2020 Florida Food Stamps Eligibility and How to Apply

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.

"Florida Food Stamps Eligibility"

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

How to Check for Florida Food Stamps Eligibility

To be eligible for Florida Food Assistance, you have to meet the eligibility requirements established by the USDA. Your household’s income and resources must meet three tests:

1. Gross Income Test

The first test you must meet is the gross monthly income test. This is a household’s income before any allowable deductions are applied.

The USDA requires that a household’s income must be at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

In order to qualify, you must have an annual gross household income (before taxes) that is less than or equal to the following amounts:

Use the chart below to find out whether your household makes less than the gross monthly income limit.

Florida Food Stamps Income limit

The Food Assistance Program counts most types of income to see if a household is eligible.

Households must have their total monthly gross income compared to a percentage of the federal poverty level.

The “Income Chart” below shows the Gross and Net Income limits based on percentages of the Federal Poverty Level.

Household size 200% Gross Monthly Income Limits 130% Gross Monthly Income Limits 100% Net Monthly Income Limits
1 $2,082 $1,354 $1,041
2 $2,818 $1,832 $1,410
3 $3,555 $2,311 $1,778
4 $4,292 $2,790 $2,146
5 $5,028 $3,269 $2,515
6 $5,765 $3,748 $2,883
7 $6,502 $4,227 $3,251
8 $7,238 $4,705 $3,620
Each additional member +$738 +479 +$369
2. Net Income Test

The next test is the Net Income Test. The Net Income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line.

To get calculate your household’s net income, you have to take your gross income and subtract any allowable deductions.

Use the chart above to find out whether your household makes less than the net monthly income limit.

Below are the allowable deductions:

  • 20% deduction from earned income;
  • Standard deduction based on household size;
  • Cost of child care when needed to work, seek work or attend training for work;
  • Medical expenses more than $35 for elderly or disabled household members;
  • Court ordered child support payments paid to non-household members; or
  • A portion of shelter and utility costs

How to Calculate Net Income

The table below shows an example of net income calculations based on a $2,050 gross income, after allowable deductions.

"Food stamps income limit calculator"

3. Resources Test

The final test is the resources test. A household may have $2,250 in countable resources, or $3,500 in countable resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled.

What Counts as Resources?
For your application, resources that could be available to the household to purchase food are counted towards your limit.

This includes:

  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Real estate other than your home
  • Income you earn from assets (like interest earned on savings and dividends you receive).

Items you own that are not accessible, such as the household’s home, personal property, and retirement savings, will not count towards your resources limit.

In addition, the resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the resources of people who receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and most retirement (pension) plans are not counted.

Most vehicles do not count.

How Much Will I Recieve in Florida Food Stamps?

The amount of food stamps benefits a household gets depends on how many people are in the household and how much monthly net income remains after taking allowable deductions.

Because food stamps households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their own resources on food, the amount of food stamps you get is calculated by multiplying your household’s net monthly income by 0.3, and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size.

People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional person +$146

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:

Household size

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.

Income

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:

Question 1

Does anyone in your household have a social security number?

Question 2

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 to Apply for Florida Food Stamps"

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

"myACCESS Florida login"

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.

"Florida EBT Card"

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

We hope this article on Florida food stamps eligibility was helpful.

If so, we encourage you to share this article with anyone who may also find it helpful by using the “Share this” button below.

If you have additional questions about the Florida food stamps or Florida EBT, please leave those in the comments section below. We are here to help you!

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

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