Across the country, the Federal government subsidizes many programs that local governments manage to help its residents. The programs include assistance to obtain decent housing, financial benefits to buy food, etc. Arkansas SNAP benefits are one of the latter, and it authorizes approximately $200 million for the beneficiaries.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the most requested programs in Arkansas. Still, on many occasions, people decide not to apply because the enrollment process can be considered a bit cumbersome.
However, in this article, we provide a basic and easy guide to do it. Keep reading, and do not miss your chance!
What are SNAP Benefits?
As we mentioned before, Arkansas’s state manages the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) whose main objective is helping low-income individuals and families to obtain all the necessary foods for a balanced diet. Monthly, approximately 16 million families receive food through Arkansas SNAP benefits, which was previously known as ‘food stamps.’
In this state, the County Operations Division is the entity in charge of developing policies and procedures related to the operation of the program; it also analyzes the Federal laws and regulations provided through The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Once a person or head of the family is approved for the benefit, they will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that they can use to buy food in authorized stores and retailers; the approved amount will be loaded into your account, since EBT card works as a debit card.
➔ READ MORE: How to get snap benefits in Florida?
On the other hand, SNAP provides other things like nutrition education, employment, training and work experiences (in specific cases).
Since this is a program in which many people want to apply, the SNAP section must thoroughly study all program registrations to determine the timelines and accuracy required by federal law, which means that just submitting your application does not mean you will get the help.
The eligibility requirements to obtain SNAP benefits in Arkansas are very specific, and in the next paragraph we will detail them for you.
In order to be eligible for this program, it is necessary that you or your household meet the following requirements:
Citizenship / Residency
Arkansas SNAP benefits are specifically for US citizens and qualified alien immigrants.
Applicants must consider two regulations:
- The general work requirement. If you are between 16 and 59 years old, you must register for work unless you present some proof of school attendance, disability, caring for a child under 6 years of age, or a relative disabled person of any age. If you already have a full-time job, you should not register.
- The Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents work requirement. If you are between 18 and 49 years old, you should meet the general requirements and work at least 20 hours per week. Pregnant women or people who are parents of a minor child are exempt.
There is a penalty that will prevent you from receiving the benefit (for at least 3 months within a 36-month period) if you do not meet these conditions. However, the sanction applies to the person who does not comply, not with the entire family group. The sanction is lifted once this requirement is met.
Social Security Number (SSN)
All household members must provide their SSN. If you do not have it, you must apply to Social Security before applying to the program, otherwise you will be ineligible.
There are 2 specific situations:
- Households in which there is a person of 60 years or more or a family member has a disability must have a net income equal to or less than 100% of poverty according to federal guidelines.
- All other households must have a gross income equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty guidelines and a net income equal to or less than 100% of the federal guidelines. You must meet both requirements.
Concerning income, your family size has a decisive influence when verifying your eligibility. Here you can check a table that contains detailed information.
How to apply
You can apply whether online or by visiting your SNAP local office. For your convenience, here is a PDF document that contains valuable information about Arkansas SNAP benefits application, contacts, addresses, etc.