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Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs
Kentucky – Making Home Affordable options
Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help Kentucky homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Kentucky homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.
There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.
Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:
- Lower your monthly mortgage payments with Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
- Lower your interest rate with Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
- Check eligibility for principal reduction with Principal Reduction Alternative SM (PRA)
- Get help if currently unemployed with Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
- Reduce your 2nd mortgage monthly payments with Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
- Explore your foreclosure alternatives with Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
- FHA Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP)
HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673 (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.
Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in Kentucky
Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA, including Kentucky. Learn more about SNAP.
It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.
In Kentucky, the SNAP is known as Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is administered by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). The Federal Government pays 100% of Kentucky Food Stamp Benefits with federal grants appropriated for SNAP. The SNAP federal grants also pay a share of the Kentucky SNAP administrative cost.
According to the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people with little or no money buy food for healthy meals at participating stores. SNAP benefits increase a household’s food buying power when added to the household’s money.”
Who is Eligible for SNAP (Food Stamps) in Kentucky?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Kentucky, like in other States, are based on limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, and other requirements, some of them specific to each State. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.
The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of eligible, low‐income local population.
Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
For the purpose of the Kentucky SNAP, certain people must be included in on household account even if they purchase and prepare meals separately. Husbands and wives of any household member, their children under age 22 when living together, plus children younger than 18 who are dependents of an adult household member are all considered as a part of one household formation.
In Kentucky anyone with limited income and resources may apply for food stamps but, in general, to qualify for Kentucky SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Kentucky Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, each able-bodied household member who is 16 to 60 year old must be registered to work, and accept a suitable employment offer;
- Limited Resources – have countable household assets limited to $2,250 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older);
- Income Limits – Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits etc.
See the table for Maximum Monthly Income Allowable for SNAP Benefits Eligibility in State of Kentucky as per household size:
[table id=1 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
Kentucky SNAP Program has special rules for elderly or disabled applicants and beneficiaries. Kentucky households with disabled or elderly members may qualify for food stamp benefits regardless of the amount of gross income. In such cases, when gross incomes is over 200% of the poverty line, those households must have liquid assets of $3,250 or less, in order to qualify for SNAP benefits.
Some Kentucky residents may be automatically or so called categorically eligible for Food Stamps if they already participate in other means tested assistance programs. Getting benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for SNAP Benefits categorically eligible, thus bypassing the income eligibility and asset eligibility rules. Under the federal SNAP regulations, States do have to assign a gross income limit of 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) or less in order to use any TANF-funded benefit that can make Food Assistance applicants eligible.
Quick Eligibility Check
Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you may be eligible to get Kentucky SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps). Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make an application at your local Kentucky DCBS office. There are other federal and state specific requirements that must be met for Food Stamp Benefits applicants in different situations.
What are Maximum Kentucky SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?
If approved, the Kentucky SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of the their net income. USDA has maximum SNAP benefit limits per month per household size. Check below what are the maximum food stamp assistance monetary amounts a household can get. The dollar amounts of the food stamp benefits are called allotments.
[table id=29 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments
How to Apply for SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps) in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, applicants for SNAP can start by filling in the application online at the SNAP Web Portal. After the application is submitted you will be contacted to complete SNAP eligibility interview.
You can also download the Kentucky SNAP application from here, answer as many questions as you can, sign, and turn your application into the local Kentucky DCBS office where you live.
Follow this link to do local DCBS office search or call: 1-800-372-2970.
If you do not have all the information that is needed to complete the SNAP application, provide as much as you can – but you must include your name, social security number, what you are applying for, and your signature. The Department of Community Based Services has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later.
Before determining your SNAP eligibility the DCBS will have to process the application and interview you.
At the interview, you may need to provide some supporting documents that would help DCBS office determine your eligibility. Within 30 days of the interview, if eligible, you will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long your household is eligible for before a review of the case is due.
The SNAP benefit amount depends on the household size and its net income – that is all countable income minus all allowable deductions.
If Kentucky DCBS finds you eligible for SNAP benefits, you will be eligible to receive food stamps from the date your signed application is received.
Kentucky SNAP Benefits Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
The DCBS has to verify provided information and interview you before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP Benefits. Here what you need to have at the interview:
- Proof of who you are, such as your driver’s license, social security card or alien documentation;
- Proof that you live in Kentucky;
- Proof of who lives in your home, such as a lease or written statement;
- Proof of child care costs or child support paid;
- Proof of your living expenses; and
- Proof of money you have gotten in the past 60 days, including any check stubs.
Additional information and proof may be required depending upon your situation. In case you are not able to provide all the information during the SNAP application interview, you will be given time to provide the required proof.
Applicants for SNAP benefits in Kentucky should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DCBS office. When start getting food stamps benefits, households must report any changes of their situation in a set period of time (in Kentucky – simplified reporting and 12-month certification) in order to assure their participation in the Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Under the simplified reporting option, households are required to report changes in income between certification and scheduled reporting periods when total countable income rises above 130% of the poverty level or when work hours change for able‐bodied adults without dependents.
SNAP regulations require all non‐exempt household members to comply with work requirements. Work requirements include registering for work, not voluntarily quitting a job, and accepting a suitable employment offer. As per federal SNAP guidelines, individuals who fail to comply with SNAP work requirements without good cause are ineligible for program benefits and disqualified from SNAP for certain periods of time, depending on how many prior instances of non‐compliance there have been.
The law limits the SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-49 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week.
As part of the SNAP federal grant assistance requirements, each State has to offer employment and training (E&T) program to its SNAP benefits recipients. Participants in such programs, where available, can get adult education, vocational training, job skills training for specific jobs, and work experience via short-term unpaid work assignments. The main goal of the work requirement is to help the food stamp recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits. Call 1-800-372-2970 to find more about Kentucky Employment and Training Program.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP Benefits?
Kentucky Food Stamp Program provides the SNAP benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Kentucky SNAP benefits are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through an Kentucky EBT card, which is issued to anyone approved for SNAP. The Kentucky SNAP Benefits are deposited into the recipients accounts each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.
Benefits are made available over the first 10 calendar days of every month, based on the last digit of the client’s SSN:
SSN ends in 0 = benefits available at 5AM on the 1st of the month
SSN ends in 1 = benefits available at 5AM on the 2nd of the month
SSN ends in 2 = benefits available at 5AM on the 3rd of the month
SSN ends in 3 = benefits available at 5AM on the 4th of the month
SSN ends in 4 = benefits available at 5AM on the 5th of the month
SSN ends in 5 = benefits available at 5AM on the 6th of the month
SSN ends in 6 = benefits available at 5AM on the 7th of the month
SSN ends in 7 = benefits available at 5AM on the 8th of the month
SSN ends in 8 = benefits available at 5AM on the 9th of the month
SSN ends in 9 = benefits available at 5AM on the 10th of the month
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Kentucky EBT Customer Service: 1-888-979-9949
How and Where to Use the SNAP Benefits?
When approved, SNAP beneficiaries will get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. The beneficiaries can use their cards at any Kentucky SNAP (Food Stamps) grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With their EBT Card food stamp recipients can buy any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Allowed are also seeds and plants to grow food for family’s consumption. Non-grocery items such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco are not allowed.
I Need Food Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!
Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Stamp Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify for it, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible. Call 1-800-372-2970 for more information on Kentucky Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.