Applying For Food Stamps In New York Theres An App For That
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About 1.7 million people in New York City receive food stamps. To qualify, they must produce dozens of documents to prove their eligibility, including birth certificates, pay stubs, leases and childrens school records.
Gathering, copying and bringing the documents to a social services office, and then waiting to be seen by a worker can take many hours, an arduous process that the citys welfare agency, the Human Resources Administration, is beginning to ease with the help of a new cellphone app.
Now, those seeking food stamps can take pictures of the required documents with their phones and upload the photos to the app, similar to how customers use banking apps to make deposits.
Since March, when the app, Access HRA Mobile, was introduced, through June, applicants have uploaded more than a million documents, a number that continues to rise as more people learn they can use their phones instead of going to an office.
The app is really good, Danielle Hernandez, a teacher with a 6-month-old son, said. I hate going to the office, and I hate calling the office, because you cannot reach caseworkers because they are so busy.
Ms. Hernandez, 32, said she had to apply several times because the agency kept closing her case over missed appointments and documents that had not been faxed. She said it was difficult to keep up.
The changes have been a relief to workers who were overwhelmed with phone calls and face-to-face meetings, Mr. Banks said.
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Do I Qualify For Food Assistance Benefits
You may qualify for benefits if your householdâs gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. These guidelines change yearly you can find the current figures at aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines. Some households may qualify if they have incomes over the limit if someone in the household is elderly or disabled.
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Basic Information For Snap Applicants
You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program but you need to talk to an eligibility specialist about your eligibility.
Send Feedback To Providers
If you have questions about your benefits or your EBT card, you will have to contact yourstate directly. Were separate from the government and dont have information about your specific case.
For more general EBT information,find your state here or in the dropdown menu above.
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What You Need For Apply For Snap Benefits
To apply for SNAP benefits, you need to provide personal information. This includes your Social Security number , birth date, home address , income, and expenses. SNAP has certain income guidelines. You can view the SNAP eligibility charts to find the guideline that applies to your household.
You may need more information in certain situations:
- If you are applying for other people in your household, you will need their personal information
- If you want someone to apply or get SNAP benefits for you, you will need their contact information
You will need to verify your income, expenses and other information:
- We will tell you what you information need to give us after your interview
- To receive a decision as soon as possible, send these documents in with your application.
Below are the ways you can apply for SNAP benefits.
What Can I Buy With Food Assistance Benefits
You can use your benefits to buy most food products. Prohibited items include alcoholic beverages tobacco vitamins and/or medicines hot food products that are made to be eaten immediately and non-food items . You are not allowed to sell or trade food assistance benefits, buy non-food items with your benefits, or use your benefits to buy food for someone who is not a member of your household.
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Technological Innovation Is Not A Silver Bullet
Tech-driven innovation is not a panacea for all government program shortcomings. Stakeholders have long identified, and advocated to close, the gaps in some of these programs and to overhaul others in order to create more equitable access for racial minorities across the social safety net. These are changes that need to happen at a federal government level and will take great political capital and time. However, tech-driven innovation can create small improvements to the imperfect system millions of Americans have to live with now.
Twenty years ago, the government introduced the electronic benefits transfer card to reduce consumer stigma by aligning the government benefits experience with private-sector payment options. Government program beneficiaries no longer had to use physical food stamps at the grocery storethey could pay with a card, like other customers. A new public-private partnership could help usher in the next leap forward in the government benefits customer experienceone in which the government provides a robust and healthy social safety net, available and accessible to all, and private companies enhance those services by offering more choice and personalized services. The proliferation of partnerships like this could make a significant difference in the day-to-day experience of managing and using benefits and the day-to-day lives for millions of Americans across the country.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
What is CSFP?
CSFP is a federal nutrition assistance program that provides low-income, elderly individuals with a monthly box of food. The box does not contain a complete diet, but provides nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the elderly population. It includes a variety of foods, such as cheese nonfat dry and ultra-high-temperature milk, juice, oats and ready-to-eat cereal, rice and pasta, peanut butter, dry beans or peas, canned fruits and vegetables, and canned meat, poultry or fish. All of Ohioâs 88 counties participate in CSFP.
Who is eligible for CSFP?
If you are age 60 or older, if you live in one of the participating CSFP counties, and if your total household gross income is at or below 130 percent of theof the federal poverty guidelines, you may apply for CSFP.
Where can I apply?
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How To Set Your Pin
You must call 1 997-9333 or go to www.ebtEdge.com. You will need your P-EBT letter from DES which will inform you how to set your PIN. This could arrive before or after the card arrives and both will be sent to the address on file with your local school.
