Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, provides monthly benefits that help low income households buy the food they need for good health. SNAP is a federal program administered on the local level by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Nationally, SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. SNAP is meant to be a supplement to one’s income to help ensure nutritional needs are met. Mississippi residents who face food insecurity are urged to apply for the program. Help is available for those struggling to put food on the table.
SNAP for the Client
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, provides monthly benefits that help low-income households buy the food they need for good health. SNAP is a federal program administered on the local level by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Nationally, SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. SNAP is meant to be a supplement to one’s income to help ensure nutritional needs are met. Mississippi residents who face food insecurity are urged to apply for the program. Help is available for those struggling to put food on the table. Mississippi residents who face food insecurity are urged to apply for the program. Help is available for those struggling to put food on the table.
Those who qualify for SNAP include, persons who:
- work for low wages.
- are unemployed or work part-time.
- receive TANF, SSI or other assistance payments.
- are elderly or disabled and live on a small income.
Use of a SNAP pre-screening tool, available through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), does not determine a household’s eligibility for SNAP, but can be used to give you an idea of how eligibility is determined. Access the SNAP pre-screening tool.
Applications for SNAP benefits are available online in English, En Español – Spanish, or Tiếng Việt – Vietnamese or you may request an application by phone, in person, by fax, or by mail from your county office.
- Complete as much of your application as you can. Your name, address, and signature are necessary on the application for it to be accepted on the same day it is turned in, even if there is no interview on that day. Only one adult household member or authorized representative may sign the application for SNAP benefits under penalty of perjury.
- When your application has been turned in, the local county office will set up an interview to review your application.
At the time of your interview, bring verification of your income and expenses. If you cannot get all the information together by your interview date, come for the interview because you will have additional time to provide this information. If you need assistance in obtaining this information, please discuss this with your caseworker at the time of the interview. The following are examples of what to bring:
- Proof of identity (driver’s license, etc.)
- Social Security Numbers for all household members.
- If employed, proof of income (wage stubs, earning statements, etc.) for the four weeks prior to your interview or last filed tax return if self-employed.
- Proof of residency (utility bills, rent/mortgage payments, lot rent, taxes)
You may be asked to provide additional information based on your circumstances.
After the interview and collection of needed information for eligibility determination, the worker will send your household a notice. If your household does not qualify for SNAP, a notice will be provided giving the reasons for ineligibility. If your household is determined to be eligible, the notice will provide the monthly benefit amount and length of the certification period.
- As soon as all necessary information is provided and verified for eligibility, you will be able to receive your SNAP benefits within 30 days of your dated application.
This checklist gives examples of the information that may have to be verified to determine your eligibility for SNAP and/or TANF. Use this checklist to help you gather the items needed for your interview.
- Identity of person making application and authorized representative, if applicable
- Divorce decree marriage license, death certificate for spouse
- Proof of relationship of children to you (TANF only)
- Alien Status for any non-U.S. citizen
- Checking or savings account, or union or bank statement
- Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and places of employment of the absent parent(s) of your children
- Trust funds
- Medical expenses for anyone age 60 or older or disabled
- Stocks and/or savings bonds
- Social Security number for all individuals
- Proof of where you live
- Property owned, sold, or transferred
- Dependent care (child/disabled or aged dependent care)
- Rent and Utility expenses
If you have any current medical documentation to verify a current medical condition, please bring it to your appointment. At the time of your interview, you may be asked to furnish additional information and/or verification, depending on your circumstances.
Failure to keep your SNAP or TANF application appointment will cause your SNAP or TANF application to be denied.
You must bring or send verification for each of the items needed to determine your eligibility.
Items to be Verified
Bring or Send One or More of the Following:
- Driver’s license
- Work or school ID
- Work badge
- Health insurance ID
- ID for another assistance program
- Voter registration card
- Birth certificates
- Draft cards or military ID
- Medicare Card
- United States Passport
- Proof Of Where You Live
- Rent or lease receipts from landlord
- Utility bills
- Mortgage payment book
- Tax receipts
- Documents showing home address
- INS 1-151 Alien Registration Receipt Card
- 1-551 Re-entry Permit; 1-94 Arrival-Departure Record
Social Security Numbers
- Social Security Card for each member
- Official document containing the Social Security Number
- Social Security Award Letter
- Check Stubs
- Statement from employer
- Benefit award letter from Social Security
- Veterans Administration
- Unemployment Compensation
- Business records for self-employed
- Lay off or termination notice
- IRS 1040 Form – for self-employment
- Court orders
- Deeds or other documents by which the trust was established
- Medical bills from hospitals or clinics
- Pharmacy printouts
- Health insurance premium receipt or stub
- Payment agreement with doctor, and/or hospital
- Statement from a licensed physician or medical personnel in a public health or outpatient clinic
- Rent or lease receipt from landlord
- Utility bills (gas, electric, water etc.)
