Food stamps in Kentucky are administered by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). While this program is federally funded, you will need to qualify and apply directly through the DCBS. Note that this benefit is officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as you no longer receive a stamp or voucher that allows you to purchase food. Instead, your benefits are loaded onto an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card that works just like a debit card.
In order to participate in the SNAP program, your household must meet certain basic income requirements. Other factors, such as your employment information, age or disability status, can affect your eligibility as well. Below, learn everything you need to know about SNAP food stamps, including how to qualify for assistance and the application steps that you must take.
Learn About Kentucky Food Stamps Requirements
Your food stamps eligibility in Kentucky largely depends on your income and resources. In order to apply, your household’s income from wages and other sources must not exceed a certain amount each month. Note that the SNAP income guidelines vary depending on your household size. For example, a larger family can generally qualify with a higher income than a smaller family. Furthermore, these income limits are subject to changes every year.
In addition to meeting the food stamp income guidelines, your household must have limited resources. A resource can include money in a bank account, cash and other assets. Usually, primary vehicles and houses are not generally included as resources.
You may be able to deduct certain expenses and exclude some resources when determining your family’s income and assets. For example, if there are any individuals in your household who are seniors or have a disability, it may be possible to deduct certain medical expenses from your income amount.
In any case, your income and family size determine not just your SNAP eligibility, but the total amount of benefits that you can receive each month. Learn more about the income requirements and other qualifications by obtaining our free guide.
To meet the food stamp qualifications, you also need to be a U.S. citizen or be legally present in the country. Furthermore, you must be a Kentucky resident in order to receive benefits from the DCBS. This is because each state runs its own food stamps program independently.
When determining if you can get SNAP assistance in Kentucky, it is also helpful to understand the work requirements. If you are between 18 and 60 years of age and do not have a disability, you will need to register for work or meet certain criteria before being eligible to receive assistance.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Kentucky
You may fill out a Kentucky food stamp application with the DCBS using several different methods. For instance, you may call the DCBS to start your application over the phone. Moreover, you can apply for food stamps online using the state’s benefits application portal. Through this method, you can submit a completed application online or print off your form and mail it to the DCBS.
Keep in mind that submitting an application electronically or over the phone will allow it to be processed more quickly in comparison to sending the form through the mail. However, regardless of the method you use to apply for food stamps in KY, you will need to provide the same types of information. This can include:
- Your household’s income and resources
- The names and other personal details of each household member
- Your address and contact information
- Disability information, if applicable
- Employment details for household members, if applicable
After you apply for SNAP in Kentucky, the DCBS will contact you to arrange an interview, which is used to certify the information on your application. You can prepare by gathering documentation that verifies your income, expenses and other relevant details. Overall, these interviews are conducted in person at a DCBS office or over the phone. However, if you are elderly or have a disability, an in-home visit may be arranged.
The KY DCBS will process your application and either approve or deny it within 30 days. However, if you need food stamps more quickly because of an emergency, it may be possible to expedite your case and get assistance within a few days. By reading our free guide, you will find out more about the application and interview process for SNAP.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in Kentucky
If you are approved for food stamp benefits in Kentucky, you will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card that looks and works like a debit card. You must activate your EBT card, choose a PIN number and sign the back of the card before it can be used.
Each month, your SNAP benefits will be loaded onto this card. You may use these funds to buy eligible food items at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other places that sell food.
SNAP food benefits can be used to purchase most types of food, but there are some exceptions. For example, you cannot buy alcohol, tobacco, household products, pet food, hot food items or meals that are meant to be eaten in the store. Items that you are allowed to buy generally fall into these categories:
- Meat, fish and poultry
- Dairy products and eggs
- Cereals and breads
- Snacks and drinks
- Fruits and veggies
- Seed and plants that you will grow at home
It is important to keep in mind that SNAP benefits are only provided for a certain period of time. Then, you must recertify your eligibility in order to keep participating in the program. When your benefit period ends, you will need to undergo another interview process to verify your continued eligibility.
If any circumstances have changed, such as your income, you may receive a different amount of SNAP benefits or lose your eligibility altogether. During your recertification interview, you should be prepared to show current documents that verify these details. Thus, be mindful that changes related to your income, assets and other factors could affect your eligibility.
Name: Department for Community Based Services (DCBS)
Phone Number: (502) 564-3440
Address: 275 E Main Street 3E-I, Frankfort, KY 40621
Director: Marta Miranda-Straub
Last Updated: February 27, 2023