This is the fourth post in our blog series about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in each of the 50 states. We will cover the Florida food stamp program in this post. Like the other posts in this series, we will cover the basics of SNAP, the specifics of the program in each state, how and where to apply for food stamps in each state, how SNAP benefits are received, and how to use this site to find stores where food stamps can be used.

Food Stamp Eligibility in Florida

The Florida food stamp program is run by the Florida Department of Children and Families (with funding from the US Government, like all states). The program assists low-income families and individuals with money to purchase food. The amount of cash assistance varies from state to state and depends on the number of people in your household and your household’s monthly income. In general, the higher the income, the lower the benefits; the larger the household, the higher the benefits. Florida’s guidelines for eligibility are listed here. An online guide that estimates your eligibility for SNAP (as well as the Women, Infant and Children program, WIC) is available here. Below are some of the guidelines that Florida uses to determine eligibility.

  • Identity - Individuals must show proof they are the person they claim to be. Applicants must provide proof of their identity.
  • Work Rules - Healthy adults, 18 to 50 years of age, who do not have dependent children or are not pregnant, can only get food assistance benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period if they are not working or participating in a work or workfare program.
  • Income and Deductions - Most households must pass a gross income limit less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Households with a member disqualified for breaking Food Assistance Program rules, felony drug trafficking, running away from a felony warrant, or not participating in a work program must have gross income less than or equal to 130% of the FPL. Households with a disqualified member must have net income less than 100% of the FPL. Households with people who are age 60 or older, or disabled, must only meet the net monthly income limit. Some household expenses may be subtracted from the total monthly income in the food assistance budget. The budget may subtract for shelter expenses, dependent care, medical expenses, child support paid, utility deductions, and earned income deduction.
  • Residency - Individuals must live in the state of Florida.
  • Citizenship - Individuals must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified noncitizen status.
  • SSN - Individuals must provide a Social Security Number or proof they have applied for one.
  • Child Support Cooperation - Certain individuals must cooperate with the state’s child support enforcement agency to prove a child’s legal relationship to their parent and to get the court to order child support payments.
  • Assets - Most food assistance households may have assets such as vehicles, bank accounts, or property and still get help. Households with a disqualified member must meet an asset limit of $2,250 or $3,250 effective October 1, 2014 (if the household contains an elderly or disabled member).
  • Change Reporting - Households must report when the total monthly gross income exceeds 130% of the Federal Poverty Level for the household size and when work hours of able bodied adults fall below 20 hours per week when averaged monthly. The household must report these changes within 10 days after the end of the month of the change.

Apply for Food Stamps in Florida

The application for SNAP benefits can be found online, here. The questionnaire will go require certain information from you, which determines your eligibility and the amount of your benefits. The application requires a Social Security Number, date of birth, income information (including child support), information about assets you have (savings accounts, houses, cars, etc), how much your rent is, and whether or not you have health insurance. You can also apply in person at an ACCESS Service Center Location, which you can find near you here. Application forms that can be printed and filled out are available here.
If you need help with your application or have any questions, you can call (866) 762-2237 and they will help you.

Receiving and Using SNAP Benefits in Florida

All benefits are delivered electronically, through EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer). In Florida the money is put onto a specialized type of EBT/debit card called the ACCESS card. To check the status or balance of your EBT account you can log on here.There are guidelines on what types of food can be purchased with EBT cards - in Florida you can buy any food for human consumption or seeds and plants for use in home gardens to grow food. You cannot buy hot food that are ready to eat, food intended to be heated up in the store, food to be eaten in the store, vitamins or medicine, pet food, non-food items, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.

Stores that Accept Food Stamps in Florida

If you are looking to find places in Florida to use SNAP benefits, you came to the right place! Just type your zip code or address into the box in the upper right of this page and select “Food Stamp Retailers” from the dropdown - you will see all the stores that accept the EBT/ACCESS card, sorted by distance from you!