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Written by Jenn Cosgrove


How to Apply for Food Stamps in New Jersey

Are you a resident of New Jersey seeking aid with buying groceries for yourself and your family? Good news, help is available. Many people across NJ and the country are finding food stamp assistance helps make ends meet.

NJ SNAP (the New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as "Food Stamps") was put in place to help families buy food if they can't afford it. This program is approved by Congress and managed by your local New Jersey welfare office.


How to Apply for Food Stamps in NJ

  1. You can begin the process for receiving food stamps by filling out an online application. Click on the "Click Here to Apply Online!" link. Under "Apply for Services." Click "Apply."
  2. Fill out your user name, password and the rest of the requested information. This process should take about 20 to 45 minutes, complete it to the best of your ability then click submit.
  3. After the application is filed, a representative will make an appointment with you for an interview before you're approved.

Documents You'll Need

You'll need all requested documentation to bring to your one on one interview so be sure to gather that ahead of time.

Bring your original documents; your caseworker will make copies for their files. The documents needed are as follows:

  • valid ID for you and all household members
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • proof of residence
  • a doctor's note, if you are unable to work for medical reasons current I-94 or I-551 if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • proof of all assets, income and unearned income
  • monthly expenses, including medical bills and child care
  • if paying child support, provide the court order and list the names of the provider and children

Once you're approved, your benefits will become available on the date your application was received.

About the Families First Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card

Once approved, food stamp recipients are issued the Families First card to access food stamp benefits. This card is the same in every county.

The EBT card is similar to a bank card. You're assigned a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use the benefits that are credited to your account. Once these benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using your card.

Some important notes about your food stamp card:

  • You can use your card at stores who accept it to spend your Food Stamp benefits.
  • You can use coupons along with your EBT card.
  • If you qualify for cash benefits, you can also use your card to spend your cash benefits on items that cannot be paid for with food stamps (like dog food or homegood products).
  • At participating stores, you can use your card to withdraw cash from your cash benefits account.
  • How do you know if the store accepts your benefits card? Look for the Quest logo which is usually displayed in the windows or on the doors. If you don't see the logo, a store clerk will be able to inform you as to whether or not the store accepts the Families First card.
  • Your Families First card may not be used to access cash benefits from liquor stores or casinos/gaming establishments


What Are The Eligibility Requirements?

Qualifications specify that that you must be a resident of the state of New Jersey within either of these two groups:

  1. those whose combined savings and checkings current bank balance is under $2,001, or
  2. those whose combined savings and checkings current bank balance is under $3,001 who share the home with a person or persons 60 years of age or older, or share a home with a person who has a disability; a child, your spouse, a parent or yourself.

You must also have an annual household income of less than:

  • $14,079 if one person lives in the house
  • $18,941 if two people live in the house
  • $23,803 if three people live in the house
  • $28,665 if four people live in the house
  • $33,527 if five people live in the house
  • $38,389 if six people live in the house
  • $43,251 if seven people live in the house
  • $48,113 if eight people live in the household
  • Add $4,862 for each additional person over eight

In addition, certain employment requirements must be met in order to receive Food Stamps in the state of New Jersey.

For adults without dependents, you must work a minimum of 30 hours per week (just one person in the household). Those with children over the age of 6 must also work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Whether you're from Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Edison, Trenton; all cities in the state are covered under the Access EBT card.

If you and your family are eligible, 30 days after submitting your application you will begin receiving your Food Stamp benefits. If yours is a situation where you need your benefits sooner, emergency benefits may be available to you within just a few days.

If you already receive Food Stamp benefits, you can re-apply online by filling out an application for re-certification. The re-certification process has to be in by the 15th day of the last month on your current certification period.

For more information call the New Jersey SNAP Information Line (toll-free): 800-687-9512


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