Food Stamps Frequently Asked Questions

Below we list the answers to frequently asked questions about food stamps and SNAP benefits. If you do not see the answer to your question on this page, we then recommend you call the phone number on the back of your EBT card, or contact your local welfare office where you applied for food stamps and talk to an agent to see if they can help.

Can I use my EBT card in another state?

Your SNAP benefits are considered interoperable through your EBT card. So yes, you are able to use your food stamps at any store throughout the United States that is authorized to accept EBT cards, including the District Of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands. You cannot use your EBT card in Puerto Rico, unless you received your SNAP benefits there.

What is the current status of my EBT application?

You would need to contact your case worker at the local SNAP office to get the current status of your EBT application.

Does my EBT balance carry over to the next month?

Yes, any remaining benefits left on your EBT card at the end of the month will be carried over to the following month. However, if food stamps recipients do not use their SNAP benefits at all for the entire year, the state will remove their food stamp assistance permanently.

Do I need to be a US citizen to receive SNAP benefits?

Only certain qualified aliens who are legal may be eligible for SNAP benefits. Other immigrants, such as children and refugees, may also be eligible. Eligible household members can get SNAP benefits even if other members of the household are not eligible. Receiving SNAP benefits does not make an immigrant a "public charge."

An immigrant to the United States will not be deported, denied entry to the country, or denied permanent status because he or she receives SNAP. Receiving SNAP will not affect an immigrant's ability to become a citizen.

Will my balance on my EBT card expire?

If you have a balance remaining on your EBT card, it will stay on there for up to one year. If for some reason you do not use your food stamps at all for one year, the state will permanently remove your SNAP benefits.

Can I apply for more SNAP benefits if I currently receive food stamps?

Yes, you can apply for additional SNAP benefits as long as you are eligible. Your monthly food stamp allotment depends on a number of factors; this may include the number of people in your household, income, resources available such as bank accounts, cash, etc.

If you do not agree with the amount of food stamps you have qualified for, you have the right to a hearing. During this hearing a person who is not involved in your case will review the information. To request this hearing, you can go to your local SNAP office, or mail off a written request.

Where can I renew my SNAP allotment?

To keep receiving your SNAP benefits, your household must fill out re-certification forms. Your local SNAP office should mail these forms to you. It is important that you complete the forms and return them on time to keep your case open. If you have not received your re-certification forms and you think you should have, contact your local SNAP office.

What to do if you're having trouble with your caseworker or office?

If you feel your SNAP case has not been handled properly by your local SNAP office or caseworker, then you have the right to speak to a supervisor. You can file a complaint if you feel that you feel you have been disrespected. If you feel there has been a mistake in your food stamp application process, you have a right to a hearing. During this hearing a person who is not involved in your case will review it.

You can call your local SNAP office or send a written letter to request this hearing. All eligible households may receive SNAP benefits regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, religious creed or political beliefs. If you believe you have experienced discrimination in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program based on any of these protected classes, you should write immediately to:

US Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service: Civil Rights Division
3101 Park Center Drive, Room 942
Alexandria, VA, 22302