Do Food Stamps Roll Over?
According to FoodStamps.org, you are permitted no more than $2,000 per household, unless at least one person is 60 years of age or older, then you are you allowed up to $3,000 in resources. Your gross household income must also be 130% or less of the Federal poverty guidelines, while your net household income must be 100% or less of the same guidelines.
When you start considering food stamps, there is an application process to follow. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains that the state needs to find you eligible before you start receiving benefits. If you are, you will be given your own account where approved funds are deposited automatically each month through what is known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). You’ll also receive a debit card connected to this account that you can use while grocery shopping. So, what happens if you don’t end up using all the funds given to you?
Although every state has their own application, food stamps do roll over in each state. Even in the case where you may no longer use them, your card will remain active up to a year without use. After that, your benefits would be removed from your SNAP account, the USDA’s AskTheExpert portal states.
What Can You Buy With Food Stamps?
There are, of course, restrictions on what you can buy with your food stamps. The USDA notes on their website items eligible for purchase with SNAP include but are not limited to:
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, fish, poultry
- Dairy products
Additionally, while hot foods, tobacco products, alcohol, paper products, pet foods, medicines, and others are not eligible to be purchased with an EBT card, some snack and “luxury” items do make the list. These include soft drinks, cookies, candy, ice cream, crackers, seafood, steak, and bakery cakes.
There are also some cases where restaurants may be able to accept food stamps for low-cost meals from qualified individuals, like elderly or disabled people, the website adds.
Can You Use Food Stamps in Other States?
You can use your SNAP EBT card in other states. The USDA says that you just need to go to an authorized grocery store or retailer that accepts these benefits. Usually, the establishment will have a sign posted to let you know whether or not they will take your EBT card. You can also use USDA’s website to search for SNAP-friendly retailers.
If you live paycheck to paycheck, having assistance like food stamps can make all the difference. However, even though you may be facing hard times, you can still work on improving your financial situation. You can follow these tips to start.
It is important to remember that maintaining these benefits it also depending upon qualified individuals maintaining a job, unless they are disabled, pregnant, or mentally or medically unable to work. “Playing the system” or withholding any changes in income may be a cause for being banned from the program, fined, or even jail time. Assistance when you need it is great, but you should always be striving for financial freedom.
Have you ever had to use food stamps? Did you find the program helpful?