SNAP Series Part 2: How SNAP Works

SNAP funds are disbursed once a month by the Florida Department of Children and Families to eligible participants through electronic debit transfer (EBT) cards. They are used to purchase groceries at retailers nationwide, include major grocers like Publix and Walmart; but also at farmers’ markets and corner stores. SNAP is only redeemable for food and recipients generally have a gross income less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (find more about the Poverty Levels here), however, this varies by the familial situation (children, or even a caretaker for someone with disabilities).

Eligibility

To be eligible for SNAP in Florida, the applicant must live in the state of Florida and be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified non-citizen status. Applicants must provide a social security number. For all eligibility rules, find them here at the Florida Department of Children and Families website. Applicants are not eligible if they’ve previously been convicted of drug trafficking, evading a felony warrant, have previously broken SNAP eligibility rules, non-citizens without a qualified status and some students attending college.

Work

SNAP recipients between 18 through 59 years old must register for work, accept offers of suitable work and take part in an employment and training program when referred if they do not meet an exemption. Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) between 18 through 49 can only receive food assistance for three months in a three year period if they are not working at least 20 hours a week, volunteering or participating in a work program. Those who can work while on SNAP, do work. Remember that 66% of SNAP recipients are either children, seniors or individuals with disabilities.

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