how long you’ve been in the United States and what category of immigrant you fall into. Refugees and other vulnerable immigrants are generally able to qualify if they meet other requirement.

You also have to live in the state where you are applying. For example of you are applying in Tennessee, not only do you have to meet their income limit but also have to be a resident of the state. Your best bet is to also apply in the county where you live. That way, you are able to get the most attentive help from your local county food stamps office. Click on your state and then you will be directed to the state page where you can search by county for your local office.

Once you meet the income requirement, you should apply. Most states have a way to apply online or you can go to your county office to apply. Once your application is submitted and reviewed, you will be invited for an interview. During the interview, you will be asked to conform any information you provided during the application process. You will also be given the opportunity to bring any documents that was missing from your application. Once you successfully go through the interview and are approved, you will be issued an EBT Card which you will use to buy food from the approved list. Food stamp fraud is real so pay attention to what you buy with your card as the federal government has gotten very aggressive in arresting people who commit food stamps fraud or use their card for something that it was not intended for.