Citizenship Status/Immigration: You must be either a US citizen or an eligible qualified alien.
Residency: You must be a current resident of NH, but you do not need to have lived here, or intend to live here, for any specified length of time. If you are homeless you may still be eligible for assistance.
Social Security Number: The law requires that you furnish a social security number or verification of an application for a social security number if one has never been issued or you cannot provide the numbers for all household members.
Living Arrangement: You must be prepared to describe your living situation to us. We will need to know if you are living on your own or if you are married. If you are living with others, we will need to know the size of your household, if you are living in a group home situation, and what arrangements you have made for purchasing and preparing meals.
Work Requirements: Most individuals ages 16 to 60 are expected to participate in the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program. You must register for this program upon becoming eligible for food stamps. Able-bodied adults ages 18 to 50 who have no dependents at home have special work or training requirements in addition to the regular Food Stamp Program work obligations. For some individuals, however, involvement in a job search is difficult and you may be exempted under certain circumstances.
Financial requirements are broken into two components: income and resources. You are considered financially eligible for the Food Stamp Program if both income and resource requirements are met.
Household Income: All available income for all members of your household is counted when we determine your eligibility for food stamps. However, we subtract certain expenses from that total. If, after subtracting your expenses, your total net income equals or falls below the monthly net income limits for the number of people in your household, you are considered income-eligible.
Household Resources: All resources you and members of your household own are considered when determining eligibility. Examples of resources are cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, permanently unoccupied real estate, and some trusts. We do not count certain resources, such as the home you are living in, your furniture, and certain vehicles. If, after counting or excluding your household's resources, your total countable resources equal or fall below $2,000, or $3,500 if at least one member in your household is age 60 or older, you are considered resource-eligible.
Household Expenses: Certain household expenses can be subtracted from income that is available or considered to be available to the assistance group.
- Shelter & Utilities - Deductions for shelter costs including rent, mortgage, property tax, and condo fees may be subtracted from your income. Utility costs such as costs for heat, water and sewer, well, septic system, phones, electricity, and trash collection may also be deducted, if the costs are incurred separately from rent or mortgage.
- Child Care - The actual verified un-reimbursed cost of care for a dependent child or incapacitated parent may also be subtracted from the individual's adjusted gross income. Unreimbursed costs are total costs minus any reimbursements made by non-assistance group members. The maximum allowable childcare deduction limits are $200 for care for a child under 2 years old and $175 for over 2 years old.
- Legally binding child support payments - are also allowed as a deduction in net income computations if the applicant is paying them to a non-household member, including repayment of arrearages.
- Self-Employment Expenses - Actual costs of doing business may be subtracted from self-employment income to arrive at countable self-employment income, which is then added to other household income.
- Medical Expenses for Elders and Disabled - Verified un-reimbursed medical expenses in excess of $35 per month and incurred by household members who are elderly or disabled, may be subtracted.
What Happens Now?
If you meet the requirements above and think your income and resources are close to the figures provided, and wish to apply for the Food Stamp program, you will need to:
- Visit a DHHS District Office and speak with a DHHS worker who will assist you through the application interview process; and
- Provide copies of any information that we may need.
If you are disabled or a senior, or have no transportation, you may apply by mail and do not have to come to our office. You may request an application by calling any District Office form or you can download the Application for Assistance form.
Please Note: If you are homeless or have little money to cover your current expenses, you may be eligible to receive your assistance within 7 days, if not sooner, and may not have to provide certain proofs until a later time. Do not hesitate to apply for food stamps. Your eligibility begins the day you apply and you will receive benefits even for partial months.
Right to an Administrative Appeal Hearing
If you disagree with any decision the Division of Family Assistance makes on your case, you may request an Administrative Appeals hearing.
Applying for Food Stamps
The Application for Assistance can be printed, completed and returned in person to a DHHS District Office. You may also mail the completed application and copies of documents needed to verify eligibility to a District Office and a DHHS Representative will contact you to come in for an interview. If you are 60 years old or older, or are disabled, or are experiencing some hardship, we can conduct your eligibility interview over the phone. You may also request an application be mailed to you by calling a DHHS District Office.
So we can help you faster, bring any paycheck stubs, bank statements, rent receipts, mortgage payments and utility bills with you to your scheduled interview.
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