First Day Alone

I applied for food stamps on 6/27/11. I had waited over a full month from the time I was dislocated from my position as an administrator of a school. I waited because food stamps mandates that you have no more than $2000 in your savings. The process took only 20 min. online. If you are in Florida, all you need to do is go to My Access and fill out an online application.  Once you submit it, it can take anywhere from 15-30 days until you receive your first letter in the mail containing information you’ll need to mail or FAX.  I suggest faxing information as they will retrieve it quickly and you can check your account to ensure its been received.  When you are in a situation such like this, the last thing you need is to be waiting on someone’s certification to feed your family.

If you are unsure if you are income eligible you can take the easy Prescreening Tool.  This will tell you what type of assistance you are eligible for.

The following, taken from DCF’s website lists eligibility rules:

Eligibility Requirements

Individuals must pass all eligibility rules to get food assistance benefits. Some of the eligibility rules are:

  • Identity – Individuals must show proof they are the person they claim to be. Applicants must provide proof of their identity.
  • Work Rules – Healthy adults, 18 to 50 years of age, who do not have dependent children or are not pregnant, can only get food assistance benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period, if they are not working or participating in a work or workfare program.
  • Income and Deductions – Most households must pass a gross income limit at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Households with a member disqualified for breaking Food Assistance Program rules, felony drug trafficking, running away from a felony warrant, or not participating in a work program must meet a gross income test at 130% of the FPL. Households with or without a disqualified member must have net income less than 100% of the FPL. Households with people who are, age 60 or older or disabled must only meet the net monthly income limit. Some household expenses may be subtracted from the total monthly income in the food assistance budget. The budget may subtract for shelter expenses, dependent care, medical, child support paid, standard deductions, and earnings.
  • Residency – Individuals must live in the state of Florida.
  • Citizenship – Individuals must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified noncitizen status.
  • SSN – Individuals must provide a Social Security Number or proof they have applied for one.
  • Child Support cooperation – Certain individuals must cooperate with the state’s child support enforcement agency to prove a child’s legal relationship to their parent and to get the court to order child support payments.
  • Assets –  Most food assistance households may have assets such as vehicles, bank accounts, or property and still get help. Households with a disqualified member must meet an asset limit of $2,000 or $3,250 effective October 1, 2011(if the household contains an elderly or disabled member).

Ineligibility Reasons:

People who are convicted of drug trafficking, who are running away from a felony warrant, who break Food Assistance Program rules on purpose, who are noncitizens without a qualified status, and some students in colleges or universities are not eligible for food assistance benefits.

Foods You Can Buy With Food Assistance Benefits

Households can use food assistance benefits to buy breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Households cannot use food assistance benefits to buy nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vitamins, medicines, food to eat in the store, or hot foods.

SUNCAP

The SUNCAP Program is a special Food Assistance Program for individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You may be eligible to receive food assistance benefits through the SUNCAP Program without any additional application, paperwork, or interviews. If you already receive food assistance benefits in the regular Food Assistance Program, you may be automatically put in the SUNCAP Program when you become SSI eligible. If your food assistance benefits will go down, because of SUNCAP, you may choose to continue receiving your food assistance under the regular Food Assistance Program.


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2 responses to “First Day Alone

  • Jody H.

    So yours went smoothly and you faxed over your items right away? Maybe this post is old, but for 3 months now. I have applied got the letter for the appointment, called, busy signal called, busy signal, called busy signal. Exactly 318 times the 1st month. I received a letter stating that I was denied because I failed to call for my appointment. (Have proof that I called) 2nd months Same thing except this month after 4 days of failed calling someone answered after holding for approx. 1hr. 30min….. I didn’t care how long i was on hold only that YAY I got through!!!. So the lady who was decent on the phone said ok we need some additional information, you will receive a letter in the mail with your options. A few days later I received the letter in the mail. It asked for simple things i.e. paystubs (I work) and birth certificates….. So I made copies of each and mailed them off…..1 week later I go to get my mail and what is inside of it….the mail i sent to them…. I rushed inside to make sure that the address was correct. It was. It said return to sender with the little hand stamp on it….. I was pissed so i started faxing. And it was Fax, fail, fax fail fax fail fax fail fax fail fax fail fax fail……. day one of faxing I sent in 59 faxes all failed…(with proof) day 2 (saturday) of faxing sent in 115 faxes all failed (with proof). Day 3 faxed in 28 faxes all failed. The reason Day 3 was so little faxes because I was fed up and needed a break… Day 4 (monday) got a letter in the mail saying I failed to turn in the nessecary documents…….
    Applied for a 3rd month which is where I stand now. Applied online which was easy…. Since I already knew who to call and how hard this is going to be I made it my 2nd full time job, my first is graveyard and this would be my second full time day job. I called 8am-5pm straight with bathroom breaks. Day one fail, but thats ok cause I haven’t received the letter yet so I am ahead of the game. 288 calls made all failed (with proof). Day 2 started at 8am…. I made 180 calls before I finally got ahold of a really rude man. I did the interview and already knew what I was in for. I mailed out more copies of my info. and at the same time started the faxing process…..4 days of failed faxes and one bright returned letter….. so I called customer service, which is worse than the appointment phone line. But after persistence lack of sleep and just pissed off that I have to beg for help, I got through. I asked the really nice lady if there was another fax number and told her about my mail being returned. She knew about the returned mail I guess it happens all the time and is ok for them to just send it back if they feel they have to much mail for one day……..She gave me a local fax number…which was awesome because my 1st fax to the local number worked!!!!!…….. So i waited not like I am not used to waiting, then I called to see whats happening and the guy who answered the line of hours and hours of trying to call them or get through was a complete jerk. He told me that now I have to wait for 45 days….. o.O really so I asked to speak to a supervisor and was denied the opportunity and he hung up on me. I got pissed so pissed that now it is my job to get someone. So i called whoever I could Heck i even misdialed and got the State Library and asked them to give me a phone number. She did she gave me the governors phone….So I called was on hold for a bit when a nice young man answered the phone. He was nice and did his job well, he connected me with the Secretary of that Main office in the capital Tallahassee. Who then transferred me to a worker in Tallahassee who said not to worry that someone would get to me within 48 hours……That was yesterday. Today i logged on to check the account status and there it is Denied….. I printed my application after i submitted it….. The worker who denied me changed my income mind you I sent in proof of income. She or he put down that i make to much and in the income slot they put that I earned 1300/week……. I make 1300 a month and support a household of 5…….2 people in my house are totally disabled and fighting social security which is a pain in itself……the other 2 are children….They also changed my rent paid per month, and they changed my vehicles. So it looked like I am making 1300/week with rent that is only 200/month with utilities included. When in reality and is on my application and I have my rental lease. I make 1300/month… my rent is 700/month utilities are most def. NOT included. Where is the justice here and who do these people answer to? Anyone? Nope! I am going to change this process. There are NO casemanagers, no offices, only a phone number that gets u know where but either to dial again because all agents are busy please try your call again later. So you should be grateful that your experience was awesome because for me and possibly thousands out there it is a nightmare.

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