Updated on 9/19/20
The Florida food stamps program, also known Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. In this post, we will walk you through the Florida food stamps eligibility, including income limits, how much you will receive if you are approved for benefits, how to determine if you are eligible and what happens after you apply.
Our goal is that by the time you finish reading this article, you will have all the information you need to submit a successful application for Florida Food Assistance benefits.
This Post on Florida Food Stamps will cover:
- How to Check for Florida Food Stamps Eligibility
- Florida Food Stamps Income limit
- How Much Will I Recieve in Florida Food Stamps?
- Should I apply for Florida Food Stamps?
- How to Apply for Florida Food Stamps
- Florida Food Stamps Work Requirement
- Do I qualify for Emergency Food Stamps in Florida?
- How do I renew my Florida food stamps benefits?
- MyAccess Florida Login
- Florida Food Stamps Phone Number
- Can you apply for Florida Food Stamps as a Student?
- FAQs about Florida Food Stamps
Florida Food Stamps Eligibility Guidelines
In order to be approved for SNAP benefits in Florida, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
Proof of Identity
The identity of the person applying must be verified for SNAP.
Some examples of proof of identity include government-issued identification card or driver’s license, work or school ID, voter registration card, or birth certificate.
With certain exceptions, able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 years of age must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work, and take part in an employment and training program when referred to one by the local department of social services.
In addition, unless exempt, SNAP benefits are limited to 3 months within a 36 month period for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD’s) between the ages of 18 and 50 who are not working or participating in an approved Employment & Training Program (E&T) an average of 20 hours per week.
The applicant must live in the state they are applying for benefits in.
U.S. citizens and some non-citizens are eligible for SNAP benefits.
Some legal immigrants are ineligible for SNAP benefits.
Even if some members of the household are not eligible, household members who are eligible may still be able to get SNAP benefits.
In addition, dependents of an ineligible immigrant are often eligible.
Social Security Numbers
You will have to provide a Social Security number for every household member, including children, except for undocumented immigrants applying on behalf of others.
If any household member, other than an undocumented immigrant does not have a Social Security number, he or she will have to apply for one.
Child Support Requirement
You may be required to cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and providing child support.
Some households may be subject to a resource test.
The asset limit is $2,250 for most households and $3,500 for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years or older.
Many types of assets are not counted such as the home you occupy and its lot, household goods, and money in retirement savings accounts or pension plans.
Countable assets include cash on hand, money in checking or savings accounts, certificates of deposit, U.S. savings bonds, stocks, and bonds.
Income is one of the most important criteria for Florida Food Stamps Eligibility.
Your total income, before taxes or any other subtractions, is called gross income.
However, the program allows certain subtractions from your gross income, called deductions.
These can be for things you pay for like housing costs, child support payments,
medical expenses over $35 a month for elderly or disabled people, or childcare costs.
The amount left over after these deductions is called net income.
There are two income tests: gross income and net income limit. If your household has a person who is 60 or older or who is disabled, you only need to meet the net income limit.
If everyone in your household receives Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), you do not need to meet any
of the income limits.
Florida Food Stamps Income Chart
Use the chart below to find out whether your household makes less than the gross monthly income limit.
You may be eligible for food stamps if your total income falls below the appropriate gross income limits for your household size.
Your caseworker will determine which income limit applies to your household.
The chart below shows you the Gross Income and Net Income levels required for qualification, based on the number of people in each household.
|Household Size||Gross monthly income
(130 percent of poverty)
|Net monthly income
(100 percent of poverty; test for SNAP households with elderly and disabled members)
|Each additional member||(+486)||(+374)|
After adding all of your household’s countable income, the case manager will subtract certain deductions. The following deductions are allowed for all households:
- standard deduction;
- 20 percent of earned income;
- actual costs of dependent care costs for children and disabled adults if this care is needed so that a household member can work, look for a job, or get training or education leading to a job;
- legally owed and paid child-support payments;
- shelter expenses and utility expenses;
- medical expenses over $35 a month for household members who are age 60 or older or receiving certain disability payments.
How Much in Food Stamps will I Get?
If you are approved for food stamps in Florida, how much in benefits you get partly depends on the number of people in your household.
The table below shows you the maximum amount in benefits you may receive if you are approved, based on the number of people in your household.
|Household Size||Maximum Monthly Benefit||Estimated Average Monthly Benefit|
|Each additional member||(+153)|
Should I apply for Florida Food Stamps?
To figure out if you qualify for food stamps in Florida, you need two pieces of information – your household size and income:
Your household size is how many people you live and buy/make food with.
You may live with people who don’t count as household members, like tenants who are renting a room, or adult children (22+) who buy/make their own food.
Children (under 22) always count as household members, even if they buy/make their own food.
Elderly (60+) and disabled people count as household members if you buy/make food for them, or you buy/make food together. If they live with you but buy/make food separately, they do not count as household members.
