How To Apply For Food Stamps In Iowa

June 19, 2012

Step 1 (optional): A prescreening test is available here. This test will help determine if you are eligible to receive food stamps. It is not mandatory and your personal information will not be saved.

Step 2: Apply in one of the following ways:

  • Apply online through the following link here. If you apply online you may skip step 3.
  • Pick up an application at your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
  • Print out an application here.

Step 3: Mail or bring your completed application to your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.

Note: Click here to find a DHS office near you.

For assistance, please call 1-800- 972-2017.


Applying For Iowa Food Stamps

Food stamps, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) as it is currently technically named, was set up to assist those located in the U.S. who’re having problems purchasing food because they’re making a low income. In 2010 alone, SNAP benefited more than 40 million men, women and children have enough to eat.

It won’t matter just what their own race, gender, or faith is – applying for food stamps is open to everyone residing within the United States. In the year 2008, folks collecting help from SNAP averaged $101 in food assistance each month.

Requirements for Iowa Food Stamp Applicants

As expected, for you to get benefits from SNAP, there’s a list of requirements that a person must meet. Furthermore, there are a few documents an applicant will need during the food stamps application and interview process.

In many circumstances, if you are under 60 years old, it is a requirement for you to not have any more than $2,000 in assets. If you or another person within your home is no less than 60 years old, that limit is raised to $3,000. Assistance from TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program), or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), will not be counted as assets when applying for food stamps. Although, cash, what is in a bank account, and perhaps your current vehicle, are counted as assets.

One other requirement is an income limit, that is impacted by the number of people you’ve got living at your house when you are applying for food stamps.

An individual’s expenses will also be taken into account when you apply for food stamps. If you’re paying for child or elderly care, rent, mortgage, or utilities; all of those costs will be taken into account. In addition to that, there are also particular medical expenses that may add up towards your total expenses when applying for food stamps.

After you are accepted into the SNAP program, you’ll get an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT). The EBT card is used similar to a debit card to buy food at certain grocery stores, convenience stores, or possibly farmer markets.

How Will I Know If I Have Been Accepted?

When you are accepted into the food stamps program, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of your food stamps status. The letter will also state the amount of food stamps allotted to you. Once accepted, you will also receive your EBT card through the mail. Once you receive your Iowa EBT card, you will need to set a pin number. You cannot use your EBT card to buy food until a pin number is set. To set your pin number, call the Customer Service number on the back of your card and follow the automated instructions. Once your pin number is set you can use your benefits to buy food at any participating store. To find participating stores near you, click here.

About The Iowa EBT Card

The Iowa EBT card can be used to buy food items including baby food, bulk foods and produce. It cannot however be used to buy hot food items such as spring rolls from the deli case. When you buy food with food stamps in Iowa, you will not need to pay a tax on any of the food you purchase with food stamps. Items such as alcohol, tobacco, toilet paper and some sports drinks cannot be bought using food stamps but you can buy them at the same time. To do so, when you are ready to pay for your purchases, use your Iowa EBT card first and then pay the remaining balance for the non-food items with cash, debit, check or credit card.

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