Have you ever wondered why you used to get X dollars of foodstamps one month and then all of a sudden it dropped to 15 dollars when you reapplied. There are many reasons why food stamps or SNAP can decrease. But there are a few things that cause it to increase. First things first,think of it like a scale. With food stamps on one side of the scale, and one of these reasons on the other. It’s a balance.
1. Decrease in earned income (job, and self employment) or unearned income (Child support/ unemployment comp, Social security). If income of the home goes down, foodstamps increases because there is less money to buy food.
2. Increase in rent/mortgage/homeowners insurance/ property tax/ condo/rent maintance. (These are the only home expenses that actually cause the benefits to increase). What you don’t know is that home expenses are never fully counted, only a prorated(part of, not counted fully)amount is counted. However these specific expenses are what causes the benefits to increase or decrease. Example: Your rent use to be 1200. Then you reapplied and it decreased to 800 because you moved or expenses changed. Your food assistance will decrease because you have less expenses, which means you have more money to buy food .
3. Utility cost: You should know, that The Department of Children and Families does not count utilities as regular expenses. They are credits. Let’s say your electric bill was 100.00 this month and now it’s 300.00. You tell yourself you are going to report it because you want your foodstamps to increase, it will not. If you pay 1 dollar or 1,000,000,000 dollars. It does not matter. It’s a credit in the budget.
Expenses that are counted in budgeting
- Electricity ( Heating and cooling is also something that will change your foodstamps amount. All that means is basically if you pay for air conditioner separate from the electricity)
- Gas for the home (Not for the any vehicle)
- Fuel/oil (home)
- Trash removal
Expenses that are not covered in budgeting
- Car payment
- Car insurance
- Gas for any vehicle
- Credit card payments
- Student loan.
4. Daycare or childcare: These count towards the increase in food stamps. There is a point however where once you hit 200.00, you need to provide proof for this expense to be counted. Before,then it is client statement (no proof needed). Proof can be a letter from the daycare or a receipt or a letter from the person who takes care of your child.
5. Medical expenses: This however only deals with elderly or disabled individuals. The amount needs to surpass $35.00 montly.
6. Child support payments: In order for this to count, the payment must be court ordered for a child outside of the home. Proof is required if the worker can not verify through the child support system.
That’s it. Those 6 simple things are the difference between x amount of foodstamps or 15 dollars.
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