Budgeting food stamps is a difficult task to manage even in the best of circumstances. One way that some families have learned to budget their food stamp benefits each month is to use bulk shopping options
The Department of Job and Family Services overseas the Office of Families and Children, which is responsible for the food stamp program in Ohio. The food stamp program is federally funded through the USDA. Dubbed the Food Assistance Program, residents in Ohio can apply for food assistance while facing financial hardship to receive funds for purchasing foodstuffs at grocery stores and super markets. Through the Food Assistance Program, the state of Ohio helps thousands of residents pay their bills without having to sacrifice a healthy meal. The Food Assistance Program also gives nutritional guidance to recipients and helps individuals maintain a good diet. Federal funds are delivered each month to an EBT card called the Ohio Direction Card, which works like a debit card, allowing recipients to purchase food from an approved list by the USDA. To find out more about the program, you can visit the Job and Family Services Office of Family Stability website. On the site, you can find tips for eligibility, how to apply and a county directory with addresses and numbers for all the offices near you. The EBT card is especially beneficial for recipients because it looks just like a debit card and works just as well, allowing for safer, more secure transactions in stores. To receive aid, you first need to apply and prove your eligibility. If you express an emergency financial need, you can receive aid within 7 days.
To start an application, you can go online to download and print a form at ODJFS Online or by clicking here. This is simply a request for an interview with the office, but you have to supply some information about yourself on the application, such as your citizen status, contact details, income and household size. These are determining factors in your eligibility status. The request is a four-page document that you must complete, sign and date before returning to a county office. Once computer, you can mail, fax or deliver the document to the Department of Job and Family Services in your county. You can find a directory with the addresses and numbers for these offices located here. During the application process, you do have to go through an interview to verify your income and details. You also need to prove who you are with some kind of identification. You will also need the names and birthdates of all those living in your household as well as social security numbers. You will receive a case worker who will help you further if you are having issues with getting the necessary information. Your caseworker should be able to tell you if you are eligible and how soon you will be able to receive benefits at the end of the interview.
Income and household size are the biggest factors in determining how much aid you will receive. There are also some individuals who cannot receive aid, such as those who are workers on strike or you have assets over $2,000. Generally, if you are making relatively low wages and are not able to afford your rent, you will qualify for some type of food assistance. However, you must combine your liquid resources, which is cash, savings account, checking account, stocks and money market accounts, to make sure that your asset limit does not exceed $2,000. In addition, you must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Ohio to receive benefits. If you meet a hardship condition, you may be able to bypass the interview and simply talk to a caseworker on the phone. In these instances, you will also be informed if you can receive aid earlier, such as within 7 days of your interview. Once approved, you will receive an EBT card that you can use like a debit card at any grocery store that takes food stamps. You will also receive an approval letter which should give you a date to expect these funds each month and how much to expect. If you ever have a change in status, you should report this immediately to your case worker.
SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recommending getting in contact with your local office if you have a question or want to make a status change to your application. You can find a list of these offices by clicking here.