Im a full time college student who is unemployed & I was wondering how to go about getting food stamps etc?

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Im a 27 yr old, full time college student who recieved a Pell Grant for financial aid for school. Im not employed, I go to school full time during the mornings/days, so finding an evening job to coordinate w/ my school schedule in my area is hard. Im moving in with my boyfriend in Oct & his name is on our apartment lease & he will be paying the rent & bills. I was wondering if I could get food stamps & some sort of assistance? What is the process of this? Would I need to file for unemployment first? Any information is appreciated as Im a broke college student just trying to survive, thanks.




  1. You can't get food stamps as a full time college student.  

    Also be aware FS eligibility goes by household income not individual income.  i.e. (yours and boyfriends).

  2. The Food Stamp program is managed by the US Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, so the eligibility rules and application procedures are the same, no matter where you happen to live.

    An applicant can only qualify for food stamp assistance if their household assets total less than $2000 in what's known as "countable resources". Counted towards that total, by the way, is the value of any vehicle over and above $4650, so, for example, if you own a vehicle worth $8000, the value in excess of $4650 (8000-4650 = $3350) is part of your household's "countable resources", and that, alone would put you over the $2000 threshold. Certain exceptions apply - if the car is used at least 50% of the time for "income-producing activities", or if you live in it, it's not considered a countable resource.

    As you might imagine, there are also gross and net income "tests" - a one person household must have a gross income of less than $1107 and a net income of less than $851 to qualify.

    Once qualified, there is a fairly complicated formula for determining the amount of benefits, but the maximum monthly allowance for a one-person household is $162.

    Here's where your plan starts to go wrong...

    "Able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 must register for work, accept suitable employment, and take part in an employment and training program to which they are referred by the food stamp office. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the Program. In addition, able-bodied adults between 18 and 50 who do not have any dependent children can get food stamps only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search."

    Somehow, I don't think you're going to get past that test.

    If you still think you might qualify for food stamp assistance, you apply by going down to your local food stamp office (check the phone book) and submitting to an interview.

    If you need further information, contact your local food stamp office. I'm going to be honest with you - food stamps aren't designed to help college students stretch their bucks. If you can't afford to live without working (and who can, really?), the government expects you to work, not go to school. I'm sorry, but that's the way the system is designed. Your government assistance comes in the form of that Pell Grant.

    Good luck to you.

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