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Hunger is on the rise in America. Food stamp, or SNAP, usage reached 46.7 million in June, 2012. With this record-high number of families receiving assistance, it’s no wonder that many are looking for information on qualifying for, and receiving, this benefit.

Qualifying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) means that your household must meet specific requirements. Income guidelines apply, as do resource limits, employment 먹튀검증사이트 verification, and information on all household members applying for benefits. Age, disability, and immigration status can also affect your eligibility.

The income requirement guidelines include both gross and net limits. Your household income must fall within the ranges specified for your household size, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Some of these circumstances may include elderly or disabled household members, deductions allowed, or receipt of other benefits. Income qualifications can be extensive and confusing. For most households, it is best to speak to someone at your local office. Web-based help is also available, at the USDA-SNAP website.

Resource limits also impact eligibility for SNAP. Your personal belongings and home are exempted, but your car is considered a resource, as are any bank accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, burial plots, or a host of other assets. These resources cannot total more than $2,000 in most cases. If they do, your household will not qualify for assistance, unless a member of the household is elderly or disabled.

Your household will also be subject to specific employment requirements. Pay stubs or employer verification will be required, if you are currently employed. This will be required of all employed members of your household. There are also employment requirements for currently unemployed, able-bodied members filing for benefits. You must be conducting a job search, willing to accept retraining, and able to take advantage of any job placement opportunities that may be offered to you. There are limits to the benefits you can receive if you do not meet these requirements. Your benefits will be for no more than three months in any 36 month period.

Special consideration is given to the elderly and the disabled. SNAP requirements for able-bodied adults are very different from those for the disabled and elderly people. Understanding all the restrictions and exemptions for the elderly or disabled can be quite difficult, and it is recommended that you contact a worker at your local office if you fall into these categories. Benefits are also available for immigrants, but this eligibility depends on your status. It can’t hurt to check and see if you qualify.

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