If you have been thinking about applying for food assistance in Arkansas, you’ve come to the right place. We have the information you need to put in a successful application and get approved.
We will first review the qualification guidelines, then we will walk you through the income qualification limits, which is probably the most important criteria you have to meet. Then we will provide you with information on how to apply for food stamps in Arkansas.
Lastly, we will finally talk about what happens once you are approved for benefits.
How to Apply for Arkansas Food Stamps Online
For help applying for Arkansas SNAP benefits online, follow the instructions provided below to complete your food stamps online application.
Qualification Guidelines for Food Stamps In Arkansas
To apply for food stamps in Arkansas, you first have to determine if you qualify. We have provided below the main qualification criteria you have to meet in order for your application to be considered for food assistance.
To be approved for food stamps in Arkansas, you have to meet the following guidelines (you can click on the image to enlarge – after which you can click on the “back” arrow on your browser to return to the article):
Of all the qualification guidelines that are set by the USDA, the most important are the income guidelines. That’s because they want to make sure that people who apply for food stamps actually need the help.
As a result, you have to meet both the gross income qualification and the net income qualification.
Among the eligibility criteria, the income requirement is the most important. You have to meet both the gross income requirement and the net income requirement in order to be approved. The income requirements are based on the number of people that live in your household.
In most cases, your household must meet both the gross and net income limits or you will not be eligible for benefits.
What is gross income?
Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made.
What is net income?
Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.
Income Limit Exemptions
If you live in a household with an elderly or disabled person, you only have to meet the net income limit to qualify.
If all members of your household are receiving:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or
- General assistance benefits
Then your household may automatically be deemed eligible for SNAP because you have already been determined eligible for another benefits program.
Income Limit Chart for 2020
The gross and net income limits for 2020 are listed below. As you will see, they are based on number of people living in your household.
How do I calculate gross income?
To calculate your gross income, use the chart provided below:
How do I calculate net income?
To calculate your net income, you have to take your gross income and deduct the allowable deductions indicated below.
If you meet both the gross and net income requirements, then you should get approved for benefits. This is the most important of the requirement to receive SNAP.
The following is a list of allowable deductions when calculating your total household net income.
The following deductions are allowed for SNAP:
- A 20-percent deduction from earned income.
- A standard deduction of $167 for household with 1-3 people or $178 for a household with 4 or more.
- A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education
- Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35/month and not paid by insurance or someone else.
- In some states, legally owed child support payments.
- In some states, a standard shelter deduction of $152.06 for the homeless.
- Excess shelter costs as described below.
Excess Shelter Costs
For help determining your excess shelter deduction, please refer to the information below.
Once you have calculated your allowable deductions, you can use the example below to calculate your total household net income.
Arkansas food stamps online application
There are three ways you can apply for SNAP food stamps in Arkansas.
Here’s how you can apply:
For more help, check out our video on how to apply for Arkansas food stamps online.
Apply for Arkansas SNAP EBT Online [Video]
For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for Arkansas food stamps online, watch our video below.
Apply by Mail
You can also apply for Arkansas food assistance benefits by mail. To apply by mail, click here to download and print your Arkansas SNAP application. Once complete, mail it to your local DHS office for processing.
Once you submit your application, you will be invited for an interview by a case worker. The purpose of the interview is to make sure everything on your application is accurate and true and to evaluate your application to make sure you really need the help.
If your application is missing some documents, you will be asked to bring those documents to the interview. Make sure you pay attention to all instructions in the letter sent to you for the interview.
If your file is incomplete on the day of your interview, you will delay your application.
Receive Your EBT Card
If you are approved for SNAP benefits, you will be provided with an EBT Card. The card will be mailed to you shortly after your application is approved. You will then use the debit card to buy food that is on the approved food list.
It is illegal to use your EBT card to buy food that is not approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. That can cause you to lose your food stamps benefits and could land you in jail.
Here is a table showing how much you are likely to receive in benefits:
Arkansas SNAP EBT
We hope this article on Arkansas food stamps online application was helpful in providing you the information you need to successfully apply for food stamps in Arkansas. If you have further questions about the process or are experiencing issues in the application process, please tell us below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on Arkansas Food Stamps EBT:
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