First Step For Applying For Florida Food Stamps

If you are getting ready to apply Florida food stamps  here are some tips and suggestions that might help you. I suggest that you get a small three-ring binder with dividers so that you can keep all your information in one place. This will save you time and energy when you sit down with the food stamp application and later when you sit with a case manager.

What information should I gather when applying for Florida food stamps?

Gather the following items and make copies; keep them all in your binder.
1. You will need Social Security numbers for all of the individuals in your household.
2. Gather and make copies of birth certificates
3. If you are a non-citizen gather immigration documents
4. Marriage certificate if presently married
5. Current bank statements
6. Record of all income (pay check stubs, child support)
7. Receipts of expenses (childcare cost, shelter costs such as rent and utilities)
8. Medical costs such as doctor bills and prescription receipts
9. If you have other people living in your house or apartment you may need a statement from them saying that you buy and eat your food separately. This is important if you are single and want to get the most out of your benefits.

TIP Make different sections in your benefits binder (income, expenses, personal info, My Case) and place the copies of the information in the appropriate section. Make sure to keep this binder in a safe and secure place. You will see that this binder will come in handy; caseworkers have very large caseloads and often misplace and forget things. This binder will ensure that you have all your information in one place so you can provide it when necessary. Any letters or correspondence that you receive from a caseworker, place them in the My Case section of your binder.

Hopefully this will help and make your application for Florida food stamps a much easier process!

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Free Safe Link TracFone Governement Phone

If you live in Florida and are on  Florida food stamps or other state assistance programs then there is a good chance that you qualify for a free government phone .Lifeline is a program that provides low income residents with a telephone line it use to be only available as a landline but now thanks to TracFone it is now available as a cell phone. SafeLink Wireless was created by TracFone Wireless, Inc. when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved the company to offer Lifeline — a public assistance program that ensures telephone service is available and affordable for low-income subscribers. SafeLink Wireless applies the Universal Service Fund subsidy to an allotment of free airtime minutes and TracFone provides the wireless handset at the company’s expense. Instead of receiving a subsidized monthly telephone bill for Lifeline service, SafeLink converts the total amount of discounted service into minutes each month for one year. The cell phone offers in-demand features: voicemail, text, three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID and access to 911.

To Qualify for a Free Government One Must

Eligibility guidelines vary by state but in general individuals qualify if they participate in a public assistance program such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National Free School Lunch, Federal Housing/Section 8 Assistance, or if they do not receive any of these public assistance programs, they may also qualify based on total household gross monthly income. Customers can learn more or apply by calling 1-800-SAFELINK

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Increase in Florida food stamp benefits designed to jump start economy

Posted on March 31, 2009 –

More than 1.8 million Floridians will receive an increase in food stamps Wednesday as part of the federal economic stimulus, generating about $380 million in economic activity in the state in the next six months, according to the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy.

“This federal money will help Floridians put food on their tables and also boost our economy during this deep recession,” said John C. Hall, executive director. The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy is a nonprofit organization providing research on state economic policies affecting low- and moderate-income Floridians and small businesses.

Food stamp benefits will go up by about $20 to $24 per person per month, starting Wednesday. All food stamp households will benefit. The Florida Department of Children and Families reported a food stamp caseload of 1,863,588 in February - 31 percent more than in February 2008.

Other Stimulus Funds Available in Florida

Hall said that other federal funds are beginning to flow into Florida from the stimulus. For example, unemployed Floridians are now receiving an extra $25 per week in unemployment compensation.

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Florida Food Stamps Video “Get Informed”

In these hard times it is important that you find out about all the assistance available to you.Florida Food Stamps is a great way the take off some of the stress

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Florida Food Stamps and the impact

Let’s talk about Florida Food stamps program and the impact it has on Florida’s economy. All signs seem to be very positive resulting in millions of dollars being spent by Florida’s residents that would otherwise have not been spent.
Florida food stamps help by producing sales that otherwise would not be made. Then that money gets turned over a few times resulting in activity in the economy for example money gets spent that helps pay for store employees, the trucking to deliver the goods, and then the farmer or the food producer, which is what the economy needs at this time
Florida Food Stamps are the perfect tool to stimulate the economy, because the money has to be spent locally and only on food allowing for a more controlled and manageable stimulus. Some experts believe that that is the best way to help jump start the economy.
The Agriculture Department estimates every dollar spent in Florida food stamps results in $1.73.Many experts believe that the fastest way to infuse money into the economy is by increasing the Colorado food stamp program.
In order to qualify for Florida food stamps you must meet certain guidelines which have to do with assets and income as well as the amount of people in your household.