- Telephone bill
- Property tax statement
- Home owner’s insurance policy
- Mortgage payment books
- Child care or day care receipts or statement from provider
- Sold or Transferred
- Sale or transfer papers
Proof Of Relationship
- Birth certificates
- Marriage licenses
- Insurance policies
Eligible SNAP households must report the following changes within 10 days of the date the household becomes aware of the change:
- changes of more than $100 in the amount of gross earned income (such as wages, tips, bonuses, self-employment, etc.)
- changes of more than $100 in the amount of gross unearned income (such as social security/railroad retirement, other disability, VA income, pensions, unemployment, child support, alimony, money received from other people, worker’s compensation, etc.);
- a change in the source of income;
- changes in household composition, such as any person(s) moving in or out of the household;
- a change in residence and any resulting shelter cost (such as rent/mortgage and utilities) changes;
- changes in court ordered child support;
- a change in liquid resources, such as cash, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts.
SNAP households receiving substantial gambling or lottery winnings of $3,500 or more must report this change within 10 days of receipt of the winnings. Households receiving substantial gambling or lottery winnings are ineligible to receive SNAP.
If the household fails to report a required change and receives extra SNAP benefits, the value of these benefits will have to be repaid. The person could also be prosecuted for fraud.
EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. It is a way of delivering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits without paper coupons. Using a plastic card that works like a debit card, recipients may access their benefits at retail Point-of-Sale (POS) devices. Each Mississippi SNAP Benefit household will be issued an EBT card.
The Mississippi EBT card can be used at any participating store displaying the Quest® logo.
The recipient’s Mississippi EBT card is scanned at a Point-of-Sale (POS) device. The recipient then enters their secret four-digit PIN to approve the SNAP purchase.
SNAP recipients may also purchase food products at non-traditional stores such as farmers markets, truck vendors, and community support agencies if they have been approved by the Food and Nutrition Service.
A Customer can find out their balance at any time using any of the following options:
- Calling the Cardholder Services Center number printed on the back of their EBT card
- Performing a “balance-inquiry-only” transaction on the POS terminal installed at the food store
- Reviewing the last EBT transaction receipt. The customer’s current account balance will be printed on the bottom of each EBT receipt
If the customer does not have enough benefits remaining in his/her account to cover the purchase, the transaction will be denied, and the receipt will display “Denied-Insufficient Balance.” They may pay the difference between the purchase amount and the available balance in cash, the original purchase may be reduced to an amount less than or equal to the remaining balance in the SNAP account or if the client is a TANF recipient, the balance may be paid by conducting a TANF transaction with the Mississippi Debit Mastercard, if funds are available. Please note that in either case the transaction must be re-entered.
Please see the following best practices for EBT cards
- Do Not Keep Your Card and PIN Together
- Do Not Damage or Bend Your Card
- Do Not Write on or Scratch the Black Stripe on the Back of your Card
- Do Not Get Your Card Wet
- Do Not Put Your Card Near Magnets, TVs, DVD Players, CD Players, Stereos, VCRs or Telephones
- Do Not Leave Your Card Out in the Open—Always Put Your Card in a Safe Place
- Do Not Throw Your Card Away—You Will Use the Same Card Every Month as Long as You Have Benefits or if You Reapply for Benefits After Your Case Closes
- Do Not Sell or Give Your Card and PIN to Anyone
- Do Not Accept Cash Back from your EBT Card
Clients who have been issued a card should retain their card for the future use. A new card will be issued if the client calls the Cardholder Service Help Desk to report the card is lost, stolen or destroyed.
If you have additional questions, please refer to the following Fact Sheet: Mississippi SNAP Facts for Clients
Please call Cardholder Assistance at 866-512-5087 if you need additional assistance.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) offers limited internet services through a secure online account known as “myMDHS Account.” The service will allow you to receive, view, and print the following information about your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Disaster SNAP (DSNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and/or TANF Work Program (TWP) cases online:
• The status of your SNAP, DSNAP, and/or TANF cases
• The benefit history and availability of your SNAP, DSNAP, and TANF benefits, and TWP supportive service payments, if applicable
• All of your SNAP, DSNAP, TANF, and TWP notices. Exception: All claim overpayment related tax offset notices will continue to be received through regular mail.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR MYMDHS ACCOUNT
You must activate and register your account, and then choose your subscriptions following the steps below:
STEP 1: Type https://my.mdhs.ms.gov in your browser to access the MyMDHS account website.
STEP 2: Begin the activation process for your MyMDHS account by entering the following information.
Social security number (SSN) Date of birth (DOB)
Case number (if you have multiple cases, only enter one)
Your email address
Click on the “Activate” button
Note: If the SSN and/or DOB you enter do not match the information on file with the MDHS, you will receive an error message and you will not be able to register your account. If you receive an error message, you must contact your worker to verify and correct the information MDHS has on file.
STEP 3: Register your account by entering a password, confirming your password, and clicking on register. Passwords must contain at least one uppercase letter and one number.
STEP 4: After you have registered your account, you will receive an email with a link which you must click on to activate your account.
STEP 5: Choose the type(s) of notifications you would prefer by clicking on the down arrow beside your name in the top right corner. Next select account settings. Once the new screen appears, locate the notification management section and select either subscribe or unsubscribe for email and/or paper notices. You must subscribe to at least one option.
As soon as you register, you will begin receiving email notifications every time a new notice is available. In addition, you will continue to receive paper notices by regular mail until you unsubscribe. You will not be able to login to your account to view your notices if you have not registered and activated your account on the internet.
SNAP for the Retailer
EBT or Electronic Benefit Transfer is an electronic method to disperse government benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), without paper coupons, using debit card technology and retail Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals.
All retailers who have previously been approved by the USDA to accept paper coupons in their store are automatically approved to participate in the EBT program. Other retailers, who have not been approved by the USDA to accept SNAP benefits and would like to apply, should call 877-823-4369 for an application. Visit USDA FNS (Food and Nutrition Service) for information.
A retail specialist from Xerox, the primary contractor for the EBT, will contact the retailer once a retailer has been approved to accept EBT. There are two ways a retailer can participate in the EBT program.
New retailers, with certain exemptions, must lease or purchase EBT equipment. The state-issued machine will only accept SNAP benefits that have been placed on an EBT card. A TANF client cannot use the state-issued EBT device to purchase or withdraw their TANF cash benefits. The state-issued equipment is issued to the retailer under an agreement with Conduent for the sole purpose of SNAP transactions. If at any time the equipment is lost or stolen, the retailer will be responsible for repaying Conduent. The equipment may be kept as long as the retailer:
- Keeps a minimum average of $100,000 per month SNAP redemption. If the retailer is below this amount, the retailer will need to use one of the other equipment options.
- Acquires approval through the USDA, FNS to accept EBT.
If a retailer chooses to use the state-issued equipment, the retailer will be sent a package containing the retail and equipment agreement and an ACH form authorizing Conduent to deposit money into the retailer’s bank account. A voided check from the retailer’s account must be included with the ACH form. Once this paperwork is completed, a Conduent retail specialist will deliver the POS hardware.
Retailers who choose to use a Third Party Processor (TPP) will also be contacted by Conduent who will require information concerning the TPP that the retailer has chosen. The retailer may begin using their TPP equipment to accept EBT immediately after USDA approval.
A TPP is a commercial processor who processes all credit and debit cards along with EBT. A retailer who uses a TPP will be able to access all of the EBT benefits. Clients will be able to use their SNAP benefits to purchase SNAP-eligible items in a retail store that uses a TPP.
TPP processors do charge small fees to process EBT as with any other credit or debit cards.
Questions? Call Mississippi EBT Retailer Service: 866-598-1772
Have your 7-digit United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Nutrition Services (FNS) number available when contacting the service center for support.
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