The Indiana food stamps program helps low-income individuals and families afford groceries by issuing with monthly benefits. This food stamps initiative, which is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is the federal government’s largest nutrition program working to fight against hunger in America.
How does the SNAP program in Indiana work? Overall, low-income citizens and residents can apply through the state Division of Family Resources (DFR). Then, these applicants must meet certain requirements, such as income and residency requirements, in order to qualify.
If deemed eligible, beneficiaries can get SNAP food stamps every month through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. As a general rule, these benefits can be used for the purchasing of an array of healthy foods that help households maintain a balanced diet. Continue reading to learn more about the SNAP program, from eligibility requirements to the application process.
Learn About Indiana Food Stamps Requirements
In order to obtain food stamps eligibility in Indiana, you must meet certain income and asset requirements according to your household size. If you already receive assistance from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), then you automatically meet the SNAP income guidelines.
Otherwise, your household’s gross income cannot exceed 130 percent of the federal poverty level. Be mindful that your gross income is your total income before any taxes or deductions have been made. Moreover, you must meet SNAP net income limits in order to meet SNAP eligibility in Indiana. This is your income after allowable deductions have been subtracted from your gross income. Allowable deductions include:
- Housing costs
- Child care
- Child support payments
- Medical expenses over $35 for household members who are seniors or have a disability
If you are a family of three, then your monthly gross income cannot exceed $2,379 and your net income cannot go over $1,830. In addition to these food stamp qualifications, you must not have assets that exceed $5,000. These resources include any real estate, bank accounts, personal property or vehicles you may have.
Furthermore, you must be a resident of Indiana and a U.S. citizen or legal resident in order to receive benefits from the state DFR. If you do not currently work, you may only be able to receive benefits for a period of time between three and 36 months. However, this guideline does not apply to applicants who have a disability or have children who are younger than 18 years of age.
In order to maintain your SNAP eligibility for a longer period of time, you must meet certain work requirements. This may include working an average of 20 hours per week or participating in 20 hours a week of employment and training activities through the Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) program. Download our free guide to learn more about SNAP income guidelines and work requirements.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Indiana
Overall, there are three main ways through which you can apply for food stamps in Indiana:
- By mail or fax
- In person at a local DFR office
You are able to apply for food stamps online through the official state-wide portal. This application allows you to simultaneously apply for SNAP, cash assistance and affordable health care coverage.
In order to perform additional activities after submitting your application, such as checking your application status, it is best to create an online account before applying. This allows you to save your progress with the application form as you go. Later, you will be able to re-access the form and finish completing it. If you have your application materials ready, you can complete the food stamp application without logging in.
Through this state-wide benefits portal, you can also request an application form to be mailed to you. When you receive the form, simply fill it out and return it by mail or fax to the FSSA Document Center. Moreover, you may complete a fillable electronic food stamps application form online and submit it in person at your local DFR office.
Keep in mind that you can only check the status of your application online if you submitted it through the benefits portal. Otherwise, you will need to contact your local DFR office for updates regarding your application.
If for whatever reason your application is denied, then you may file an appeal with the Office of Family Resources. This can be done in writing, by telephone or in person. By filing an appeal, you are requesting a fair hearing before a representative of FSSA who will verify your SNAP eligibility. Download our free guide for more information on the application and appeal process for food stamps.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in Indiana
The amount of SNAP benefits you will qualify for depends on your income and household size. There is a maximum SNAP allotment for every household size, including a maximum allotment of $188 for each additional member after eight household members. Generally, the greater a family’s income is, the less they will receive in food stamp benefits.
Families can receive SNAP food benefits within 30 days from the date that their application was submitted. During certain urgent circumstances, applicants may be eligible to receive benefits within seven days from the date of their application.
SNAP benefits will be received in the form of an EBT card, which works much like a debit card. Overall, an EBT card can be used to purchase an array of healthy foods that contribute to a balanced diet.
On the other hand, there are certain foods and household items that cannot be purchased with these funds. Therefore, it is important to keep these factors in mind when shopping at your local grocery store, farmer’s market or convenience store.
Name: Division of Family Resources
Phone Number: (800) 403-0864
Address: 402 W. Washington St, Room W-392, P.0. Box 7083, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Director: Adrienne Shields
Last Updated: September 29, 2022