Your food stamps eligibility in Kentucky is based on factors such as your income, employment status, age, disability status and other circumstances. This benefit, which is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is available to essentially any group of residents that lives and eats together, while also meeting the income and resource requirements.
If your family meets the pre-determined food stamp qualifications, you may submit an application to the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). Note that, once you start receiving these benefits, your eligibility will also be checked periodically to ensure that you are still able to participate in the program. Read below to learn how to qualify for food stamps in Kentucky and discover what factors may affect your eligibility now and in the future.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Kentucky
In order to qualify for food stamps in KY, you must be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who is in the U.S. legally. If certain members of your family are legally present but others are not, it may still be possible to get benefits for the members who have legal status in the country. As an example, if your children were born in the U.S. but you do not have legal immigration status yourself, you may be eligible to apply for benefits for your children, as long as your family meets the other program requirements.
In any case, you must be a resident of Kentucky in order to undergo the SNAP application process. This is because you can only qualify for food stamps in the state where you live. As such, despite the fact that SNAP is a federal program, it is still administered at the local level by state offices. If you are not a resident of Kentucky, you may meet SNAP eligibility in your home state instead.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Kentucky?
Understanding the SNAP income guidelines in Kentucky is important due to the fact that your family’s income is one of the main factors that affect your eligibility for benefits. Under this program, your household includes everyone who lives together and shares meals. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the income of each household member when determining your eligibility and the total amount of benefits.
In addition to counting household members who live and eat together, you also need to include the income of certain family members, even if they do not share meals with the rest of the household. Under the SNAP guidelines, you must include:
- The spouse of any household member.
- Parents who live with children, stepchildren or adopted children who are younger than 22 years of age.
- Children who are younger than 18 years of age and are dependents of adult household members.
The SNAP income guidelines 2019 outline the maximum household income an applicant may have. Ultimately, your income limit is based on your household size. For example, you can have an income of $21,983 for a two-person household or $33,475 for a four-person household in 2019. These limits are subject to change each year. If you need guidance, the DCBS offers a SNAP calculator that you may use to help determine your eligibility based on income and other factors. You can also learn more about income requirements by downloading our free guide.
In some cases, your family will qualify for food stamps categorically due to your participation in other social programs. For example, if you receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may qualify based on your enrolment in those programs.
In addition to meeting the food stamp income guidelines in Kentucky, you also need to have limited resources in order to qualify for SNAP. A resource can include your bank account, cash on hand, savings bonds and other assets. In most cases, you will not count your house or car. However, a vehicle may be considered a resource if it exceeds a certain value.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Kentucky
The Kentucky food stamps eligibility requirements are slightly different if you are a senior or have a disability. For example, you can qualify with a higher income and a greater amount of resources if any of your household members have a disability or are 60 years of age or older. Furthermore, some expenses may be deducted from your income, such as certain medical expenses relating to your disability status.
If you are between 18 and 59 years of age and do not have a disability, you may be required to register for work before you can obtain SNAP benefits. Registering for work means that you must accept reasonable employment offers, take part in employment training and/or meet other work expectations, as requested. On the other hand, you may have already met SNAP eligibility if you meet the work requirements through your current job. For example, if you work at least 30 hours and/or earn enough income, you will generally meet the requirements.
Regardless of your age, income or disability status, you also need to meet a few other basic requirements in order to participate in this program. For example, you will only meet the food stamp qualifications in Kentucky if you have a Social Security Number (SSN).
How do you maintain your food stamps in Kentucky?
If you meet the Kentucky food stamps eligibility requirements, your application will be approved, and you will start receiving benefits in one month or less. However, your benefits will not be maintained on an automatic basis. Instead, you must undergo a SNAP eligibility review on a regular basis in order to verify that you still meet the requirements to receive these benefits.
In most cases, your initial benefit period will last no longer than one year. Once your certification period ends, you will need to fill out another application form and verify your income, resources and other eligibility factors once again. Consequently, you may lose your eligibility if any of the following factors have changed:
- Your employment status or participation in SNAP work programs.
- Your household income or resources.
- Your expenses or allowable deductions.
- Your household composition or size.
In order to maintain your SNAP eligibility, it is important that you report changes to the DCBS and cooperate with any interviews regarding your qualifications. Failing to report changes that affect your eligibility may disqualify you from the program. Learn more about maintaining your food stamps by downloading our free guide.