State residents who need assistance paying for their groceries every month may qualify for food stamps in Nebraska through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This federal benefits program provides a monthly budget to help supplement grocery expenses for a household. Individuals can receive a monthly payout based on their income and household makeup, which is designed to bridge the gap between what they can afford and what they need to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.
At the federal level, the SNAP program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). At the state level, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) maintains SNAP assistance in Nebraska. Generally, applicants must submit an application and answer questions about their income, assets and household composition in order to receive these benefits. Moreover, these funds are issued on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that work like debit cards. To learn more about food stamps, read the sections below.
Learn About Nebraska Food Stamps Requirements
The requirements for food stamps eligibility in Nebraska take into account your income, total assets and household size. As such, be mindful that the income sources of all members of your household must be taken into consideration when you apply. Additionally, members of a household who are seniors or have a disability may qualify for benefits based on the cost of medical expenses compared to income. The federal definition of a senior, for SNAP eligibility purposes, is being 60 years of age or older.
In order to meet the pre-determined SNAP eligibility guidelines, you must meet the appropriate income requirements. In general, this means that a household cannot have a total gross income (earnings before taxes are deducted) more than 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) or a net income (earnings after taxes and deductions) of more than 100 percent of the FPL.
For example, a household of three cannot qualify with a monthly gross income of more than $3,167 or a monthly net income of $1,920. Along with the SNAP income guidelines, a household generally cannot have more than $2,750 in cash and savings.
To qualify for benefits, able-bodied adults with no dependents may be required to participate in education, work and training program. Additionally, there is a time limit to how long individuals can benefit from SNAP. Moreover, it is important to note that there is also a citizenship requirement. Even though SNAP is designed for citizens, certain legal residents may qualify as well. On the other hand, undocumented members of the household may not be eligible for SNAP.
If you are unsure about whether or not you meet the food stamp qualifications in Nebraska, you can log in to the official state portal and check. However, it is important to keep in mind that prescreening tools do not substitute sending in an application, and you may get different answers when you apply for SNAP or use an online screening tool. Download our free guide to learn more about the requirements for SNAP.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Nebraska
You can apply for food stamps online in Nebraska through the official state portal, as well as by email, by mail, by fax or in person. Once you are ready to apply, you can open the food stamp application and begin this process.
When you apply for SNAP, you must provide detailed information about all members of your household. For the purpose of SNAP benefits, your household includes everyone in your home who shares groceries and meals together. Therefore, if you have a roommate you share meals or food with, his or her information must be included in your application.
In addition, you must provide Social Security numbers (SSNs), income details and assets information for all members of your household on your food stamp application. Any individual who does not have or cannot obtain a SSN will not be eligible for benefits.
Furthermore, you must provide documentation regarding your monthly expenses. This includes any mortgage or rent payments, as well as utility expenses, qualifying medical expenses, childcare or child support payments, among others. Keep in mind that when you apply for SNAP, you give the state permission to contact landlords and employers to verify the information you have provided. Download our free guide to obtain more information regarding the SNAP application steps.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in Nebraska
Residents who are approved to receive SNAP benefits will get their original Nebraska EBT card by mail. This card functions like a debit card, and is reloaded automatically every month with the amount of benefits that the household qualified for. Once you have your SNAP card, you must figure out what you can buy with it and where you can use it.
You cannot use your food stamp benefits to buy prepared meals, hot foods or household goods other than groceries. For instance, you can buy vegetables, grains or beverages with your benefits from your local grocery store, but you cannot buy a made-to-order sandwich. Additionally, you cannot purchase paper products, cleaning supplies, pet food or alcohol. EBT benefits are solely intended to provide you with groceries you cook at home.
It is up to each EBT holder to determine how to budget the SNAP food benefits received monthly. Because SNAP is intended as a supplementary program, it is not designed to cover the full cost of groceries.
Name: DHHS Children and Family Services
Phone Number: (402) 471-3121
Address: 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
Director: Stephanie Beasley
Last Updated: February 24, 2023