Written by Maria Jackson
The food stamp program in Arkansas is known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (or SNAP) and it is used to provide Arkansas residents who have little to no income with supplemental benefits that they can use to purchase healthy food for their families. People all over Arkansas use this program and it's easy to apply.
You can apply for Arkansas SNAP benefits through an online application, print the application and fill it out, or get a copy from the Department of Human Services (DHS) office in your county. You can return the copy to the DHS office or mail or fax it in.
You can determine if you're eligible for SNAP benefits using an online eligibility tool.
Generally, you must be an Arkansas resident, a US citizen or legal immigrant and you must meet certain income eligibility requirements.
You must also be registered to work if you're between the ages of 16 and 59 and you're able to work and don't fall under any exemptions. You must also work a minimum of 20 hours a week if you're between 18 and 49 and able to work.
Your household cannot have more than $2,000 in resources, unless your household has at least one member age 60 or older or disabled, in which case the resource limit is $3,250.
Households with a person aged 60 or older, or a person with a disability, must have a net income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. Otherwise, the gross monthly income limits for SNAP benefits are as follows:
You may be able to deduct certain expenses when calculating your income, such as housing and utility costs and childcare costs. You can find out more about this from your local DHS office.
Once you've applied, you will have an interview with a DHS worker to go over your application and determine your eligibility.
If you meet all the requirements, you should get your benefits within 30 days from the day your application was submitted. However, if you have very little to no income, you may be able to get your SNAP benefits in as little as 7 days.
Your SNAP benefits will be given to you on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This card functions like a debit card and will be loaded with your monthly benefits. You will be able to use it to purchase food at places that accept the EBT card.
You can use the EBT card to purchase food items, but not hot food or other items like personal care items and pet food.
In addition to providing people with food assistance benefits, Arkansas SNAP also provides employment education and training as well as nutrition education.
The SNAP-Ed Program provides nutrition education and information to low income families in Arkansas. The goals of the program are to teach people how to buy and safely prepare and handle healthy food, as well as come up with budget and savings plans. SNAP-Ed also teaches people how to become more physically active and lead healthier lifestyles.
The SNAP Voluntary Employment and Training Program provides certain Arkansas residents with a voluntary training program that provides information on searching and applying for jobs, work experience, and on the job training.
This program is available in the following 14 counties: Cleburne, Craighead, Crittenden, Drew, Faulkner, Grant, Hempstead, Independence, Lee, Miller, Pope, St. Francis, Union and White.
To find out more about the Arkansas SNAP Voluntary Employment and Training Program, you can call your local Program Eligibility Coordinator.
Make sure to take advantage of all your available resources to do the best you can for yourself in your family, including the SNAP benefits and even by using something as simple as grocery coupons.
Stretch your dollars even further by taking advantage of grocery coupons and using them in combination with your Arkansas SNAP benefits.
Grocery Coupon Network makes it so easy with thousands of printable, online coupons for your favorite foods and your favorite stores.
You can find coupons specifically for your local Arkansas grocery stores and Arkansas stores that offer double coupons so you can really maximize your savings.
Be sure to combine the coupons you find with your SNAP benefits to make your monthly benefits last as long as possible.
Video: How to Use a Coupon Organizer to Save TimeUse a Coupon Organizer to make couponing easier. Step up from envelopes and get serious about organizing to save time and headaches.
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