Inform Article

Am I Eligible for Food Stamps: Part I

07.12.2010
Posted by Noelle Smith of Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
Am I Eligible for Food Stamps: Part I picture
Food Stamps

According to a recent Palm Beach Post article, one out of every eight Florida residents is on food stamps, with the demand in Palm Beach County being up more than 50 percent compared with one year ago. Despite this rising demand, only about 60 percent of individuals eligible for food assistance receive help.

Shelly is 65 years old and has always been able to take care of herself financially. Recently she had an accident and is having trouble paying all the bills. Shelly thinks that she could make all the payments if she were able to get a little assistance to buy groceries. Since she has never applied for any kind of government assistance before, Shelly is not sure how to go about the process or if she is even eligible. Below are some common questions that Shelly or anyone thinking about applying for food stamps may have.

Who is eligible for food stamp assistance?

Your eligibility is based on a few factors including your household income, financial resources, and immigration status.

  1. Residency: To receive food stamps in Florida, you must be a resident of the state of Florida.
  2. Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen or another qualified non-citizen status.
  3. Social Security Information: You must provide a valid Social Security Number or proof that you have applied for one.
  4. Income: To qualify, your household income must meet the requirements established by the federal government. The household's gross monthly income (before any deductions) must be less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level. The net income is the monthly income after allowable deductions have been subtracted. If you are 60 years or older or disabled, you only need to meet the net income guidelines. The income chart as of July 1, 2010 is shown below.

Source: Florida Department of Children and Families

People in Household

Gross Monthly Income Limits 7/10

Net Monthly Income Limits 10/09

Maximum Benefit Amount 4/09

1

$1,805

$ 903

$200

2

$2,429

$1,215

$367

3

$3,052

$1,526

$526

4

$3,675

$1,838

$668

5

$4,299

$2,150

$793

6

$4,922

$2,461

$952

7

$5,545

$2,773

$1,052

8

$6,169

$3,085

$1,202

 

For more information on recent changes to food stamps eligibility, click here.

IMPORTANT: The information on this Website is not intended as legal advice or representation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. and any person obtaining information from this website. Public benefits and other laws change frequently. We strive to keep this website up to date but cannot provide a guarantee that this information is accurate as of the time you are reading it.