Written by Maria Jackson
People all over Montana, in cities like Billings, Helena and Missoula, use food stamps to help make ends meet. Food stamp benefits are a federal government program and they are administered through each state.
In Montana, the food stamp program is called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and it is administered through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
In order to receive monthly benefits through SNAP, you and your household must meet certain income and eligibility requirements.
Your household, which is made up of the people you live with and prepare meals with, must meet certain income requirements to get SNAP benefits. The current SNAP monthly net income requirements are:
You will be able to deduct certain expenses when calculating your household's income, including: standard deductions, shelter costs, healthcare costs, and child support payments.
Your household's resources also cannot be greater than $2000 or $3000 if your household includes a disabled member or member who is 60 or older. Your house, vehicle, and certain accounts may not count as resources.
You will need to provide proof of your income and resources as part of the application process.
You must be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant and a Montana resident. You will also need to have a Social Security Number.
Any household members, including you, who are between 16 and 59 must be registered to work and may need to participate in job training unless you or your household members meet certain exceptions.
Your local Office of Public Assistance will be located in your county, such as Beaverhead or or Missoula County.
Once you have filled out the application, you will need to speak with a representative at your county office in order to complete your application.
If you meet the following criteria, you may be able to get your SNAP benefits in as little as 7 days:
If you are eligible for benefits through SNAP, you will receive them through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card functions as a debit card that you can use to make food purchases.
You can purchase many different types of food using your EBT card at stores where it is accepted. You can even use it at farmer's markets to get fresh food for your family.
Keep in mind, though, that you cannot use your food stamp benefits to purchase non-food items like toothpaste or toilet paper. You also cannot use them to purchase hot, prepared foods.
The amount of benefits you receive will be dependent on your income level. Most people find that food stamps do not cover their entire monthly food needs. They still need to budget their dollars to spend on food and other necessities not covered by food stamps.
In order to get the most out of your Montana SNAP benefits, and to have money left over for things like your bills, you can combine your food stamp benefits with grocery coupons.
Grocery Coupon Network can be your resource for these coupons. You can find thousands of online coupons that you can print and bring with you to the store.
You can find coupons for your favorite Montana stores and a variety of national stores, like Aldi.
People like you take advantage of these resources every day. Make sure to get the most out of your benefits for yourself and your family.
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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