What are expedited food stamps?

Expedited food stamps are like regular food stamps, but faster. If you meet the eligibility guidelines you may receive them as soon as the day after you apply.

√ 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 to prove your eligibility for Expedited Food Stamps.
√ You may have the right to an expedited fair hearing if you are denied Expedited Food Stamps.

How do I qualify for Expedited Food Stamps?

You and members of your household may be eligible if you are in one of these categories:

  • 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).
  • You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker without money or resources.
  • Your combined 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?

Go to the local Department of Social Services (DSS). Tell the receptionist you need Expedited Food Stamps. Many DSS offices will send you to a separate food stamp office. The worker there should give you an application to fill out. You will have to prove:

1. Your identity, with 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 Expedited Food Stamps just because you don't have proof. But the more written proof you have, the better your chances will be.

What happens after I fill out the application?

You will be interviewed. Your interview must be the same day that you request Expedited Food Stamps. The worker should tell you at the end of the interview if you are eligible or not.

How long will it take to get the food stamps?

You should receive them within 5 days. If you have no food, ask for an immediate referral to a food pantry.

Will I get food stamps every month? 

Not automatically. To keep getting Food Stamps, you must also 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 these steps, you will not continue to get Food Stamps.

What if I can't 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 this doesn't work and I can't get 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 Expedited Food Stamps or are denied them, please feel free to call us for help:


Written by: 
LEGAL AID SOCIETY of Northeastern New York, Inc.
55 Columbia Street, Albany, NY 12207 (518) 462-6765 or (800) 462-2922

Serving Saratoga, Warren, & Washington Counties
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Last Reviewed: November 8, 2023