The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides federal funding to the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) for the Kentucky food stamp program, which provides qualified residents with money every month to purchase groceries. Applicants may submit an application to their local DCBS office. Income limits for the Kentucky food stamp program depend upon the gross and net monthly incomes of a household.
When calculating food stamp eligibility, the Kentucky DCBS considers income from all sources, including both unearned and earned income. Earned income includes regular pay from employment, self-employment and commissions. Unearned income includes monthly earnings from pension plans, retirement plans and Social Security. Under the Kentucky DCBS guidelines, most individuals may not have more than $2,000 in assets, but households with a member over the age of 59 may have $3,000 in resources. A primary dwelling, motor vehicles and personal items do not count toward resource totals.
As of January 2011, single Kentucky residents may not earn more than $1,174 in gross monthly income and no more than $903 in net monthly income, according to the USDA. Disabled persons and those over the age of 59 may not exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty level in gross monthly income, which amounts to $1,490.
Kentucky food stamp limits depend upon the amount of persons in the household. A household can include a spouse, relatives living under the same roof, dependent children under the age of 18 and children under the age of 21 who still live with their parents. Per USDA guidelines, each additional member of a household adds $312 to the base net monthly income limit of $903 and $406 to a base gross monthly income of $1,174. A family of four may not exceed $2,389 in combined gross income every month and $1,838 in net monthly income.
The Kentucky DCBS allows households to deduct certain expenses from household income in order to meet net income requirements for food stamps. If shelter expenses exceed 50 percent of a household’s expenses, residents may deduct rent, mortgage, utilities and property tax. Parents may deduct child support, child care expenses and alimony from gross income limits. The elderly and disabled may deduct medical expenses. The state allows all residents to take a standard deduction of $142 and an earned income deduction of 20 percent.
Per the Kentucky DCBS application for food assistance, households can receive food benefits within five days of submitting an application if they make less than $150 a month in gross income and have less than $150 in assets. Residents also qualify for emergency Kentucky food stamp benefits if their mortgage, rent and utility bills total more than their gross monthly income or they work as a migrant or seasonal farm worker.
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