How much money your household makes. This includes both earned income (the money you make from jobs) and unearned income (cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support, etc.).
In order to determine if you qualify for Florida Food Assistance, answer the two questions below.
Basic Eligibility Questions:
Does anyone in your household have a social security number?
Is your monthly income before taxes less than the amount allowed?
Use the income chart above to see if your household’s monthly income, before taxes and other deductions, is under the limit allowed for your household size.
If you answered YES to both questions, you may qualify for Food Assistance.
If you answered NO, you may still qualify for Food Assistance.
There are special rules for households that have people who are over 60, disabled and immigrants.
Note that the only way to be 100% sure you qualify is to submit an application.
How to Apply for Florida Food Stamps
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Florida.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the Florida ACCESS account (as shown in the image below). If you have an account, you can log in or create your MyACCESS Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DCF Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) office near you. Click here to locate a DCF office.
Option 3 – Download Florida Food Stamps Application
You can download an application, complete it and mail it to your county DCF office or submit it in person.
How long to get Approved for Florida Food Stamps?
Once you submit a complete application, your caseworker will schedule an interview with you to review your application information and ask any questions they may have about the information you submitted.
Generally, a decision will be made on your food stamps application within 30 days of the day you submitted a COMPLETE application.
If you sign up for email notification in your MyACCESS Account, you will receive an email alert when there is an update to your application status.
However, if you are not able to go online, the DCF will send your notices by mail.
Florida Food Stamps Work Requirement
Physically and mentally fit adults age 16 through 59 years old must register for work, accept offers of suitable work, and take part in an employment and training program when referred, if they do not meet an exemption.
Healthy adults, 18 to 50 years of age, who do not have dependent children or are not pregnant, can only get Florida Food Stamps benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period if they are not working or participating in a work or workfare program.
For more on Florida Food Assistance work requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) click here.
Do I qualify for Emergency Food Stamps in Florida?
Every food stamps application is screened for qualification for emergency food stamps.
If you meet the qualification, your application will be expedited and you may receive benefits within seven days.
The fastest way to receive emergency food stamps is to apply in person at your local DCF office. Click here to locate a DCF office.
To be eligible for expedited benefits, you must meet one of these three criteria:
- Your income and money in the bank add up to less than the monthly housing expenses.
- You are a migrant worker, and money in the bank is less than $10.
- Your monthly income is less than $150, and money in the bank is less than $100.
If you believe you are eligible for expedited benefits but don’t get them, contact your caseworker and request that your file be reviewed by a supervisor.
How do I renew my Florida food stamps benefits?
Here are the steps to review your Florida food stamps.
A few weeks before your food stamps benefits are set to expire, you will receive a letter in the mail from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) with instructions on when and how to renew your benefits.
Follow the instructions and renew your benefits before the due date indicated in the letter. You may be able to renew your benefits online.
However, if online renewal is not provided as an option, complete the paperwork provided and turn it in at your local DCF office. Click here to locate a DCF office.
If you have questions about how to renew your Florida food stamps, call your caseworker, local DCF office, or the Florida Food Stamps Information Line: 1-850-300-4323.
MyAccess Florida Login
The ACCESS Florida system allows you to connect with public assistance information 24/7, through the online application and MyACCESS Account.
This includes access to Food Assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance, Medicaid and Refugee Assistance.
To login to your MyACCESS Account, or create a new account, click here.
Florida Food Stamps Phone Number
If you are trying to reach Florida Food Stamps or DCF, you can call the Customer Service Center at 1-850-300-4323.
Agents available from 8 am to 5 pm Monday – Friday.
Customer Service agents can assists callers in a number of ways, including:
- Report changes and updates to case information
- Find out the status of an application or case
- Request forms, packets, applications
- Apply for benefits
If you need their fax number – send faxes 1-866-886-4342
How will I receive my Florida Food Assistance Benefits?
Your Florida Assistance benefits will be deposited each month on an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card.
An EBT card is a plastic card that acts like a debit card that is used to distribute public assistance benefits.
The Florida EBT Card, also called the Florida ACCESS card (as shown below) is used for the delivery of benefits such as Food Assistance benefits and Temporary Cash Assistance.
To check the balance on your Florida EBT Card, see our Florida ACCESS EBT Card Balance post.
What time will my food stamps post to my Florida EBT card?
In Florida, Food Stamp Benefits are deposited into EBT Card accounts from the 1st to the 28th of every month.
