Food Stamps

Content Provided by: A Guide for Families and Friends of People with Developmental Disabilities; New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

The federal food stamp program is intended to relieve hunger and malnutrition among low-income households. A household may be defined as a single individual or several people who live together and prepare meals together for consumption at home. Applications for food stamps must be made to the local Department of Social Services district office or at a Social Security Administration (SSA) office when filing for other benefits.

To qualify for Food Stamps, there are maximum standards for income and assets which vary by the size and composition of the household. Any household where all members are receiving SSI or public assistance will be deemed eligible (that is, exempt from the income and resource standards) for food stamps. Generally, to apply, an applicant must be a resident of the local social services district (usually the county) in which she/he is applying. Once authorized, a person uses a card similar to a credit card to buy food.

For more information on Food Stamps, call the toll free number 1-800-221-5689 or visit their website at

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