Written by Jenn Cosgrove
Pennsylvania residents who are having difficulties affording groceries (at GCN, we know that as much as we try to coupon, we sometimes still can't afford groceries, especially if we've been laid off or can't find work) can receive federal aid through their state welfare agencies.
SNAP (which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are benefits that are used to purchase food items for individuals and families with low incomes.
If you're a Pennsylvania resident, the qualifications for this program requires that you meet one of these two groups:
If you fall into either of these groups, you must also have an annual household income as follows:
Documents that show you've met this criteria will be needed in order to prove that you're eligibility for assistance (tax docs, paychecks, etc.).
Who can apply for the food stamps?:
Those between the ages of 16 and 60, who are mentally and physically capable, must be registered for employment in order to receive benefits.
If there are work training programs available, they must participate and if offered, must take offers for employment that are acceptable.
For those between the ages of 18 and 50 with no dependants, the period for available benefits is limited to 3 months.
The online application can be filled out by any member of the household. Your county office will date-stamp your application so that if your household becomes eligible during the month of application, your SNAP benefits will be paid retroactively.
Be sure to fill out the application fully and to the best of your knowledge. Then, gather all the documents you need to prove your eligibility. These documents are:
The process as fairly quick and only requires these three steps:
The most convenient way is to apply online, via the COMPASS website.
This application form is used to enroll in the SNAP program and also any other programs funded by Pennsylvania which you may qualify for, including medical or cash assistance.
Whether you're from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie; all cities in the state are covered under the Access EBT card.
Those recipients eligible for assistance will receive a Pennsylvania Access Card and select a personal identification number (PIN) to access authorized benefits.
Upon purchase of your groceries, simply swipe your EBT Access Card through the credit card terminal and enter your PIN. Here are three important notes:
You can use SNAP benefits to buy:
You cannot use SNAP benefits to buy:
For specific questions concerning the Pennsylvania Food Stamp program, contact the experts at the Welfare Helpline at 800-692-7462 or 800-451-5886 (TDD).
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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