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

  1. 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.

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    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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