Expedited Food Stamps
Legal Life Lines
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK, INC.
This LifeLine contains general information, and does not constitute individual legal advice about your situation. You should consult with an attorney for individual legal advice about your situation and to find out how this information applies to your situation. To see if you qualify for free legal services, call the Legal Aid office nearest you
EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS
WHAT ARE EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS AND AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THEM?
Expedited food stamps are like regular food stamps. However, if you meet the eligibility guidelines you may receive them as soon as the day after you apply. You and members of your household may be eligible for them if you are in one of the following categories:
1. Your household has $100 or less in liquid resources and less than $150 in gross monthly income. Liquid resources are money that is available to you, such as cash on hand, bank accounts, savings certificates, and lump-sum payments (tax refunds, retroactive lump-sum Social Security, SSI, or Public Assistance payments).
2. You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker without money or resources.
3. Together, your monthly income and liquid resources are less than the total of your monthly rent or mortgage and heating costs and utilities (electricity, telephone, and water).
HOW DO I APPLY FOR EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS?
Go to the local Department of Social Services. Tell the receptionist that you are in need of Expedited Food Stamps. Most Departments of Social Services have a separate food stamp office to which you should be referred.
The worker there should give you an application to fill out. You will have to prove:
1. Your identity, by producing a driver's license, birth certificate, or Social Security card, etc.;
2. The number and identity of persons in your household (bring birth certificates or Social Security cards of your children);
3. Your income (if any);
4. Your liquid resources (bring bank books or bank statements).
You should not be denied Emergency Food Stamps because you cannot provide written proof of the items listed above, but the more written proof you have, the better your chances will be.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You will be interviewed. Your interview must be conducted on the same day you request Emergency Food Stamps. You should be notified at the end of the interview if you are eligible or not.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY FOOD STAMPS?
You should receive them within 5 days. If you have no food, ask for an immediate referral to a food pantry.
IF I AM APPROVED FOR EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS, WILL I CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FOOD STAMPS FROM MONTH-TO-MONTH?
Not automatically. In order to continue receiving Food Stamps, you must complete the regular application process. This means that you will be called back for another interview and asked to submit certain documents. If you do not follow through, you will not continue to receive Food Stamps.
WHAT IF I CANNOT GET TO THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO APPLY?
If you can't travel for medical reasons or because you do not have transportation, you can appoint a representative to go to DSS and apply for Expedited Food Stamps for you. If you don't have anyone to appoint as your representative, you can call the Food Stamp Office and ask them to waive the face-to-face interview. If they agree, your application information can be taken over the telephone, and the application will be mailed to you for your signature. It is important that you mail back the application as soon as possible, because the processing period will not begin until the signed application is received by DSS.
WHAT IF I HAVE TROUBLE GETTING EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS?
You may be entitled to an expedited fair hearing if you have trouble receiving Expedited Food Stamps. If you are not allowed to apply for Emergency Food Stamps or are denied them, please feel free to call us for help.
√ If you have little or no income for the month you may be eligible for next day food stamps.
√ DSS should require very little documentation in order for you to establish your eligibility for Expedited Food Stamps.
√ You may be entitled to an expedited fair hearing if you are denied Expedited Food Stamps.
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