Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding food stamps. For more information, click here
Q: Where do I go to apply for Food Stamps in Stanislaus County?
A: The following offices accept Food Stamp Applications:
Community Services Agency (CSA)
251 E. Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358
101 Lander Avenue
2413 3rd Street
West Modesto Community Center
401 Paradise Road, Bldg. E
2201 Morrill Road
1014 Scenic Avenue
Q: How can I apply for Food Stamp benefits?
A: Currently, you must apply in person at any Community Services Agency office. Soon customers will be able to apply online. Watch for this service in October 2007.
Q: Do I have to come into the office to get benefits?
A: Yes, in most cases you must have a face-to-face interview with a case manager before benefits can be approved. If you are disabled and cannot come into the office, we may do a home visit or phone interview.
Q: What are some requirements to be eligible for Food Stamps?
A: Each household member must provide their Social Security number, all adult household members must complete a fingerprinting process, each household must provide information about their income and property, and the applicant must apply for all mandatory household members (for example, husband, wife, and children)
Q: What services are available for me if I don't have any food or money?
A: Expedited Services may be available to you within three days if your and your household are eligible for the Food Stamp program and have:
- Rent or mortgage and utility costs that are more than your liquid resources and this month's income before deductions, OR
- No more than $100 in liquid resources and less than $150 income for the month before deductions, OR
- No more than $100 in liquid resources and at least one member who is a migrant or seasonal farm worker.
- Before you can get food stamps, within three days, you must give us proof of your identity.
Q: Do I have to have children to be eligible for Food Stamp benefits?
A: No. Adults without dependents may apply for and be eligible for Food Stamp benefits.
Q: Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get Food Stamps?
A: No, but you have to be an eligible non-citizen (have the legal right to be in the U.S.)
Q: How much property can I have to get Food Stamps?
A: The property limits are $2,000 per household, or $3,000 for a household with all elderly/disabled members. Some property is exempt, such as vehicles and the home you live in. You should apply and let your case manager determine if you are property eligible.
Q: I live with my parents and I am 21 years old. Can I have my own Food Stamp case?
A: No you have to be included with your parents on a FS case, whether you apply or your parents apply. We cannot separate you from your parents until the age of 22.
Q: My minor grandchildren just moved in with me. Can I get Food Stamps just for them?
A: No, children can not be considered a separate household from the adult who has parental control of them. You must apply for all members of the Food Stamps household, so you would need to apply for yourself, your spouse if you have one, as well as your grandchildren.
Q: I live with my adult daughter and her family, I have a special diet, can I get Food Stamps just for me?
A: If your daughter is over 22 and you buy, store and eat your food separately from her family, you can be a separate Food Stamps household from her family. Also if you are over age 60 or disabled, and unable to buy and prepare your own food, you may be able to be a separate Food Stamps household.
Q: I'm a resident at a Drug Treatment Center, can I get Food Stamps?
A: A Drug or Alcohol Treatment Center must be certified by FNS for residents to be eligible to Food Stamps. The following Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers in Stanislaus County are currently certified by FNS:
- Sierra Vista-First Step
- Laura's House
- Samaritan's House
- Redwood Family Center
Q: How much money can I expect to get for Food Stamps monthly?
A: The amount of Food Stamp benefits a household receives depends on household members' income and household size. The Food Stamp program is intended to be a supplemental food program; therefore the monthly allotment will probably be less than a household's monthly food bill.
Q: If I receive SSI/SSP, am I eligible to receive Food Stamps?
A: No. The state of California provides a portion of money in the SSP payment that is intended to help the recipient buy food.
Q: If I am between the ages of 18-49 and I go to school full time, can I still get Food Stamps?
A: If the school or program you are enrolled in is an institution of higher education, in order to be eligible to Food Stamps you must be working at least 20 hours of the Federal minimum wage or have other exemptions.
Q: Can I receive Food Stamps if I am homeless?
A: Yes. You will be asked to provide a contact address/phone number or you may use the Community Services Agency's address if you cannot provide an alternate contact.
Q: Must I have a stable address? What if I move around a lot?
A: You can receive Food Stamps even if you move frequently as long as you are a resident of Stanislaus County. If you are eligible for Food Stamps and you change your address, you must inform your case manager within 10 days.
Q: How do I access my Food Stamp benefits?
A: Food Stamp benefits are accessed through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card works much like an ATM or debit card and can be used to buy groceries.
Q: What can I buy with my Food Stamps?
A: You may purchase food for human consumption, including meat, milk, eggs, cereal, fresh fruits, vegetables, and seeds and plants to grow food for household use. You cannot purchase any non-food items such as vitamins, medicines, pet food, paper products, household supplies, alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
Q: My EBT card does not work, can you help me?
A: EBT cards do not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. You may call your case manager or 1-877-328-9677 for assistance.
Q: What happens if I lose my Food Stamp (EBT) card?
A: Call your case manager, go into your local office, or you may request a new card by calling 1-877-328-9677.
Q: What do I do if I move to another county/state?
A: If you move to another county or state, you must contact your case manager within 10 days. You will have to apply in the new county or state in which you live.
Q: If I'm not eligible now, can I apply later?
A: Yes, you may apply for Food Stamps at any time.
Q: I have used all my Food Stamps, can I get more? If not, where can I get help?
A: Unfortunately once benefits are used, we cannot reissue any more during the month if the household circumstances are the same. If lack of food will cause hardship to the family, we can make referrals to various food programs within the community. You can also look on the Internet for community assistance at: http://www.cvir.org
Q: Where can I get more information regarding the Food Stamp program?
A: For online information:
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