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Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs
Mississippi – 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 Mississippi homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Mississippi 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 Mississippi
Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
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.
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 Mississippi the SNAP is administered by Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the federal grants and oversees the operation of Mississippi SNAP. According to the MDHS “SNAP is meant to be a supplement to one’s income to help ensure nutritional needs are met. Mississippi residents who face food insecurity are urged to apply for the program. Help is available for those struggling to put food on the table. Mississippi residents who face food insecurity are urged to apply for the program. Help is available for those struggling to put food on the table.”
Who is Eligible for Mississippi SNAP Benefits?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Mississippi are based on residency, limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, work requirement and other factors depending on the applicant case. 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 using the federal grants to implement SNAP on State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the low‐income local population.
Mississippi Food Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
In Mississippi anyone with limited income and resources can apply for food stamps but, in general, you may qualify for Mississippi SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits if you have little or no income, work for low wages, receive TANF, SSI, or other government assistance, and meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- Mississippi 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 – households must 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.
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Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
Some Mississippi residents may be automatically or so called categorically eligible for SNAP benefits if they already participate in other means tested assistance programs or getting any benefits from programs funded by federal grants. Under the federal SNAP regulations, getting any benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or getting informational guide, brochure, or informational booklet funded by federal grants can make the applicant for SNAP Benefits categorically eligible, thus bypassing asset eligibility rules.
Quick Eligibility Check
Mississippi residents interested in food assistance can use this Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool, to find out if they might be eligible to get Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows potential applicants for Mississippi food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits.
Using the tool you are notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire, but you still have to make and sign an application at your local County DHS office, which is the authority that can make final determination regarding your case.
What is Maximum Dollar Amount of Mississippi SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
If approved, the Mississippi SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and its monthly net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household. Check below what are the maximum food assistance amounts a Mississippi household can get per month. The SNAP allowed benefits per month are called allotments.
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Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments
How to Apply for SNAP (Food Stamps) in Mississippi?
Interested in applying for SNAP benefits can do it in person at local county MDHS Economic Assistance office or print the SNAP application form the MDHS website and fill it out at home. In addition to SNAP, the Application can be used to apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
When you apply for SNAP benefits, complete the form with all required information, mail or turn it into the local MDHS Economic Assistance office where you live. If you do not have all the required information at hand, you can submit the SNAP application only with your name, address and signature – the MDHS office has to accept the application with the current date. However, providing a complete application will result most likely in a quicker eligibility determination.
A MDHS worker has to interview you in order to decide if you are eligible for SNAP benefits. If eligible, you will start receiving SNAP benefits from the date the office received your signed application.
A phone or even home interview can be arranged if you are 60 years or older or disabled and you cannot find anyone to go to the county office for you. Just contact your local MDHS office and explain your situation.
If you are applying for, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you may apply for SNAP benefits at your Social Security District Office.
Mississippi SNAP (Food Stamps) Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Mississippi Department of Human Services office worker has to interview you and verify provided information before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP benefits. Mississippi MDHS lists examples of information and proofs you may be asked to provide at the interview.
- Identity of person making application and authorized representative, if applicable
- Driver’s license
- Work or school ID
- Work badge
- Health insurance ID
- ID for another assistance program
- Voter registration card
- Birth certificates
- Draft cards or military ID
- Medicare Card
- United States Passport
- Proof of where you live
- Rent or lease receipts from landlord
- Utility bills – gas, electric, water etc
- Telephone bill
- Mortgage payment book
- Property tax statement
- Home owner’s insurance policy
- Alien Status for any non-U.S. citizen
- INS 1-151 Alien Registration Receipt Card
- 1-551 Re-entry Permit; 1-94 Arrival Departure Record
- Social Security number for all individuals
- Social Security Card for each member
- Official document containing the Social Security Number
- Social Security Award Letter
- Income, all household income
- Check stubs
- Statement from employer
- Benefit award letter from Social Security
- Veterans Administration
- Unemployment Compensation
- Business records for self-employed
- Lay off or termination notice
- IRS 1040 Form – for self-employment
- Checking or savings account, bank statement
- Rent and Utility expenses
- Trust funds
- Court orders
- Deeds or other documents by which the trust was established
- Stocks and/or savings bonds
- Property owned, sold, or transferred
- Sale or transfer papaers
- Proof of Relationship
- Marriage license
- Divorce decree
- Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and places of employment of the absent parent(s) of your children
- Dependent care (child/disabled or aged dependent care)
- Medical expenses for anyone age 60 or older or disabled
- Medical bills from hospitals or clinics
- Pharmacy printouts
- Health insurance premium receipt or stub
- Payment agreement with doctor, and/or hospital
- Statement from a licensed physician or medical personnel in a public health or outpatient clinic
The federal law requires that, 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.
