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Help Your Clients Enroll in SNAP Benefits

Written by Shelby Hudson

May 4, 2022

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical source of food assistance for low-income families in the United States. As a result, it is important that you are aware of the program and how it can benefit your clients.

Here are some key points to remember when helping your clients with SNAP benefits:

If you work with low-income families, chances are you’re familiar with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a vital source of food assistance for millions of Americans, and it can be a great resource for your clients.

 

What is SNAP?

Formerly known as the food stamp program, SNAP provides eligible individuals and families with an EBT card that can be used to purchase food at SNAP-authorized retailers. SNAP benefits can help stretch a limited budget and make it easier to put healthy meals on the table.

How SNAP can help your clients

SNAP helps ensure your clients have access to cash assistance to purchase food for their household, so that low-income families have better access to nutritional food. SNAP benefits can be a great resource for your clients, but navigating the SNAP application process can be daunting. 

Here are some tips to help you guide your clients through the process:

1. Determine SNAP eligibility. To be eligible for SNAP benefits, households must meet certain income and asset criteria.You can use this SNAP pre-screening tool to help determine if your clients may be eligible for benefits.

2. Collect the required documentation. Once you’ve determined that your client may be eligible for SNAP benefits, they will need to gather documentation to prove their income, household size, and citizenship status. A complete list of required documentation can be found here.

3. The SNAP application process is varies by state, so you will need to check into that based on your client’s resident state. Some states have online applications; if not, contact your local SNAP office to request an application. You can also find an extremely useful list at the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service Agency’s SNAP State Directory of Resources.

 

After clients are approved for SNAP

Once your client has been approved for SNAP benefits, there are a few things you can do to help them make the most of their benefits.

1. Help them find SNAP-authorized retailers. SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase food at authorized retailers. You can use this tool to help your clients find SNAP-authorized retailers in their area.

2. Teach them how to budget and stretch their SNAP benefits. SNAP benefits are intended to supplement a household’s food budget, but they can go a long way in helping families put healthy meals on the table. You can find some helpful tips on budgeting and stretching SNAP benefits here.

3. Connect them with other resources. In addition to SNAP benefits, make sure your clients are familiar with other resources available to low-income families, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

SNAP benefits can be a great resource for your low-income clients, but it’s important to be aware of the program and how it works before you can help them make the most of their benefits. By familiarizing yourself with SNAP and other resources available to low-income families, you can make a real difference in your clients’ lives.

For more help on how you can help your low-income clients, contact Agent Pipeline at 800.962.4693.

Resources:

SNAP Eligibility Pre-Screening Tool: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility

Documentation Needed for SNAP Application: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applying

Find SNAP-Authorized Retailers: https://www.fns.us

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