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52. How many food stamps a household gets the first month it applies

We’re not saying it’s easy to make a food stamp calculation or figure out how much someone’s pro-rated benefits will be the first month, but it can be done. Take a look at the sections about how to calculate the monthly grant amount, and the related work sheets that walk through the math.

Most of the time, a household will not get a full month’s food stamps for the month in it first applies. How many food stamps the household receives for the first month will depend on how early in the month it turns in its food stamp application. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(a)(1)(ii); MPP §§ 63-503.1, 503.131.]  The earlier the household signs its application and turns it in to the food stamp office, the more food stamps it will get. Applicants will only get food stamps for the days in the month that are left when they apply. This is called “pro-rating.”[7 C.F.R. § 273.10(a)(1)(ii) and (iii); MPP §§ 63-503.1, 503.131.]

If a person applies so late in the month that her food stamps for the days left in the month come to less than $10, the person will not get any food stamps for that month.[7 C.F.R. § 273.10(e)(2)(iii); MPP § 63-503.132.]

Example 1: Ms. Bedrosian applies on April 21. She qualifies for $180 in food stamps for a full month. She will get one third of a full month’s food stamps in April because two-thirds of April (20 of 30 days) already had gone by before she applied. Ms. Bedrosian will get $60 in food stamps (one-third of $180) for April. She will get the full $180 for May.

Example 2: Mr. Mifune applies on September 13. He qualifies for $150 in food stamps for a full month. He will get three-fifths (60%) of a full month’s food stamps in September because only two-fifths (40%) of September (12 of 30 days) already had gone by before he applied. Mr. Mifune will get $90 in food stamps (three-fifths of $150) for September. He will get the full $150 for October.

Migrant and seasonal farm worker households with a break in food stamp aid of 30 days or less will not have their benefits pro-rated, but will instead receive benefits for the whole month. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(a)(1)(ii); MPP § 63-503.13.]

If processing of the application was delayed beyond 30 days due to the applicant’s fault, because he did not comply with some requirement, the county has the option to deny the application or to hold the application pending his compliance with the required action. [MPP § 63-301.42.]  Check with the county welfare office to see if it holds the application beyond 30 days. If the county chooses to hold the application beyond the 30 days pending the applicant’s compliance, the benefit level will only be pro-rated from the date the food stamp office receives verification that the applicant completed the required action.   [MPP §§ 63-503.13 and 63-301.42.]