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Florida Food Stamp Application

If your living in the state of Florida and are in need of  Miami food stamps or any other part of Florida check out this video.

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Florida Food Stamps

This site is designed to provide you with information regarding Florida food stamps.Florida food stamps is a program that helps provide food for low income individuals and their family members. In order to receive Florida food stamps an individual must fill out and submit an application form which will be reviewed to determine if you meet the criteria set for the food stamp program.

What is the Criteria?
In order to qualify for the food stamp program you must meet certain guidelines, these guidelines have to do with your income your assets and the size of your household.

Maximum gross and net monthly income limits

Household size Gross monthly income Net monthly income
1 $1127 $867
2 $1517 $1167
3 $1907 $1467
4 $2297 $1767
5 $2687 $2067
6 $3077 $2367
7 $3467 $2667
8 $3857 $2967
Each additional member+$390 +$300

Besides your income you must also be a legal US citizen or resident there are some exceptions regarding immigrants who have been in the US for at least five years and fall on their one of the following categories.
* lawful permanent resident of the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including Amerasian,
* refugee admitted under section 207 of the INA,
* granted asylum under section 208 of the INA,
* paroled under section 212(d)(5) of the INA for at least one year,
* deportation withheld under 243(h) or 241(b)(3) of the INA in effect prior to April 1,1997,
* granted conditional entry under 203(a)(7) in effect prior to 4/1/80,
* Cuban/Haitian entrant as defined in 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, or
* immigrant, parent, or child of an immigrant who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the U.S. by a spouse, parent, or by a member of the spouse or parent’s family residing in the same EU as the immigrant at the time of the abuse. There must be a substantial connection between the battery or extreme cruelty and the need for food stamp benefits and the individual must not reside in the same household as the abuser. In order to qualify you also have to have assets no greater than the amount set, households with a disabled member or a member age 60 or older may have up to $3,000 worth of assets and still qualify for food stamps. Other households may have up to $2,000.Once you have reviewed the criteria and have made a decision that you believe that you qualify you are ready for the next step which is to fill out application.

Application Process
The first step in completing an application for Florida food stamps is to go online and download the application. This can be done online The application is pretty simple if you have gathered the information that I discussed above income, expenses, and social security numbers for everyone in your household. The individuals in your household that count as household members are

§ Parents

§ Children under 22 years old

§ Children, except foster children, under age 18 who are under the parental control of a person other than their parents who is exercising parental control. For example, grandparents may apply for grandchildren in their care, even if they do not have “legal” custody. The application should take you about 20 minutes. It is important that you fill out the application as fully as possible. Once you are done with your application you should return it to your local Food Stamp office.
What happens next?
Once your application is submitted it will be reviewed by a caseworker who will then determine if more information is required from you.You will get a letter in the mail stating what your caseworker has determined is needed if anything is needed. You also probably get a date for an appointment in the office or for a phone interview. It is important that you get the additional requested documents by that date of this appointment in order to make sure you are improved as quickly as possible. It is also very important that you keep your scheduled appointment, or having to reschedule will also set you back. Once you have attended your appointment and provide all the necessary information which may include income verifications such as pay stubs, expense proof such as rent receipts or mortgage payment receipts, also childcare receipts. After the appointment you will receive another letter stating that decision in your case. If you have been approved you will then get another letter that will include your plastic EBT card, the card will have to be activated which is done by telephone in order to be used. Once it is activated you will be able to make food purchases where ever the food stamps are accepted. The amount that you are approved for will be based on the size of your household and your income and expenses. The amount that you receive can be anywhere from $200-$1200.If you would like more information and free updates regarding the food stamp process just sign up on this site.