You are responsible for your EBT Card, Personal Identification Number , and the use of your benefits. KEEP YOUR PIN PRIVATE! It is recommended that you update your PIN monthly. If your Cash Assistance or Nutrition Assistance account is accessed and used with your card or your EBT alternative holder card, the benefits will not be replaced. Benefits will not be considered for replacement until after they have been reported lost or stolen and will be limited to benefits remaining in your Electronic Benefit Transfer account as of the date of the report. Please read the How to Use Your Arizona EBT Card for a guide on selecting your pin.
How Can I Apply For Food Assistance
You also may file the application through your local Ohio Benefit Bank site. You can find the site nearest you and get more information at ohiobenefits.org. The Ohio Benefit Bank helps low-and moderate-income Ohioans apply for public benefits such as Ohio Works First.
You will need proof of the following:
- Social Security number or proof that you’ve applied for one
- Housing and utility costs
- Any child care or dependent care costs
- Any child support you pay for children not living with you
- Any medical expenses for those with disabilities or for those over age 60
Your county agency may verify the information that you provide by contacting other agencies or people. The county agency also may ask you to provide other documents. If you need help getting any documents, be sure to tell your caseworker.
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Can I Get Calfresh If I Am Not A United States Citizen
You may be eligible if you are a qualified noncitizen. This includes Permanent Legal Residents , refugees, asylees , and individuals granted withholding of deportation or removal.
In addition, Cuban/Haitian entrants, individuals paroled into the U.S. for a least one year by immigration authorities, conditional entrants .
Furthermore, certain victims of domestic violence, victims of human trafficking , and applicants for U visa/interim relief are also eligible for CalFresh.
Expanded Snap Eligibility For College Students During The Covid
During the COVID-19 emergency, there are new rules for the SNAP program which will allow more college students to get benefits.
- If you are a student eligible to participate in a state or federal work-study program, you may now also be eligible for SNAP, even if you arent currently employed in work-study.
- If your expected family contribution is $0, and you meet other SNAP eligibility requirements, you are eligible for SNAP.
*Your EFC is found in your Student Aid Report and it is calculated based on information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid .
These new SNAP eligibility rules will last until one month after the public health emergency from COVID-19 is officially lifted. If you are able to get benefits thanks to these new rules, your benefits will last until your next recertification even if the public health emergency is ended first.
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Other Apps To Help Those With Low Income
While Fresh EBT is arguably the best app for food stamps / EBT, it may not fulfill every need you have. As such, lets look at some other apps that can help you in other areas of your life if you struggle to make ends meet.
Range is an app that focuses on kids aged 18 and under that struggle with food insecurity. If you have a child, relative, or know someone of this age that struggles to get the necessary food they need, this is a great app. Especially in the summer, kids no longer have school programs and hot lunches that can be given to them. Summer meals by Range which is supported by USDA, allows kids to get the food they need if they are struggling.
Range essentially shows parents and kids locations where feeding sites are occurring. These sites can have meals that range from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to just one meal, to just a few snacks. Overall, Range keeps parents and children informed about where they can get their next meal if they are struggling to find sustenance.
While Fresh EBT has a feature that allows you to find the best prices near you and to find coupons and deals that could save you money, customers sometimes complain that this is not enough.The Fresh EBT app doesn’t show you what foods can be purchased with food stamps, so you may often find yourself trying to buy things that cannot actually be bought with EBT.
Startup Helps Feed Bank Accounts Of Food Stamp Recipients
The tech startup Propel began by helping people manage their SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, through an app called Fresh EBT. It lets people digitally check food stamp balances. Now Propel is partnering with the nonprofit GiveDirectly to send its users who all receive SNAP benefits cash. Propel will begin by offering the money to households in areas hit especially hard by COVID-19, but the goal is to crowdsource enough money to give $1,000 to all 2 million people who use the Fresh EBT app.I spoke with Jimmy Chen, the CEO of Propel. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Jimmy Chen: I think from our perspective, this situation is pretty dire for a lot of low-income Americans, and the solution is also quite simple: to provide them cash. It is not a long-term solution, its not a systemic fix, but it is a way to help people navigate through the impossible choices of Do I buy food for my kids, or do I buy soap for my home? One of the roles that we can play is, if we can just help as many people as possible to get this extra cash infusion, that feels like a meaningful contribution.
Molly Wood: Each person that is currently on your platform?
Wood: How is your particular platform enabling this? What you were initially set up for was to make this very analog SNAP process more digital and more digitally available. How are you leveraging those tools to get people this money as quickly as possible?
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First Time Mobile App And Website Users
You must register your EBT Card account and select your User ID and password byusing either the ConnectEBT mobile app or at ConnectEBT.com for access. Registering on either one also registers you on the other. Have your EBT Card handy when registering.
If you already have your ConnectEBT.com User ID and password, youre ready to use the same ID and password for the ConnectEBT Mobile App.