MDHS has partnered with the Mississippi Community College Board to offer Employment and Training (E&T) Program to eligible SNAP recipients. The program provides access to career and technical courses of study, and training programs. To qualify, you must be SNAP only recipient and registered to work with Mississippi Department of Employment Security. You can access and print the SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING (E&T) APPLICATION from the MDHS website.
In particular, the SNAP E&T Program offers:
- An Assessment by a Career and Technical Adviser
- Assistance with the completion of grant and scholarship applications
- Enrollment in career education and training programs
- Assistance with eligible tuition expenses not covered by Pell or other federal or state grants or scholarships
The Mississippi SNAP Employment and Training Program provides eligible participants with the opportunity to engage in independent job search, on the job training, an work experience that would help SNAP recipients transition to economic independence.
Applicants waiting for SNAP benefits approval in Mississippi should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local MDHS office. Households getting SNAP (food stamps) benefits must report when the household income meets or exceeds the current income level for the household size by the tenth (10th) of the month following the month in which the change occurred. Such reporting of income change is required in order to assure their participation in the Mississippi SNAP.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
Approved for Mississippi SNAP benefits applicants get an Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) card. The EBT card can be used like a debit card at any Mississippi SNAP participating grocery stores displaying the Quest logo. Food assistance benefits are deposited into an EBT account of the beneficiary each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.
Benefits are made available from the 5th to the 19th of every month, based on the last two digits of the client’s case #.
Case # ends in: 00-06 = benefits available on the 5th of the month
Case # ends in: 07-13 = benefits available on the 6th of the month
Case # ends in: 14-20 = benefits available on the 7th of the month
Case # ends in: 21-27 = benefits available on the 8th of the month
Case # ends in: 28-34 = benefits available on the 9th of the month
Case # ends in: 35-41 = benefits available on the 10th of the month
Case # ends in: 42-48 = benefits available on the 11th of the month
Case # ends in: 49-55 = benefits available on the 12th of the month
Case # ends in: 56-62 = benefits available on the 13th of the month
Case # ends in: 63-69 = benefits available on the 14th of the month
Case # ends in: 70-75 = benefits available on the 15th of the month
Case # ends in: 76-81 = benefits available on the 16th of the month
Case # ends in: 82-87 = benefits available on the 17th of the month
Case # ends in: 88-93 = benefits available on the 18th of the month
Case # ends in: 94-99 = benefits available on the 19th of the month
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Mississippi EBT Customer Service: 1-866-512-5087
How and Where to Use the SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
Mississippi SNAP benefits are provided via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Mississippi SNAP are transferred into the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Mississippi EBT cards. Households and individuals can use their EBT cards and spend the benefits like cash at any Mississippi grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept SNAP (food stamp) benefits.
Check this list of Mississippi SNAP participating stores that are authorized to take EBT cards for purchasing of SNAP eligible food items. Eligible food items are any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Seeds and plants to grow food for your own family’s consumption are also allowed to be purchased with food stamp benefits. You cannot buy non-grocery items with food stamp benefits, such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco.
I Need SNAP Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!
Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Assistance 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. Call 1-800-948-3050 for more information on Mississippi Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).