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Food Stamps for Seniors
Many seniors who are struggling in these tough economic times may not be aware that they are eligible for food stamps. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- the official name of the food stamp program -- helps low-income seniors buy the food they need.
Food stamps can be used to purchase food or food-related products, including seeds and plants to grow food, but not to buy alcohol, tobacco, vitamins, or hot food. The amount of food stamps you can receive varies depending on your household's size and income, but the average allotment is $101 per person per month and $227 per household. The money is distributed through a plastic EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card, much like a debit card, which can be used at most grocery stores.
Your eligibility for food stamps depends on your resources (bank accounts, etc.) and income. Households with an elderly or disabled member can have up to $3,000 in resources and still be eligible. Certain things, including your house and most retirement plans, do not count as a resource. In addition, applicants must have incomes below specific limits to be eligible. For example, a single senior can have up $903 in monthly income in 2009. To calculate your income for eligibility purposes, certain expenses are deducted from your total income. This includes medical expenses of more than $35 a month if they are not paid for by Medicaid, Medicare or an insurance company.
For more information on food stamps and SNAP, click here.