Learn About Food Stamps Benefits

Food stamps benefits are available from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP food benefits for seniors give vouchers that can be used to buy nutritious foods at grocery stores and other retailers. After you apply for services, you will need to wait until the state office processes the application. Food assistance benefits are usually given shortly after an application is approved. The amount of funds you can receive will depend on several factors. SNAP benefits are generally the same each month as long as the needs of a household stay the same. After receiving the benefits, follow the program guidelines to know which foods can and cannot be purchased with SNAP. Make sure that you are familiarized with non-SNAP items before using your funds for the first time. Learn more about the number of SNAP benefits senior households can receive with SNAP and what items seniors can purchase using the program’s benefits, below.

Discover What You Can Buy With SNAP Food Benefits

If you meet eligibility rules for food assistance benefits, you can use the funds in several different stores. Senior SNAP benefits can only be used on certain items. You can still purchase non-SNAP items on the same shopping trip, but you will have to pay for these products separately and with your own money. Food stamp benefits are used to buy many types of food, including grains, produce, meat, fish and dairy products from any brand. Once you get SNAP benefits, you cannot use your funds to purchase non-food items, meals that can be eaten in the store, alcohol or tobacco. These must be bought separately. Learn more about the items you can and cannot purchase with SNAP by downloading our guide to senior programs.

Senior food stamp benefits can only be used in SNAP retailers. Food stamp benefits for seniors are not accepted everywhere. Even if a store sells items that you can buy with a SNAP card, you can only use your benefits if the store has applied to take part in the program. A wide variety of stores take part in the SNAP food benefits program, making it easier for you to find a local retailer that will accept your benefits. In some areas, you can even use SNAP at certain restaurants and farmers markets.

Another important rule is that food benefits can only be used by the person who signed up for food stamps benefits, they cannot be sold or traded to other people. Selling, trading or giving away SNAP food benefits may get you disqualified from the program. In serious cases, using benefits in the wrong way can lead to prosecution for fraud.

When Senior Food Stamps Benefits Are Issued

In most cases, SNAP food benefits are issued shortly after an application has been processed by the state benefits agency. Benefits for the food stamps program can be used once the beneficiary gets his or her SNAP card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Once the initial funds have been deposited, the benefits for seniors are issued on a standard day each month. That way, beneficiaries will get their food stamps on the same day each month, making it easier to plan shopping trips. Each state has its own system for categorizing the release of benefits. Benefits are generally issued in intervals, so that the funds are not distributed from the SNAP program all at once.

Learn About Food Stamp Benefit Amounts

Food stamp benefits for seniors are distributed according to your income, resources and household size. Larger households with lower income will get higher SNAP benefits. The SNAP program uses a formula to determine the amount of each household will get. There are maximum amounts when it comes to food stamp distribution. These standard amounts are the same in most states and U.S. territories. However, benefits for seniors in Alaska, Hawaii and certain territories are often higher due to the higher living costs in these areas. Seniors with no income may qualify to get the maximum SNAP allotment. Learn more about SNAP by downloading our senior resources guide.

After a senior receives food stamps benefits, the amount they get is generally the same each month, as long as the household income, resources, and size do not change. The amount of SNAP benefits can change if a household gives different information when renewing the benefits. Once you have been approved  for SNAP benefits, you will receive a notification indicating how long you will be eligible to receive benefits. In some cases, you will need to reapply for SNAP after several months or a year.