Overview of Food Stamps in Florida

Application Procedures, Eligibility Requirements, and Program Rules

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Florida offers a Food Stamps program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. This program is designed to assist low-income households with the purchase of nutritious food for the family table.

If you're planning to move to Florida and believe you will need assistance with your basic expenses while you build up your income, you may be eligible to apply to join the program. Before you move, review the program's eligibility requires, application procedures, and purchasing rules so you can be prepared for living in Florida.

Food Stamp Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive Food Stamps in the state of Florida, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Proof of Identity: You must be able to show proof of your identity.
  • Work Requirements: If you are between the ages of 18 through 49 and not disabled, you must work at least 20 hours a week to receive Food Stamps. Individuals who are not working or participating in a workforce program may only receive Food Stamps for three months in every three-year period.
  • Gross Income Requirements: Your household monthly gross income (pre-tax pay) must be less than 130% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Net Income Requirements: Your household monthly net income (after-tax pay) must be less than 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. This requirement does not apply if one individual in your household is 60 or older or disabled.
  • Residency Requirement: You must live in the state of Florida.
  • Citizenship Requirement: You must be either a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen.
  • Social Security Number Requirement: You must provide either a Social Security Number or proof that you have applied for a Social Security number.
  • Child Support Requirement: You may be required to cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and providing child support.
  • Asset Requirement: You must have less than $2,250 in assets, excluding your home and cars. If at least one person in your household is 60 or older or disabled, you may have up to $3,500 in assets.
  • Ineligible Classes: You are not eligible for Food Stamps if you have been convicted of drug trafficking, are a fleeing felon, have intentionally violated a court-ordered program, or are a student in an institution of higher education (there are exceptions if you are working, a single parent, or other special cases).

Food Stamp Application Procedure

If you feel you meet the eligibility requirements for Food Stamps, you may apply for Food Stamps online using the Access Florida system. This system will take all of the information needed for your application and is the fastest way to receive Food Stamps. The Florida Department of Children and Families will approve or reject your application within 7-30 days.

Food Stamp Purchases

Food Stamps may be used to purchase food and plants and seeds used to grow food. You may not use Food Stamps to purchase:

  • Nonfood items
  • Pet food
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco
  • Vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Food that you will consume in the store
  • Hot foods

Other Benefits for Low-Income Families

Low-income families who are eligible for food stamps may also wish to investigate their eligibility for two other government programs: unemployment benefits and Medicaid coverage.

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