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Food Stamp eligibility


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So, I applied for food stamps last year and was approved. During my application process, I met a social worker at the food stamp office and she said she would mark me down as single since I didn't really share food with my boyfriend. Well, the time has come to reapply and I don't know what to do. We are so goddamn poor right now I can't afford to insure my car. Sorry, that sounds really ungrateful. I just am so stressed about money right now, and I don't see many more ways we can cut back. Do I list Mike's income and stuff even though he isn't applying for any assistance? On parts of the application, it says to list members of your family who are applying for assistance. In another part it says to list all household members. With his income, we amazingly do not qualify. There's no way we will be able to survive without the food help. But I obviously don't want to be fraudulent. Any advice?

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For the purposes of the food stamp application you live in an apartment with a roommate. You are a household of one. As for as the question of whether you share food with anyone ... that's for you to wrestle with your conscience. I have never had a problem with pretending there is a thick center line running down the middle of the refrigerator and stove if that is what it takes to get food.

Edited by Retromancer
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I too have told job and family services that the person I lived with was just my "roommate," and that I was a single household paying all my bills independently.  Because I am.  I pay half the rent, half the bills, I pay for me own food.  I can't afford to live on my own.  I can't afford to live with someone and eat.  Therefore, I do what I can to get whatever help I can.

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Mal, it depends on whether or not you are living on some part of his income.  If you divide the bills down the middle and you each pay half, then you are functioning as roommates.  If he is paying most of the bills, then you are in a relationship and you have to consider the "household" income as a whole.  If they investigate, they can accuse you of defrauding the county or state, so be sure you have all your i's dotted and your t's crossed. 

 

olga

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Thanks for all the responses. We pay about half the bills each, although we don't split bills down the middle, but each pay separate bills. How I make less than half the money he makes and pay half the bills and he never has any money left, is beyond me. I guess I will talk this over with my counselor as well. Mike and I talked and decided that we would use the food stamps just for my food. We do eat separately a lot because I'm a vegetarian, and he's addicted to energy drinks and nasty processed foods.

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angel_heart, it'll vary from state to state. Although it's a federal program, like SS, it's managed at a state level. My state has numerous hoops and forms and phone calls and more forms and so on for SNAP eligibility (they don't actually use food stamps anymore, you get an EBT card that acts like a debit card). In other states, it's much simpler. And in others, much harder.

 

Slightly OT, but I think it's hilarious how many people think fraud is rampant in the SNAP program. If they had any idea how much trouble it is to get so little assistance, they'd realize there are very, very, very few people who would bother in the first place. Heck, I know people who are fully eligible that can't be bothered. (I'm pretty sure the fraud rate is around 2%, which is pretty f'ing low, IMO)

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