How to Apply for Food Stamps in West Virginia Online
If you live in West Virginia and are looking for information on how to apply for food stamps, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we are going to describe in detail how to apply for food stamps in West Virginia. We will share what you need to know to submit a successful application. In addition, we will review the eligibility criteria, income limit, how much you are likely to receive if you are approved, and how to apply.
This post will cover:
Overview of the Food Stamps Program
How Much You Could Receive In Food Stamps
West Virginia Food Stamps Eligibility Requirements
How to Apply for Food Stamps in West Virginia
What Happens After You Apply
About Food Stamps Program
The SNAP Benefits program, also known as food stamps offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low- and no-income individuals and families living in the United States.
The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The states are responsible for distributing benefits at the local level.
The food stamps program is the largest economic assistance program offered by the federal government to fight hunger and provide nutrition assistance.
In 2016, the government spent $70.9 billion on the program, helping roughly 44.2 million Americans (14% of the population).
Who Can Apply for Food Stamps
The food stamps program was created to help stop hunger and to improve nutrition and health of those on low income.
The program helps people with limited money buy the food they need for good health. This includes individuals who:
- Have a job but have low income
- Are living on a small or fixed income
- Have lost their job
- Are retired or disabled and not able to work
How Much In Food Stamps Will I Receive?
The amount of food stamps benefits you will receive if approved is based on your household size and countable income after all deductions are applied.
Keep in mind that households with an elderly or disabled person are given special consideration.
The table below shows the maximum amount you could receive depending on the number of people in your household.
What Can I Buy with Food Stamps?
There are strict requirements about what you can and cannot purchase with food stamps.
Generally, food stamps benefits may only be used to purchase food for human consumption and seeds/plants to grow food at home.
Food Stamp benefits cannot be used for: household items, grooming products, tobacco, alcohol products, pet food, etc. Here are the allowed food items:
You can use your benefits to buy foods such as:
- Breads and cereals.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Meats, fish, and poultry.
- Dairy products.
- Seeds and plants to grow food for your family to eat.
You cannot use your benefits to buy:
- Non Food items (pet foods, paper products, soaps,
- household supplies, grooming items, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc.).
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco.
- Food that will be eaten in the store.
- Hot foods (food cooked and served hot at the store).
- Vitamins and medicines.
West Virginia Food Stamps Program
The West Virginia food stamps program is run by the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Children and Families.
We are going to describe in detail what you need to successfully apply for food stamps in West Virginia.
West Virginia Food Stamp Eligibility Requirements
To apply for food stamps in West Virginia, you have to meet the eligibility requirements listed below.
Of all the requirements, the income limit is the biggest factor that determines whether you are approved for benefits.
Make sure you review the income limit to be sure you are eligible before applying. If you determine that you are not eligible, there may be other nutrition assistance program you may be eligible for.
To apply for food stamps in West Virginia, you must be a resident of the state ofWest Virginia.
Only United States Citizens and certain categories of lawfully admitted non-citizens can apply for food stamps. See our detailed article on the topic here.
If your income (based on your family size) is less than or equal to the amounts in the charts below, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits.
Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made such as taxes or other withholdings.
Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.
- If your household’s gross income is below these amounts, it does not ensure that you will be eligible for a benefit.
- A SNAP budget must be calculated for your household in order to determine eligibility and benefit amount.
- The only way to determine if your household is eligible for SNAP benefits is to apply.
For a detailed post on how to calculate your gross and net income, and documents you will be required to resent to support your food stamps application, click here.
What Counts As Income?
Cash income from all sources, including earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted) and unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support are all counted towards your income for food stamps purposes.
Households with an elderly or disabled person are given special consideration, including higher asset limit, are exempted from the gross income test, and are allowed and more excess shelter/utility cost deduction, and medical expenses over $35 per month.
Households may have $2,250 in countable resources (such as cash or money in a bank account) or $3,500 in countable resources if at least one member of the household is age 60 or older, or is disabled.
What Counts as Resources?
Resources that could be available to the household to purchase food, such as amounts in bank accounts.
Items that are not accessible, such as the household’s home, personal property, and retirement savings, do not count. Most automobiles do not count.
How to Apply for Food Stamps In West Virginia
There are four ways in which you can apply for food stamps in West Virginia:
1. Apply Online
You can apply for food stamps in West Virginia online at www.wvinroads.org as shown above.
2. Apply Over the Phone
3. Print Out the Application and Mail/Fax it In.
4. Apply in Person
You can also apply in person at a local Bureau of Children and Families office. To find a location near you, click here.
Documents You Need to Apply
Here are the documents you will need to apply for food stamps in West Virginia:
- Proof of Identity
- Proof of State Residency
- Proof of Income
- Proof of Expenses
- Proof of Disability (if Applicable).
What Happens After You Apply
After you apply for food stamps in West Virginia, you must complete an interview with a representative of the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
The interview will be done by phone unless you request your interview in-person at a local DHHR office.
During the interview, the program representative will verify your documents and will ask you questions that will help establish your eligibility for the program.
If your application is approved, you will start receiving benefits within 30 days after you submitted your application.
How will I Receive Benefits?
If you are approved for West Virginia food stamps, your monthly benefit will be deposited monthly on an electronic benefits card (EBT Card) called the Mountain State EBT Card.
It is a plastic debit card with your name and card number on it as shown above.
Your Mountain State EBT Card can be used to buy groceries at stores that accept food stamps.
How Long Can I Be on Food Stamps?
There are no limits to how long you can get food stamps if you have children/dependents living in your household or are under age 18 or over age 50.
However, If you are a single, able-bodied adult without dependents in your home, you can only receive food stamps for 3 months in a 36-month period.
West Virginia Food Stamps Work Requirement
The state of West Virginia recently imposed strict work requirements regarding food stamps eligibility for able-bodied adults without dependents (also known as ABAWDs).
Specifically, the law limits the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources ability to issue waivers to certain food stamps recipients regarding work requirements.
Previously, the department had the authority to issue waivers to food stamps recipients from meeting the federal work requirements for able-bodied working adults.
Starting Oct. 1, 2018, able-bodied adults between ages of 18 and 49 years of age without dependents must either work, volunteer or participate in workforce training programs for 20 hours per week to receive food stamps in West Virginia.
There are however exceptions to this law.
People in counties with a 12-month average unemployment rate above 10 percent, a 24-month average unemployment rate 20 percent above the national average for the same period, or a “labor surplus area” as designated by the U.S. Department of Labor, can receive the waivers until October 2022.
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West Virginia EBT Discounts and Perks
Households with an elderly or disabled person are given special consideration, including higher asset limit and are exempted from the gross income test among others. In West Virginia able bodies adults without children must meet the new work requirement while on food stamps.
We hope this article has been helpful in providing you the information you need to apply for food stamps in West Virginia.
If you have any specific questions about the application process that have not been addressed in this post or if you would like to share your experience applying for food stamps in West Virginia, please let us know in the comments section below.