Written by Maria Jackson
Food stamps are a federal government benefit and they are administered through state agencies. In Hawaii, food stamp benefits are called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and they are administered through the Hawaii Department of Human Services.
Food stamp benefits allow people with very little income to continue to provide healthy food for themselves and their families. If you're in need, make sure to do whatever it takes to continue feeding your family. People all over the country in your situation take advantage of these benefits. In Hawaii, as of last year, SNAP was providing benefits to over 90,000 families per month.
People seeking food stamp assistance in Hawaii will need to fill out a residents seeking SNAP benefits application form. The form can be downloaded or picked up at your local Hawaii State benefits office.
Once you have filled out the application, you can return it to your local benefits office. You will then have an interview with an intake worker who will review your application and determine if you're eligible for food stamp assistance.
You must meet certain income and residency requirements in order to get SNAP benefits in Hawaii. For example, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant and a Hawaii resident.
You must also have a Social Security Number and you must be able to show your household income, assets and expenses. You can bring documentation with you like a rental agreement, your driver's license, utility bills, bank statements and pay stubs.
If you are an able-bodied individual who doesn't fall under other exemptions, you must also meet certain work eligibility requirements.
The amount of income your household has will also determine your eligibility for SNAP benefits. Your monthly income cannot exceed the federal poverty guidelines, and there are three separate eligibility categories and income limits. During your interview, the intake worker will determine which eligibility category applies to you.
The current income guidelines are listed below:
Your total bank balance also can't exceed $2,001, or $3,001 if you or someone in your household has a disability or is over the age of 60.
If you're eligible for SNAP benefits, you will receive them through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. You use this card like a debit card and you can purchase food with it at any store that accepts EBT cards.
You can't use your food stamp benefits to purchase non-food items, hot foods or items like pet food and alcohol. But you can use them to purchase healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and meat to make nutritious meals for your family.
Did you know that you can stretch out your monthly food stamp benefits through planning, budgeting and combining your food stamps with grocery coupons? Using coupons to make your food purchases can help you save even more of your hard-earned dollars to help you pay for other necessities and bills.
Grocery Coupon Network can be a great resource for you. You can find thousands of printable coupons online. They are arranged in a variety of ways, including by local Hawaii stores, and by your favorite brands and deals.
You can also find coupons for big name stores, like Aldi and other helpful options like recipes and nutritional information.
Be sure to take advantage of these valuable resources and make the most out of your SNAP benefits.
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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