SNAP (Food Stamps) - Arkansas Legal Services Partnership

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1 November 2014 ALSP Law Series SNAP (Food Stamps) WhatisSNAP? WhatdoIdoifmyincomeor SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This used to be known as the Food Stamp householdsizehaschanged? Program. SNAP helps low-income people get the food Immediately contact your local DHS office. Give them that they need for good health. SNAP benefits are used proof of your income or household changes. in place of cash to buy food. Most people must spend some cash with their SNAP benefits to buy enough food You must do this whether your income or household for a month. size increases or decreases. HowdoIapplyforSNAP? Myapplicationwasdenied.WhatcanI You can call the Department of Human Services (DHS). do? You can also go to the DHS office in any county and ask You will receive a letter from DHS that lets you know for an application form. why your application was denied. If you disagree with the action, you have the right to appeal. When you have completed the application, take it or mail it to the DHS office in the county where you live. If you You must appeal in writing within 30 days of the date need an interpreter or a large print form, let the DHS of the action. worker know. Mybenefitsweredecreasedorcutoff. WhatwillhappenafterIapply? DHS must talk to an adult member of your household. WhatdoIdo? They will schedule a time for this interview. As soon as you receive any notice or letter about your SNAP benefits that you disagree with, call legal aid at During the interview, a county worker will go over your 800-9LAW AID (800-952-9243). application. The worker will also make sure that they have all the information that they need to see if you are HowdoIappeal? eligible for SNAP benefits. You can appeal by going to your local county DHS office When you go to your interview, bring: and filling out an appeal form. DHS will let you know the date and time of your hearing. The hearing might be held ID showing your name over the telephone, but you have the right to an in- Proof of your address person hearing. If you want an in-person hearing, you Social security numbers for everyone in your have to ask for one in writing. household Proof of the amount of money that you have in the bank Overpayment/Fraud Proof of all of your household's income If you are overpaid SNAP benefits, you will be Proof of legal alien status for anyone who is not investigated. Even if DHS made the mistake, you may a U.S. citizen still have to pay back the benefits. You may get fewer Medical bills for anyone who is 60 years old or benefits in your monthly amount to repay the older overpayment. Medical bills for anyone who gets a disability check If DHS believes you gave false information or if you did not report changes in your household or income size, If anyone in your house does not have a Social DHS will open a fraud investigation. Security number, you must show that they have applied for one. You can apply for Social Security numbers at The investigation can be held by the local DHS office or the DHS office. by criminal authorities. Criminal charges can be filed against you if you lied to DHS to get more food stamps A collaboration of Center for Arkansas Legal Services & Legal Aid of Arkansas 1-800-9-LAW AID or www.arlegalservices.org

2 November 2014 ALSP Law Series than you were entitled to. It is very important that you For more information, visit the Arkansas contact legal aid if you get a letter or notice that you are being investigated for fraud. Call 800-9LAW AID Department of Human Services: (800-952-9243). humanservices.arkansas.gov. If you are found guilty of fraud, you can lose your SNAP benefits for one year or even lose your benefits forever. The ALSP Law Series is produced by the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, a collaboration of the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas, Inc. These nonprofit DiscriminationComplaints organizations provide free legal services to eligible Arkansans who You have the right to be treated fairly no matter what meet income, asset, and other guidelines. Legal services may include your age is, your religion, your disability, your political advice and counsel, brief services, or full representation depending belief, your veteran status, your sex, your race, your on the situation. Additional information can be found at: color, or your national origin. www.arlegalservices.org. To apply for services, call 1-800-9LAW AID. You can call or write the DHS office below to report The information and statements of law in this fact sheet should not be discrimination based on your age, religion, disability, considered legal advice. This fact sheet is provided as a broad guide political belief, veteran status, sex, race, color, or to help you understand how certain legal matters are handled in national origin. general. Courts may interpret the law differently. Before you take action, talk to an attorney and follow his or her advice. Always do Arkansas Department of Human Services what the court tells you to do. DHS Office of Employee Relations/Equal Opportunity Donaghey Plaza North, Suite 205 www.arlegalservices.org P.O. Box 1437, Slot 203 Little Rock, AR 72203-1437 Phone: 501-682-6003 TDD: 501-682-7958 If you want more information or if you want to make a complaint that is not about discrimination, call 800-482- 8988. In Pulaski County, call 501-682-8233 TDD service, call 501-682-8275 A collaboration of Center for Arkansas Legal Services & Legal Aid of Arkansas 1-800-9-LAW AID or www.arlegalservices.org

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