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Florida Food Stamp Usage Up

With unemployment on the rise, and economic problems deepening, a record number of Floridians now receive food stamps. And the rolls are growing by the month. According to the Florida Department of Children & Families, more than 1.6 million Florida residents received the federal vouchers in September. That includes more than 120,000 in Broward Counntywho got more than $12 million to spend on groceries, and almost 69,000 in Palm Beach County who received more than $7 million.The number of recipients has climbed 20 percent in Broward in the past year and is up almost 26 percent in Palm Beach County.The figures for Miami-Dade County: 337,485 recipients in September, granted vouchers worth more than $33 million. That’s up 15 percent from a year ago.”The percentage increase we’re seeing today is directly tied to losing jobs and not being able to meet the food budget anymore,” said Jennifer Lange, director of DCF’s food stamp program, referring to a client caseload that has soared past enrollment peaks reached after major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.With no end in sight we can anly assume that the rising trend will continue to grow.

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Once You Apply For Florida Food Stamps

once you have done your application for Florida food stamps you will then get a notice by mail after a couple of weeks. This notice will have important information regarding the status of your case, it might request for more information or proof of income or expenses. You might also give a date for an appointment to meet with your caseworker who has been assigned to your case. It is extremely important to keep this appointment for the fact that it is extremely difficult to reschedule these appointments which will result in you having to apply all over again delaying your case at least another month, or from experience I can tell you that it is nearly impossible to get a hold of someone by telephone to help you directly with your case. So make sure you keep that appointment and also bring everything that is requested. Items that are usually requested include latest bank statements that show the current balance in the account, rent receipts or mortgage payment receipts, childcare expenses, and expenses if you take care of elderly loved one. It is usually very helpful if you submit all of these the first time when requested that will result in a very quick decision on your case.

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What Are The Florida Food Stamps Requirement’s

Florida Food Stamps Program helps low-income households to buy food for themselves and family members. A food stamp household is normally a group of people who live together and buy food and prepare meals together. If your household passes the Food Stamp Program’s eligibility rules, the amount of food stamp benefits you get will depend on the number of people in your household and how much monthly income is left after certain expenses are deducted.

What are the requirements?
“The following requirements can be found at Florida’s Department of children and families access website”

The people applying must meet all factors of eligibility to get food stamp benefits. Here are some of the basic requirements

  • Identity - A person must show proof that they are the person as claimed.
  • Work Rules - Able-bodied adults, 18 to 50 years of age, who do not have dependent children, can only get food stamps in 3 months in a 3-year period, if they are not working or participating in a work or workfare program, at least 20 hours per week.
  • Income and Deductions - Households must have monthly gross income less than or equal to 130% of the federal poverty level and net income less than or equal to 100% of the federal poverty level. Households containing individuals, age 60 or older or disabled must only meet the net monthly income limit. Some household expenses may be subtracted from the monthly income in the food stamp budget. Deductions are given for shelter expenses, child-care, medical, child support, and earnings.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

  • An individual must live in the state of Florida.
  • An individual must be a U.S. citizen or an individual who has a qualified noncitizen status.
  • Individuals must provide the number from the Social Security Administration or proof that application has been submitted for the number.
  • Certain individuals are required to cooperate with the state’s child support enforcement agency to establish paternity and obtain child support.
  • Households may have up to $2000 in assets (ex. Bank accounts and property, but not the home you live in or cars worth less than $8500) or if at least one person is age 60 or older or disabled, their household may have up to $3000 in assets.

Causes of Ineligibility

Individuals that are convicted of drug trafficking, fleeing felons, intentional program violators, ineligible noncitizens, and some students in institutions of higher education are not eligible for food stamps.

Food Stamp Purchases

Food stamp benefits can only be used for food and for plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Food stamp benefits cannot be used to buy:

  • Any nonfood item, such as pet foods; soaps, paper products, and household supplies; grooming items, toothpaste, and cosmetics
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Any food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods

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