Food Resource Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions About Food Stamps:

How do I get food stamps?

1. Look in the government section (blue pages) of your phone book under  social services department  or  human services department. 
2. Call the Department of Public Welfare office to set up an appointment with a worker and be sure to ask what papers you need to bring.
3. The worker will need to see your:

pay stubs
rent or mortgage payments
utility bills
child or elder care bills
child-support orders (the court order and canceled checks)

4. At the Department of Public Welfare office you will:

talk with a worker
answer some questions
sign some papers


Can I get food stamps just for myself if I live with my family or with others? People who live together and buy food and prepare meals together are grouped as a  household.  Husbands and wives and most children under age 22 must be one household.

 

How many assets can we have?

            -households with a member age 60 or older may have up to $3,000 in countable assets.

            -other households may have up to $2,000.

             

What assets are not counted?

            -assets of people who are receiving State cash assistance (TANF) or Federal supplemental security income (SSI).

            -your home.

            -up to $4,650 of the fair market value of one car.

            -a vehicle that is used to carry a physically disabled household member.

 

How much income can we have?

            -we count most types of income.

            -Gross income means income before any deductions.

            -Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

            -SSI and TANF households are already eligible.

            -households without an elderly or disabled member must meet both a gross and net

              income test.

            -households with an elderly or disabled member only have to meet a net income test.

           

 

-For October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2003. the monthly income limits follow:

People in Household

Gross Monthly Income*

Net Monthly Income*

1

$   960

$  739

2

1,294

   995

3

1,628

1,252

4

1,961

1,509

5

2,295

1,765

6

2,629

2,022

7

2,962

2,279

           

 

 

 

           

           

           

 

 

 

 

 

What are the allowable deductions?

            -20 percent of earned income

            -a standard deduction of $134

            -medical expenses over $35 a month for elderly or disabled members

            -certain dependent-care costs when needed for training, education, or work, but not more

              than $200 for each child under age 2 and not more than $175 for each other dependent

            -legally owed child support

            -a percentage of shelter costs

 

If my household is eligible, how much will we get?

            For October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2003, the table below shows the most you could get

            if you have no income.  As your income goes up, the amount of food stamps you will get goes down.

People in Household

Maximum Monthly Allotment

1

$139

2

  256

3

  366

4

  465

5

  553

6

  663

7

  733

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are food stamps cash?

            No.  In Pennsylvania, food stamp benefits come on a plastic card that you use just like a bank card.  Most food stores take food stamps.

 

What if I have more questions about food stamps?

            -call the USDA toll free number 1-800-221-5689 and they will direct you to your State s toll free number.

           

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger