Why Are My Food Stamps Still So Low?

Once you learn all the food stamps regulations, your food stamps may change! Or maybe they won’t!

Just because you know all the regulations, that doesn’t mean your caseworker knows them all. It also doesn’t mean that your case will be processed correctly.

If you run into problems, talk to your caseworker and ask her to help you find the policies, or to show you the policy that applies to your situation. You can also look online. Many states publish their SNAP policy manuals on their website.

If your caseworker doesn’t apply the right policy to your case, this doesn’t mean she is a bad person who wants your family to starve. She may just be overworked and may not know all the rules herself.

You can work with her to find the policies, or find them yourself online and show her, or ask to speak to a supervisor who may know more: How to Have a Good, Helpful, Pleasant, Reasonably Successful Phone Call With a Social Service Agency

If you can’t get it worked out, you always have the right to appeal the decision. You can also contact your congressperson for help.

Before making any big moves, it’s a good idea to check out this chart of Maximum Monthly Allotment. If your food stamps are already at the maximum amount, they are not going to go any higher no matter what.

Remember: When you see the word “household” in this chart, that does not mean everyone you live with. What does household mean?

Reader’s Story

After my husband was awarded disability, he got a letter stating how much our food stamps would be reduced to. We were prepared for a reduction, but not by a lot. It was cut more than half.

It took me hours, but I was able to find enough information to question the new “adjusted” amount. I called my case worker and he found they had NOT applied any shelter deductions at all. Per his suggestion, I scanned copies of every pertinent document and e-mailed them to the office responsible for the determination.

This page is 100% correct – CHECK EVERY SINGLE THING which affects how much they decide and why. 

Tools for Troublemakers

If you have more questions or run into problems, you can learn the food stamps regulations here: How to Get Enough Food Stamps to Actually Eat.

Also check out this fantastic SNAP Advocacy Guide from Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus from Mass Legal Help. This guide is for Massachusetts, but many of the sections would apply to all states.

This page is part of the free online guide for people with disabilities: How to Be Poor in America

Thanks for Reading

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Page Updated: 8/1/19

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6 thoughts on “Why Are My Food Stamps Still So Low?”

  1. I am 52 years old and I collect SSI. I have custody of my 14 year old nephew whom I have been raising since he was 8 weeks old , due to the death of his mother. I am the payee for my nephews social security, which i am not sure exactly what he recieves from where. When I first got custody of him his mother was alive but was physically and mentally disabled due to a car accident where she was smashed i in her car from a drunk driver. After raising my nephew for the first 5 years i began to notice that he had some disabilities and I got him approved for disability, He recieved check but since then afte his mothers death the shifted the money around so much I’m not sure what it is he recieves but it says SSA on the bank statement for one check and SSI for tyhe other. Anyway my dilemma is that it is just me and him in the household and I read somewhere on line that if everyone in your household is disabled then you are automaticlly approved for food stamps. And then I did the deductions on this page and I meat the income qualification but for the past 6 years well actually as soon as he was approved for disability the took all my foodstamps except for $16.00 which is all I have recieved for the past 6 years is $16,00 a month. Can anyone tell me if this is the correct amount I should be recieving because by following the guide lines on this page I came to the total of $214. My monthly income for the both of us is $1608.00 My total for housing including water electric phone and rent is $548 Can some one please help me. ?


    1. If you think they’ve made a mistake on your case, request a form to appeal their decision. They will give you a meeting with someone who will review your case with you. Bring all your figures in calculations so you can show them how do you think you should be getting a higher amount. Make sure that you include all household income, including all disability checks. I hope this helps.


  2. What happens if I call 211 and report a change, but it never gets changed? Also, I haven’t been receiving any mail from the food stamp office. I finally was able to get into my Texas health benefits account online, and no changes were made plus my family was denied all services. I’m so confused.


  3. After you talk to the 800 phone # and ask for a supervisor who knows nothing more, where do you go then to get someone to explain why the food stamps drop from $98 to $24 in one month. I would like to know the calculation. I am willing to go see anyone who is willing to explain it because all I am told is that my health expense went up and that isn’t true. I am very healthy and only had one doctor visit this year.


    1. I’m not sure the answer to this. You always have the right to appeal the decision, and that should get you at least to some kind of informal hearing with someone who can answer your questions. You could also try contacting your local legal aide program to see if they can assist.

      Did you declare medical expenses last year and not this year?


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