Friday, May 11, 2012

food stampsDescribe its purpose and goals, philosophy as well as it¡¦s eligibility requirements. Discuss whether the program works or fails in its effort to solve the problem it was addressed.

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Food Stamps





The government of the United States is equipped with myriad forms of public assistance programs that come in aid to the less fortunate part of the population. The federal state and local governments provide numerous programs designed to help low-income citizens and their families meet nutritional and health needs. The food stamp program is one of many nutrition programs available to the public and the most significant food plan on hand. The Food Stamp Program is the basis of the Federal food assistance programs, and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work programs. It provides low-income households electronic benefits in order for them to increase their food purchasing power.


The Food Stamp program was created in 1 during the Big Depression period and served then for the same purposes it does today. The program became legitimately permanent in 164. Since then, the program has expanded and developed significant changes contributing its growth and efficiency. The Food Stamp Program is administered from the U.S Department of Agriculture through its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). State agencies administer the program at state and local levels, including determination of eligibility, allotments, and distribution of benefits. The federal government pays for the amount of the benefit received, while states pay the costs of determining eligibility and distributing the stamps.


Cheap Custom Essays on food stampsDescribe its purpose and goals, philosophy as well as it¡¦s eligibility requirements. Discuss whether the program works or fails in its effort to solve the problem it was addressed.




The Food Stamp Program helped put food on the table for 7. million households and 17. million individuals each day in Fiscal Year 000 and provided an average of $1.5 billion a month in benefits. The average monthly benefit was about $7 per person and almost $17 per household. In FY 001 the appropriation was $0.1 billion in benefits.


Eligible households are issued a monthly allotment of food stamps based on the Thrifty Food Plan, a low-cost model diet plan. The TFP is based on National Academy of Sciences¡¦ Recommended Dietary Allowances, and on food choices of low-income households. The old way of issuing food stamps paper coupons is no longer functional. Instead, food stamp benefits are placed in an electronic account that only the recipient can use, called Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT. The beneficiary receives a plastic card, which allows him to make withdrawals for food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets. The store simply uses the EBT card to electronically subtract purchases from the food stamp account. The recipient can only spend the amount that is in the account. Food stamps are issued the first three days of every month.


The application process starts by having a household member file an application in person or by mail to the county assistance office in the county of residence. Food stamp applications are available at any Social Security office. The Social Security office helps individuals fill out the food stamp application and sends it to the food stamp office. It takes about 0 days to process a normal application. Emergency cases can be processed in five days, but not many applications are drastic enough be proceeded expedite. The applicants have to wait for the county office to validate all the given information. To be able to apply a person has to fall in a specific category. The applicant must be the head of the household, the spouse of this one, or an authorized representative. An authorized representative is a person the applicant names and trust o get his food stamp benefits if he is unable to do so himself. When applying there are certain documents that a person has to present


1. Identification that shows your name and address;


. Proof of earnings or other income, such as Social Security or SSI benefits, or a pension, for each member of the household;


. Proof of how much that person spends for childcare, rent receipts or proof of mortgage payments;


4. Records of utility costs; and


5. Medical bills for those members of your household age 60 or over and for those getting Social Security or SSI benefits because they are disabled.


To become a candidate for food stamps households must qualify several eligibility requirements and provide information and verification about their household circumstances. Individuals who work for low wages, are unemployed or work part-time, receive public assistance, are elderly or disabled and have a small income, or are homeless may be eligible for food stamps. To participate in the program all households¡¦ members must provide a Social Security number or apply for one. They have to fall in one of these categories


„X Be citizens or nationals of the United States;


„X Legally admitted for permanent residence and have a total of 40 qualifying work credits; (work credits earned by a spouse or parent may count toward the 40 credits, but only for Supplemental Security Income¡X SSI¡Xeligibility purposes);


„X Certain noncitizens who are legally admitted for permanent residence and who are active duty members, or who are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. armed forces, their spouses and unmarried dependent children; or


„X Certain American Indians who are born outside the U.S. armed forces, their spouses and federally recognized Indian tribes.


U.S. citizens and some aliens who are admitted for permanent residency may also qualify.


Most able-bodied people between the ages of 18 and 60 must register for work. Some college students also may be eligible. Most households must meet an income limit after certain deductions have been subtracted. Households may have no more than $,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($,000 if at least one person in the household is age 60 or older). Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot. The gross monthly income of most households must be 10 percent or less of the Federal poverty guidelines ($1,585 per month for a family of three in most places, effective October 1, 001 through September 0, 00). Gross income includes all cash payments to the household, with a few exceptions specified in the law or the program regulations.


If your household is eligible, the amount of food stamps you get depends on your monthly household income and expenses


Some restrictions also exist. The potential recipient cannot have a large accessible savings, and each unemployed adult must make an effort to find work (in short, someone cant lose or quit their job and try to get all their income from food stamps).


Food stamps can be used like cash, and have a few benefits over cash; the recipients dont have to pay sales tax on food stamp items, but they cant buy everything that cash can. According to a booklet put out by the US Department of Agriculture, they cannot buy any alcohol or tobacco products, foods in restaurants, household supplies (such as soap or paper products), vitamins or medicines, foods that are ready to eat (prepared deli or hot foods), or pet foods. However, there are a few exceptions. Food stamps can be used to purchase seeds or plants that can grow into food for human consumption by food stamp households, and programs like Meals on Wheels or other elderly and handicapped communal dining facilities.


Furthermore, food stamps can only be used for food items and for plants and seeds used to grow food. Food stamps cannot be used to purchase nonfood items such as pet food, vitamins, and medicine. For the majority of households food stamps make up only a part of their food budgets.


all eligible participants can use like cash at most grocery stores to ensure that they have access to provisions


An individual households food stamp allotment is equal to the maximum allotment for that households size, less 0 percent of the households net income. Households with no countable income receive the maximum allotment ($56 per month in Fiscal Year 00 for a household of three people).


The current maximum allotment levels for the continental United States, in effect from October 1, 001 to September 0, 00 are


Household size


Maximum allotment level


1 $15 Each additional member


+10


Based on a study of data gathered in Fiscal Year 000


51. percent of all participants are children (18 or younger), and 68.4 percent of them live in single-parent households..


5. percent of food stamp households include children.


10 percent of all participants are elderly (age 60 or over).


7.8 percent of all benefits go to households with children, 17. percent go to households with disabled persons, and 7.8 percent go to households with elderly persons.


.6 percent of households with children were headed by a single parent, the overwhelming majority of whom were women.


The average household size is . persons.


The average gross monthly income per food stamp household is $60.


Among adult participants, women outnumber men by about .4 to 1.


40 percent of participants are white; 5.8 percent are African-American, non-Hispanic; 18.5 percent are Hispanic; the rest are Asian, Native American, or another race or ethnicity.





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