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Food Stamps Eligibility Makes More Help Possible
Release Date: April 13, 2010

Changes in the Food Stamps regulations and eligibility criteria will make more people eligible to receive assistance and help families to buy more food.

Last year, two major changes were made to the Food Stamp Program to help families in need. All Food Stamp recipients now receive a higher utility deduction, which enables more families to get a greater amount in Food Stamp assistance. In addition, certification periods were extended for up to 24 months, which means that recipients don’t need to visit the Social Services office as often. This saves money on transportation and requires less time taken off from work to keep appointments.

Changes made in the 2010 regulations increase the maximum income limits. Below are the new income levels by household size effetctive April 2010.

     People in Household     Gross Monthly Income
          1 person                         $1670
          2 people                         $2247
          3 people                         $2823
          4 people                         $3400
          5 people                         $3976
          6 people                         $4553
          7 people                         $5130
          8 people                         $5706
     *Each additional household member     +$577

Another change for those who meet the income eligibility is that having a checking and savings account, including Certificates of Deposit (CD’s), stocks and even bonds, does not automatically make someone ineligible for assistance.

There are two Internet tools available to find out if you may be eligible to receive help. By going to www.NJHelps.org, residents can use a free and confidential web tool to see if they are likely to be eligible for Food Stamps, along with 30 other social services programs. If it appears likely that the individual or family is eligible for Food Stamps, there is a link directly to an online application. The other option is to go directly to the online Food Stamp application at www.njfoodstamps.com to apply for assistance online.

Sussex County residents in need of help may also contact the Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Social Services directly at (973) 383-3600 or go to the Social Services office located on the second floor at 83 Spring Street, in Newton.

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