Food is essential for every individual. It is unfortunate that some people cannot afford food which is a basic need. The government has put in place a support program to assist the less-privileged so they can have something to eat. It is known as food stamps.
In this article, we consider the bills that can affect your eligibility for food stamps, such as car payments. So, does a car payment increase food stamps?
In most cases, car payments do not increase food stamps. Your personal assets such as your car, etc, do not count toward food stamps.
Table of Contents
What are Food Stamps?
Food stamps are officially known as The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It is a program funded by the federal government to be of help to low-income individuals and families by providing food support.
This program, SNAP is funded solely by the federal government and enforced or carried out by the state governments.
State agencies work hand in hand with other local departments to administer this benefit and train recipients of SNAP. The federal food stamp program provides citizens and families with financial support to buy food.
If you want to apply for food stamps, you can do it online in many places, or you visit a local state office. As soon as you are done with the first application, a face-to-face interview will be arranged where you will need to present proof of your income and expenses.
For people who are disabled or aged and they cannot attend a face-to-face interview, a virtual interview will be arranged or a home interview will be put in place.
SNAP or food stamps are not for everyone. You have to be eligible to receive this benefit. Your income, expenses, assets, and household size will be put into consideration.
A household is defined as people who reside together and purchase food items together. And so, the income that is considered is not just for the breadwinner of the household but it is the total income earned by the household.
To apply for food stamps, follow these steps:
1. Count the Total Number of People in Your Household
You need to know this because there is a limit on the number of people eligible for food stamps.
2. Calculate the Assets and Resources Owned by your Household
There is a limit on the amount of money you can have (as a household) before you are eligible for food stamps. The maximum is $2, 250 and $3, 500 for the elderly and aged. Bear in mind that the resources talked about here do not include TANF and SSI.
3. Calculate your Gross and net Income
Gross income is calculated as the amount earned before deductions are made. Net income is what remains after deductions have been made. If you are the only one in your household, for you to be eligible for food stamps, your gross income should not be more than $1,287 with a net income of $990.
4. Check your Eligibility for Deductions
Some bills count towards food stamps. Some of them are medical expenses for the aged, shelter bills for the homeless, really large households, child support bills, dependent care for work, education, and many more.
5. Know your Employment Status
It is important that you know where you stand. You should determine whether you are legally employed as stated by the law.
6. Do You Think You are Eligible for Food Stamps?
Besides the income, assets, and resources, some people cannot be eligible for food stamps. If you are an illegal immigrant, a worker on strike, you are not eligible for food stamps.
7. Finally, Apply for Food Stamps
Now that you are eligible, you can go ahead with the application. Only one member of the household should apply but all the members of the household should be on the application.
What Bills Count for Food Stamps?
Food stamp deductions can be accumulated from some expenses. In this article, we will be grouping these expenses into three: Housing, Medical, and Child Care.
Those monies you spend on utilities in your home actually count towards your food stamps. Some of the costs are listed here:
- Light bills
- Water bills
- Garbage disposal bills
- Rents or mortgage bills
- Phone connection bills
- Gas bills
- Insurance costs, and many more.
Many states will not require you to prove or show the exact amount you spend for home utilities because there is a standard amount in place for every home.
For people over the age of 60, people who are quite elderly or indisposed, or the disabled, you can count those costs you spend on medical bills for your food stamps.
A lot of people are actually very surprised when they discover that medical expenses count towards the food stamps.
The hospital bills, money spent on purchasing drugs, insurance co-pays, cost of medication purchased at the counter, and the cost of your transportation to and from the hospital or pharmacy.
All these counts towards the food stamps. It is helpful in calculating deductions for the elderly and aged.
If you have employed the services of help or someone to take care of a disabled member of your family or a very elderly person while you are away, the cost of that too is deductible.
Child Care Expenses
If you have children that you raise and cater for, some of the expenses you spend on them can also be counted as food stamps deductions.
Taking adequate care of children is very expensive and so food stamps can be of great help here. Bills you spend on child care include the following:
- Babysitting or daycare costs
- Child support bills
The costs spent on babysitting and daycare should have a link with education or employment. For you to benefit from this, you should have a job, be looking for a job, or be a student at a school.
As for child support bills, this will only count if it is ordered by a court. You might be asked to bring the documentation of the court processes to verify that you are actually obliged by the court to pay monthly child support bills. If you have been paying extra, those extra costs will not be counted, sorry.
Does a Car Payment Increase Food Stamps?
For sure, you are eligible to receive food stamp benefits even if you own a car. Your personal assets such as car, jewelry, clothes, furniture, gadgets, and your home do not count towards the food stamps.
Asking does a car payment increases food stamps is like asking if buying a new car will affect Medicaid.
What is the Highest Income for Food Stamps?
To be eligible for food stamps, you have to fall within the range provided by the SNAP body. Your gross and net income have to be within the range. The elderly, aged, and disabled are exemptions to this though. If you are from a household with at least one person over 60 years of age, only the net income will be taken into account.
For a detailed analysis, the table below states the maximum income (gross and net) eligible for food stamp application. When we talk about gross income, we mean the income earned before deductions. Net income is what remains after deductions.
|Size of Household||Gross monthly income||Net monthly income|
|Each additional member||+$451||+$347|
Does Owning a Car Affect Food Stamp in Texas?
Yes, it does. In Texas, the value of your car is taken into account when you apply for food stamps. The value of your first car should be $15,000 and $4, 650 for your second car.
Advantages of Food Stamps
The Affordance of Healthy Food
Nutritional balance is provided when the households who cannot afford good food are given food stamps. They will be able to eat healthy food and maintain a good body.
Aids Hunger and Prevents Poverty
As you know, food is the cure for hunger. A hungry person will always be weak and tired. Food stamps provide poor households with enough food to sustain them during the day.
When people are fed and well taken care of, they will be more productive at work. During the American recession, a lot of people lost money and became so broke that they could not afford to eat well and go to work. Food stamps help the economy.
A total of 50% of people benefiting from food stamps become self-sufficient after 6 months on the list. Why? When free food is provided for them, they will be able to focus their little earnings on more important bills.
After some months, they will leave the program and be able to provide for themselves.
What are the Negative Effects of Food Stamps?
Can food stamps affect you negatively? Yes, please. If you are from a household where the money for the next meal is not provided (food security), you will be affected. How?
Abnormal growth, stunted growth, obesity, disease of the heart, skin disease, and dropout from school. These are some effects of not having food security.
People who apply for food stamps are sometimes stigmatized by other privileged people. As a result, about 50 % of eligible people for food stamps end up not applying. This is a major negative effect of food stamps.
Food stamps are very beneficial to people who cannot afford to feed themselves. It is a sustainable program that has helped many households become self-sufficient in the long run. However, the ownership of some assets might affect your eligibility for food stamps.