How To Apply For Georgia Food Stamps
View the information below if you are interested in applying for food stamps in Georgia. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the Georgia SNAP hotline at 877-423-4746. The department that handles this program is called the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
The Georgia Food Stamp Program, Federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federally-funded program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. A household may be one person living alone, a family or several unrelated individuals living together who routinely purchase and prepare meals together.
Who can apply for Georgia food stamps?
Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits. The program helps households that have limited income and resources. This includes households experiencing temporary crisis as well as households whose income is at or below the poverty level.
Where to apply for Georgia food stamps?
Each county has a Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office. This department takes applications for food stamp benefits. Look under the county government section of your telephone book or go to the website of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) at www.dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/locations to find the address and telephone number of your local department.
All Department of Family and Children Services offices are open Monday through Friday, except weekends and holidays. Office hours are usually from 8am to 5pm. Call your local county department for the office hours in your area. Online applications are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm via the Georgia COMPASS website at: gateway.ga.gov/access/. An authorized representative is a person your household allows to apply for, to obtain and/or to use food stamp benefits on behalf of your household because you are unable to do so.
How to apply for Georgia food stamps?
To apply for benefits, the head of household, a household member, or authorized person representing the household may complete an application for assistance. An application can be received from your local County Department of Family and Children Services or from the DHS website. You can go to the office to apply, call the office to request that an application be mailed to your home address, or have someone get a form for you. To obtain a copy of the food stamp application, English version - Large print. Complete the form and mail or fax or take it to your local county office.
How to apply for Georgia food stamps online?
You may also apply for food stamps online via the COMPASS website. Applicants who create an account online may check the status of their application and may also check their eligibility for other DHS programs via the COMPASS Pre-screening Tool. Additionally, COMPASS allows food stamp recipients to report changes in household circumstances and to renew their benefits online.
Once your application has been filed, either in person or online, you or a member of your household (or someone authorized to make application for your household) must be interviewed by a staff person from DFCS.
The individual who is interviewed must know about your household situation. A phone interview is required. For elderly/disabled individuals or individuals experiencing problems coming to the office, the interview may be completed by telephone, a pre-arranged home visit, or an office visit. Contact your local department to find out about interviews.
During your interview, the caseworker will ask you questions about your household’s income, resources, rent or mortgage, and utility costs. Certain households may also be asked about medical expenses, childcare and child support expenses. Proof of your household situation is necessary, so if you have the following information, you may bring it with you:
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of your citizenship such as birth certificate, US passport, etc.
- Immigration papers for persons applying for benefits, for noncitizens
- Social security numbers for persons applying for benefits
- Proof of income for each household member
- Last month's rent receipt or mortgage payment book
- Medical bills for persons age 60 and older and/or disabled
- Childcare receipts for children whose parents are working, in school, or in training
- Additional information and proof may be required depending upon your situation
If you do not have all the information when you first apply, you are given 10 days from the date of the interview to provide the required proof. The interview is an official and confidential discussion of the household's circumstances. The interviewer must not simply gather and review information but must explore and resolve unclear or incomplete information.
If an individual in your household does not want to give us a social security number or information about immigration status or citizenship, the individual will not be eligible for food stamp benefits. Other household members may still be eligible for benefits. An individual is not reported to the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, for choosing not to give a social security number.
You may be eligible for Georgia food stamps benefits if:
- You are a citizen of the US or have a certain legal alien status
- You provide all of the required documents as proof of the household's situation
- You and or other household members comply with work requirements
- The household's monthly income does not exceed the income limits based on the number of people who live in the household
- The rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, and in some cases medical, child care and child support expenses are considered in the eligibility determination process if proof of these expenses are provided.
The application must be processed and benefits available within 30 days from the date the application is filed. If your household has little or no income and meets specific criteria, the application must be processed and benefits available within 7 days. A notice is sent to each household stating whether the household is eligible for food stamp benefits. If eligible, the notice states the amount of benefits the household will receive and how long the household will receive benefits before having to reapply.
The amount of benefits your household receives depends upon the number of individuals in your food stamp household, the amount of household income and the amount of the deductions used in the budgeting process. The date of application affects the amount of benefits received by the household in the first month. As long as your household remains eligible, benefits are provided each month. In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:
|Household Size||Maximum Income Level (Per Year)|
You have the right to a fair hearing if you believe that the decision made on your case is not fair. You can request a fair hearing by writing or calling your local county department. You should contact your local county department within 10 days of receiving your notice of eligibility, if you want to request a fair hearing.