Your food stamps eligibility in Oklahoma depends on several different factors, such as your income, citizenship and, in some cases, your work status. Note that this program is also referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The food stamp qualifications are set by the Department of Human Services (DHS). If you believe that you qualify, you can submit an application right away. The date that the DHS receives your application determines when your benefits may start.
It is important to keep in mind that your SNAP eligibility may change over time. Once approved, you can only receive assistance for a set amount of time known as your benefit period. You must renew your benefits in order to keep receiving them. Therefore, it is important to learn how to maintain your eligibility. Below, learn how to qualify for food stamps and discover which factors can affect your ability to get assistance now and in the future.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Oklahoma
Before you can qualify for food stamps, you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal non-citizen. The DHS will need to verify your legal presence when you apply. If there are any members of your household who do not qualify, you do not need to include them on your application. However, you still need to consider the income and resources of everyone in your household. In other words, you must count the income of everyone who contributes to the home, even if those people are not eligible for benefits themselves.
You can still qualify for food stamps if your household has a mix of legal and non-legal residents. In such cases, you can only receive benefits for the people who are in the U.S. legally. As a result, the amount of benefits you receive is based on the number of eligible household members, not your household size overall.
Food stamps eligibility in Oklahoma is also limited to residents of the state. If you are not an Oklahoma resident, you cannot apply for help from the DHS. However, the food stamp qualifications are similar in each state. With that in mind, you may be able to get assistance in your home state if you meet the basic requirements.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Oklahoma?
Under the food stamp income guidelines, your household income usually must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). The income limits are slightly different if anyone in your household is elderly or disabled. In such cases, you can usually qualify with a slightly higher income. Note that income includes any source of money you earn from a job, other services or certain other benefits.
When considering the SNAP income guidelines 2019, it is important to learn about deductions that may apply to your situation. A deduction is taken from what you earn, allowing you to qualify with a higher amount of income. Many households take a standard deduction, which varies based on the number of people in a household. Other deductions you may be able to take include the following:
- The cost of childcare
- Outgoing child support payments
- Rent and utility payments that exceed a certain amount
- Excess medical expenses that are not covered by insurance
In addition to the income requirements for food stamps, you also need to have a limited amount of resources. A resource includes something with monetary value, such as the following:
- Bank accounts
- Savings bonds
- Cash on hand
Under the SNAP guidelines, certain items are excluded when counting your resources. This includes your home, vehicle and personal possessions, among other things.
Like the income limits, the resource limits may be different depending on your situation. For example, you can have a higher amount of resources if you are elderly or disabled. Learn more about the income and resource requirements you may need to meet by reading our guide.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Oklahoma
In order to have SNAP eligibility in OK, you may need to meet work requirements as well. If you are between 18 and 59 years of age and are not currently employed, you must register for work in order to get assistance for an extended period of time. These rules may not apply if you are disabled, pregnant or raising dependents.
You can only qualify for food stamps for three months in a three-year period if you do not meet the work expectations that are required of you. To meet this qualification, you must complete a process known as registering for work. This means that you agree to do any of the following as necessary:
- Participate in job training
- Take any reasonable job offer
- Not quit your job without cause
- Work a certain number of hours per week
While some of the food stamps eligibility requirements vary based on your situation, others do not. One of the most important requirements is that you have a Social Security Number (SSN). Each member of your household who wants benefits must have an SSN.
The only situation where you can get benefits without an SSN is if you have applied for your number and are waiting for the Social Security Administration to assign it to you.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Oklahoma?
You must maintain your SNAP eligibility in order to keep getting assistance. Remember that once you get benefits, you must renew them periodically in order to keep getting assistance. If you no longer meet the food stamp qualifications due to your income, household composition or other factors, you may lose your benefits. Other times, your benefit amount may simply change.
In order to keep your benefits, you must follow all of the program rules. This includes using your benefits properly and reporting any household changes to the DHS. Failing to notify the DHS of new information may disqualify you from the program or affect your benefits temporarily. Learn more about maintaining your SNAP benefits by reading our free guide.