You may apply for food stamps in Arkansas through the Department of Human Service (DHS). This program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is available if you have a low income and meet the other program requirements.
If you think you are eligible, it is a good idea to apply as soon as you need assistance. This is because a food stamp application may take up to 30 days to process depending on your situation. After you apply, you will receive a benefit determination letter from the DHS.
If approved, this letter will tell you how much assistance you can get. In the event your benefits are denied and you disagree with the decision, you may request a fair hearing. Below, learn more about submitting a SNAP benefits application in Arkansas and discover what information you need to provide.
What do you need to apply for SNAP in Arkansas?
A food stamp application form requires that you provide details on everyone in your home who wants benefits, including yourself and anyone else who lives in your home and shares meals. You do not necessarily need to be related to one another in order to be counted as a household.
In order to sign up for food stamps, you must provide information that verifies your SNAP eligibility. Make sure you prepare the following details and paperwork with your application:
- Personal information for each household member, including:
- Date of birth.
- Social Security Number (SSN).
- Your street and mailing address.
- The sources and amount of your household income, with paystubs and tax returns as verification.
- A list of your resources and their value.
- A form of identification and verification of your legal presence in the U.S.
When you apply for SNAP benefits, you may find that some people in your home are not eligible. For example, people who do not have an SSN or are not in the U.S. legally cannot receive benefits. It is not necessary to include these individuals as applicants who want benefits.
However, if they are members of your household, you still need to count their income and resources. This is because ineligible people may still contribute to your household income even if they are not able to receive assistance.
Learn more about the items you need when applying for SNAP when you download our free guide.
How to Apply for Food Stamps Online in Arkansas
You can apply online using the ACCESS Arkansas portal. This website is used for most benefits provided by the DHS and other government agencies in the state. In fact, if you qualify for more than one type of service, it is possible to apply for each one using the same site.
Before you can apply for SNAP online, you will need to have an account. Creating an account requires that you enter an email address, password and username. To complete your food stamp application online, simply follow the on-screen prompts and submit your form once it is finished.
How to Submit an Arkansas Food Stamp Application by Mail
An Arkansas SNAP benefits application can also be filled out on paper if you prefer. You can find paper applications online to download and print from the DHS website. If you do not have access to a printer, you can also contact the DHS to receive a copy of the form.
A paper food stamp application contains the same information as the online version. When your application is complete, locate the list of mailing addresses at the end of the form. Be sure to send your application to the DHS office that serves your county.
If you do not have all of the necessary details on hand right now, you may still apply. As long as your form has your name, address and signature, the DHS can put your information on file. You will simply need to provide the missing details at a later date.
How to Apply for SNAP In-Person in Arkansas
It is also possible to apply for food stamps in person by visiting your local DHS office. At the office, you can pick up a form and fill it out while you wait. Alternatively, you can print the application from the DHS website and complete it before visiting the office. Doing this may save time during your visit.
When you apply for SNAP in person, it may be possible to complete all of the necessary steps during a single visit. If the DHS office is able to interview you the same day, it may help to come prepared with all of the paperwork and documents you need to provide.
Find out more about the SNAP application process by downloading our free guide.
How to Check Your SNAP Application Status in Arkansas
If you requested food stamps online, you may log into your account to check whether your application has been processed. It is also possible to get your application status by contacting the DHS office that filed your form.
You may find that you do not need to check status of SNAP application materials due to the fact that requests are usually processed quickly. In most cases, you will receive an answer in no more than one month. Applications are processed much more quickly if the DHS determines that you need emergency assistance.
Arkansas Food Stamp Interview Process
Once your application is accepted, you must undergo an interview either over the phone or in person. This interview is used to verify the information on your application.
During your food stamp phone interview, a case worker may also ask for any details that were missing from your original application. To make the interview go smoothly, you may want to have documents that verify your information on-hand.
About SNAP Recertification in Arkansas
When you apply for benefits, you can only get assistance for a set amount of time. This means recertification is required if you wish to continue receiving benefits.
The food stamp renewal process is similar to the steps you took to submit your original application. To recertify, you will need to provide all of your updated information and verify any required details with the DHS.
How to Appeal a Food Stamps Denial in Arkansas
If you have your food stamps denied in Arkansas, you have the right to ask for a SNAP benefit denial hearing. You can also appeal food stamps decisions that affect the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive. The steps for requesting an appeal will be described on your benefit determination letter.