If you are struggling to provide adequate meals for your family, you may be wondering how to qualify for food stamps in Kansas. Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), help low-income families afford groceries on a monthly basis. Although SNAP is administered on the state level by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), it is a national program.
Therefore, the Kansas food stamp qualifications must align with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These qualifications include citizenship, residency, income, work requirements and more. Individuals will need to meet all of the necessary requirements in order to receive any type of assistance. Read on to learn about the requirements for SNAP benefits in Kansas.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Kansas
To qualify for food stamps in KS, you must first be a state resident. If you are not a Kansas resident, you may not apply for the food stamps program in this state. However, you may apply for food stamps benefits in the state where you currently live, as it is a national program.
Additionally, to have food stamps eligibility you must either be a U.S. citizen or maintain an acceptable immigration status. Undocumented individuals are not eligible for assistance under the program.
Non-citizens who have legal presence in the United States also need to meet additional requirements in order to be eligible for the program. In particular, non-citizens must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Has lived in the United States for at least five years
- Is a minor younger than 18 years of age
- Is an asylee or a refugee
- Currently receives assistance due to a disability
Keep in mind that based on this SNAP eligibility criteria, some members of your household may be eligible for assistance, while others are not. However, one household member’s ineligibility will not prevent others from receiving the assistance that they are qualified for.
For instance, if a legal resident has not lived in the United States for five years, then he or she may be ineligible for the program. However, if the individual has children who are American citizens, then he or she may apply for food stamps on the children’s behalf.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Kansas?
The primary eligibility requirement for this program is income. In order to qualify, your household will need to fall within the SNAP income guidelines outlined by the USDA. These limits are based on the federal poverty level (FPL) and include gross and net monthly income limits.
In general, your household must meet both the net and gross monthly income limit. However, if a member of your household is elderly or has a disability, you may only need to meet the net requirements.
Gross monthly income refers to all of the income that a household has before deducting certain expenses and taxes. According to food stamp income guidelines, income is not only defined as money you receive from an employer. It may also include sources of regular payment such as child support.
Net monthly income refers to the amount of income a household has after accounting for monthly expenses. Expenses that may be taken out of gross monthly income include rent and any other necessary costs.
In addition to income, you will also need to report your household’s resources or assets. Your household may not have more than a certain dollar amount in assets to qualify. Specific limits are subject to change from year to year. Keep in mind that certain assets, such as the home you live in, are not counted in this valuation.
In order to assist you in determining whether or not your household meets the necessary income requirements for food stamps in KS, you may consider using a SNAP calculator. This tool is available online. To use it, you will simply need to input your household’s information and the calculator will estimate whether or not you may be eligible based on income.
For more information about food stamps income guidelines, download our free guide.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Kansas
Kansas food stamp qualifications also include work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). An ABAWD is any adult between the ages of 18 and 50 that does not meet certain exemptions, such as if an applicant is:
- Declared unfit for work.
- The primary caretaker of a child younger than 6.
ABAWDs are only eligible to receive assistance for three months during any 36-month period, unless they meet certain work requirements. Work requirements are a mandatory part of food stamps eligibility in this case.
In general, ABAWDs must complete at least 20 hours of work each week, or participate for an equivalent amount of time in a work training program. This will equate to approximately 80 hours of work per month.
All beneficiaries will need to prove that they completed the work hours or meet one of the above exemptions. Your local DCF office will be able to provide more information on how to meet the work requirements for SNAP eligibility.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Kansas?
Once you complete the initial SNAP application process, you must maintain your eligibility to continue receiving benefits. The program will periodically reevaluate your application to ensure that you still fall within eligibility guidelines.
This means that you must remain within Kansas SNAP income guidelines while continuing to meet the work requirements. However, be aware that the amount of benefits you receive are subject to change along with any changes in your income.
As you begin to work more, you may begin to earn more income and thus become eligible for fewer benefits. In some cases, you may earn so much income that you are no longer eligible for benefits at all. In this case, your reassessment will end your participation in the program.
With this in mind, it is important to be honest on all your SNAP recertification applications. Providing false information on your application is a crime. The consequences could result in an immediate loss of SNAP eligibility, as well as fines and even jail time.
For more information on qualifying for SNAP in Kansas, download our free guide.