How to Apply for a Food Stamp Card

by Lynndee Marooney ; Updated July 27, 2017
Slide the EBT card through a credit card terminal to purchase groceries.

The food stamp program is governed by the United States Department of Agriculture and is referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program. Each state has a government agency designed to help people who fall below the poverty level with services such as food stamps, temporary aid for needy families, daycare assistance and other appropriate services. Getting a food stamp card will require you to apply and be approved for the benefit.

Step 1

Go to usda.gov to fill out the pre-screening eligibility tool. Enter information regarding your household and the tool will provide you with a rough idea of what your household may get in monthly food stamps. You will be asked to enter all household member names and incomes as well as expenses.

Step 2

Visit usda.gov to locate the agency in your state. Look midway down the page to see the states that offer the ability to apply for food stamps online. Look to the right of the page and you will see a map of the United States. Double click on the map and select your state to pull up your local office contact information.

Step 3

Call or visit the location nearest you to get an application. Depending on the office, you may be able to download and print the application or fill it out online. You may need to pick up the application in person or have the application mailed to you.

Step 4

Complete the application and return it to the office nearest you. The staff will give you an appointment for an interview and provide you with a list of documents you must bring to the appointment.

Step 5

Arrive at the interview with all the documents required. Proof of identity, Social Security cards, pay stubs and copies of utility bills are required. Additional documentation may be required based on your situation. Upon approval, you will be given an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT). Each month your food stamps benefit will be added to the card. Use the card the same as you would a debit or credit card at groceries stores that accept EBT cards.

Tips

  • You can also pick up a food stamp application at your local Social Security office.

About the Author

Living in Denver, Lynndee Marooney has been writing finance and credit-related articles, guides, manuals and e-books for private companies since 1995. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Maryland. She enjoys counseling clients who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Photo Credits

  • Derek E. Rothchild/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images