When your payment is deposited depends on the 9th and 8th digits of your case number (READ BACKWARDS), dropping the 10th digit. Here is the schedule:
Food stamps benefits are available by 6 am on the payment day.
|If the 9th and 8th digit of your Case number is||Benefits are deposited on the|
|00-03||1st of the month|
|04-06||2nd of the month|
|07-10||3rd of the month|
|11-13||4th of the month|
|14-17||5th of the month|
|18-20||6th of the month|
|21-24||7th of the month|
|25-27||8th of the month|
|28-31||9th of the month|
|32-34||10th of the month|
|35-38||11th of the month|
|39-41||12th of the month|
|42-45||13th of the month|
|46-48||14th of the month|
|49-53||15th of the month|
|54-57||16th of the month|
|58-60||17th of the month|
|61-64||18th of the month|
|65-67||19th of the month|
|68-71||20th of the month|
|72-74||21st of the month|
|75-78||22nd of the month|
|79-81||23rd of the month|
|82-85||24th of the month|
|86-88||25th of the month|
|89-92||26th of the month|
|93-95||27th of the month|
|96-99||28th of the month|
*Cash benefits are made available on the 1st through the 3rd day of every month.
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Florida EBT card to purchase eligible food items. For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.
Florida Food Stamps FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Florida food stamps
I live with other people. Do I have to put their names on my application?
Yes. If you buy and prepare food with the people you live with, then you have to all apply together.
However, if you do not buy and prepare food with the people you live with, you should apply separately, but you would still need to put their names on your application.
In addition, some people must always apply together, including spouses and children under 22 living with a parent or step-parent.
Do I Qualify for Florida Food Stamps?
Are you one of the people described below? You still qualify to apply for food stamps.
What if I own a car?
You can own a car and still qualify for Florida Food Assistance benefits.
What if I have a job?
You can have a job and still qualify for Florida Food Assistance benefits.
What if I own my home?
You can own the home you live in and still qualify for Florida Food Assistance benefits.
What if I am homeless?
You can qualify for Florida Food Assistance benefits even if you do not have a home, address, or place to cook. People without homes can often get benefits within three days.
See emergency food stamps below.
What if I’m unemployed?
Yes, as long as you aren’t leaving a job or reducing your hours specifically so that you’ll qualify.
What if I have a drug felony conviction?
No. If you’re eligible for food stamps, Florida will disqualify you because of a drug felony.
Can I get Florida Food Assistance benefits if I’m not a citizen?
Non-citizens who have qualified alien immigration status are eligible for food stamps.
Qualified aliens include refugees, victims of trafficking, Cuban and Haitian immigrants, Iraqi and Afghan immigrants with special status, and more.
Will applying for or receiving Florida Food Assistance benefits impact my family’s immigration status?
No, applying for Florida food stamps will not impact you or your family’s immigration status.
Can I qualify if I do not have a family?
Individuals can qualify for food stamps. You do not have to have children to qualify.
Can I get Florida Food Stamps if I am in the military?
If you meet the eligibility requirements you can qualify for Florida Food Assistance if you are in the military.
Can people who receive SSI/SSP receive Florida Assistance?
As of March 2020, people who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) are eligible for Food Assistance in Florida.
Are the medical expenses of seniors and disabled people considered in determining eligibility?
Yes, there are special rules and deductions for seniors (60 years or older) and disabled people.
What are the food assistance work requirements for ABAWDs?
An Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) must meet the work requirements each month to continue to receive food assistance benefits.
Even if you are already meeting these requirements, CareerSource will still contact you so your hours can be tracked. Work requirements for an ABAWD to continue receiving food assistance benefits are:
- Working or volunteering 80 hours per month
- Participating 80 hours per month in a LWDB work program
- Completing a combination of these activities that averages to 80 hours per month
You must inform your CareerSource worker of your hours. Failure to contact CareerSource will result in benefits ending.
If you are already meeting the work requirements and you receive a notice to complete orientation, contact DCF and ask the eligibility specialist to review your referral information.
I am a Student. Can I get Florida Food Stamps?
Most students, ages 18 through 49 enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least half time, are not eligible for Florida food stamps.
However, students may be able to get food assistance benefits if they are:
- Physically or mentally unfit;
- Receiving Temporary Cash Assistance benefits;
- Participating in a state or federally financed work-study program;
- Enrolled in college as a result of participation in a Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program under Title IV of the Social Security Act;
- Working a minimum of 80 hours per month;
- Participating in an on-the-job training program;
- Taking care of a dependent household member under the age of six;
- Single parent enrolled full time in college and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12; or
- Participating or enrolled in specific programs that will assist in obtaining the skills needed for the current job market
- Taking care of a dependent household member over the age of five but under 12 and do not have adequate child care to enable them to attend school or work a minimum of 80 hours per month, or to take part in a state or federally financed work-study program;
Is there a MyACCESS Florida Mobile App?
Unfortunately, there is no mobile app created by the state of Florida myACCESS Florida account.
We will make an announcement on this website as soon as one becomes available.
Florida Food Stamps Eligibility Summary
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Be sure to check out our other articles about EBT, including How to get 50% OFF Amazon Prime for EBT Cardholders and Florida EBT Guide, and Florida EBT Balance Check.