FOOD STAMPS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES (NEW YORK CITY)
What are food stamps? Food stamps allow you to buy food at participating stores using an electronic benefits card, which looks like a credit card. If your income is low, you may qualify for up to $200 per month in food stamp benefits, plus another $121 for each person who lives with you.
What can you buy with food stamps? You can use them to buy any type of food. You cannot use them to buy hot food, food meant to be consumed on site, alcohol, tobacco, pet food, toiletries, paper or cleaning products, or any other non-food item.
How much can you earn and still qualify for food stamps? Unless the Food Stamp program thinks you have a disability, it will decide whether you are eligible based on your income, household size, and expenses. A single person's monthly budget (as calculated by a food stamp worker) must be less than $1,815 if determined disabled and $1,594 for a household of one.
What else is required to qualify for food stamps? There is no longer a resource test for seniors over 60 and the disabled. There is no longer a resource limit for seniors over 60 and the disabled.
How long does it take to get food stamps? Usually up to 30 days. In an emergency, you can get expedited food stamps in a week or less, and sometimes on the day that you apply. You qualify if your income is under $100 per month, and your cash on hand is under $150. You may also qualify if your savings and income add up to less than rent and utility bills you've already paid for the month.
What does the Food Stamps program consider a disability? You are considered a person with a disability by the Food Stamps progam if you receive a disability benefit, such as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid for the disabled, or any government disability pension considered permanent under the Social Security Act. You may also be a veteran with a non-service-connected disability rated 100 percent by the Veterans Administration.
Where do you go to apply for food stamps? There are over 40 food stamp offices where you can apply. Call 646-442-4155 and speak to Michael Fuller.
What if you cannot go to a food stamp office? If you receive SSI, and you live alone or with one other person who also receives SSI, call 718-722-4009 to find out how to apply by mail.
What if you do not receive SSI? If you are Homebound, a telephone interview and a waiver of the finger imaging requirement can be waivedng 718-722-4800.
What if you are not able to shop for yourself? You can ask someone that you trust to be your authorized representative. He/she will get a benefit card with the amount of your food stamps.
Must you be a U.S. citizen to get food stamps? You must be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who meets certain criteria to be eligible for food stamps. Receiving food stamps won't affect your ability to become a U.S. citizen. Legal immigrants who are eligible include those:
- with disabilities
- who have been in the United States legally for five years
- who are children, regardless of parental citizenship
- aged 60 and over
- who are victims of domestic violence, sometimes
Advantages to being considered a person with a disability by the Food Stamps Program:
- Your income does not affect whether you are eligible for benefits
- You can apply by mail, instead of going to the food stamp office.
- You may have up to $3,000 (instead of $2,000) worth of resources, and still be eligible for food stamps.
- Medical bills you pay for yourself count toward your expenses when your monthly benefit is calculated.
- You do not have to be fingerprinted, if your disability prevents you from coming to an office.
- You do not have to work to qualify for food stamps.
- If you are a low-income legal immigrant, you are probably eligible for food stamps.
To find out if you are eligible for food stamps, please contact Michael Fuller at CIDNY. 646-442-4155.
Other helpful numbers:
For the nearest food stamp office: 877-472-8411
For people on SSI: 718-722-4009
For people with disabilities who don't get SSI: 718-722-8114