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Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs
Missouri – 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 Missouri homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Missouri 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 Missouri
Missouri Food Stamp 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, including Missouri.
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 Missouri, the SNAP is administered by Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) and its Family Support Division (FSD). The Federal Government oversees the State operation of the SNAP. According to Missouri Department of Social Services “SNAP is designed to promote the general welfare and safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households. The program is called the Food Stamp Program in Missouri.”
Who is Eligible for Missouri Food Stamp Assistance?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Missouri, like in other States, are based on limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, and other requirements. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
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.
Missouri Food Stamp 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.
In general, to qualify for Missouri Food Stamp Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- Missouri 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, age 16-60, who are unemployed or under-employed must registered to work, and accept a suitable employment offer;
- Resource Limit – countable household assets are limited to $2,000 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older), assets not countable include the home you live in, personal belongings, cash value of life insurance policy, and vehicles;
- 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 and other sources. Household net income is computed by deducting certain allowed expenses from gross income. The resulting numbers must fall below the net income dollar amounts listed in the table below for your household to get food assistance benefits. This dollar amount depends on the number of people in your household.
See the table with Missouri food stamp income limits per household size below.
[table id=1 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
Missouri Food Stamps – Quick Eligibility Check
USDA Food and Nutrition Service offer this Pre-Screening Tool you can use to find out if you may be eligible to get Missouri SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps). Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify, after completing the questionnaire, you still have to make an application to Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) and its Family Support Division (FSD).
Regardless of the results of the Pre-Screening Tool, potential applicants are encouraged to call 1-855-373-4636 or visit one of the DSS/FSD offices and inquire. A conversation with one of the DSS/FSD specialists will help anyone in need of food assistance find out if they may be eligible for Missouri Food Stamp Benefits.
What are the Benefits?
If approved, the Missouri Food Stamp Benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of the their net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month, per household size. Check below what are the maximum food stamp benefit amounts. The food stamp dollar amounts are called allotments.
[table id=29 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Missouri?
Missouri residents interested in applying for food stamps can pick up an application at any DSS/FSD Customer Service or Resource Center or download and print the Application for Food Stamp Benefits from the Missouri Department of Social Services website. All looking for help with food can also apply in person by visiting one of the local DSS/FSD Customer Service Centers.
The applicant needs to fill out all required information on the application and have all the supporting documents. If you do not have all the information – complete as much as you can including your name, social security number, what you are applying for, and sign it. The DSS/FSD has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later.
Applicants for Food Stamp Benefits can return the application in person, by mail, or by fax to any DSS Family Support Division (FSD) Customer Service Center or Resource Center.
Before decision is made a Missouri DSS/FSD specialist has to verify all the paperwork and schedule interview with the applicant. A face-to-face interview is required to help DSS/FSD establish applicant’s eligibility.
Face-to-face requirement may be waived and the interview done over the phone for elderly, disabled, or applicants in special situations that prevent them from participating in an in-office interview.
At the interview applicants must provide all required documentation for verification and approval purposes.
If the applicant is find eligible, they will receive within 30 days a notice stating how much of a benefit they qualify for, when to expect their benefits, and for how long is the applicant eligible for getting food stamps.
Missouri Food Stamps Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Missouri DSS/FSD needs to verify submitted information before before determining if the household is eligible for Food Stamp Benefits.
The DSS lists examples of documents and information that may be needed to determine your eligibility when you apply for Food Stamps Benefits.
Proof of Identity:
- Driver’s License
- Photo ID Card
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security Card
Proof of Immigration Status of Non-Citizens:
- Resident Alien Card
- Copy of a residency document issued by the Department of Homeland Security
- Rent or mortgage receipts
- Mail addressed to you
- Utility receipts
- References contacted
Proof of Income:
- Work Verification form signed by employer
- Paycheck Stubs – for the last 30 days
- Award letters from Social Security Administration, or Veteran’s Administration
- Copy of most recent tax forms (include all schedule forms if self-employed)
- Benefits Letters from SSI or VA
- Check stub for Unemployment Compensation benefits or Worker’s Compensation checks
- Copies of child support checks
- Bank Statements
- Copies of deeds or purchase agreements
- Statements that show current value of stocks, bonds, certificate of deposit, etc.
- Housing costs such as rent or mortgage payments
- Utility costs such as electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash, telephone, real estate taxes, or homeowner’s insurance
- Dependent care or child care costs, including transportation to and from the day care provider
- Child Support paid to non-household members
- Medical expenses
This is not a complete list and depending on case the DSS/FSD specialist may request additional types of proof and application supporting documents.
Missouri Food Stamp participants between the ages 16-60, able to work and who are unemployed or underemployed must register to work with Missouri Division of Workforce Development.
As per SNAP federal regulations, State of Missouri is required to offer an employment and training program for Food Stamp participants. This program is known as the Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP) and offers training, education, and job search assistance to Food Stamp participants. With its focused approach, and one-to-one case management, the METP provides excellent opportunities for participants to be successful in finding sustainable employment.
If you are Missouri Food Stamp recipient and interested in employment and training program, contact METP office at: 1-855-278-0354.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the Food Assistance Benefits?
Missouri Food Stamp Program provides the SNAP benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system.
The monetary benefits of the Missouri Food Stamps are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Missouri EBT Card.
Benefits are made available over the first 22 days of every month, based on the client’s birth month and last name:
Birth Month is January and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 1st of the month
Birth Month is January and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 2nd of the month
Birth Month is February and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 3rd of the month
Birth Month is February and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 4th of the month
Birth Month is March and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 5th of the month
Birth Month is March and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 6th the month
Birth Month is April and first letter of last name is A-Z = benefits available on the 7th of the month
Birth Month is May and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 8th of the month
Birth Month is May and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 9th of the month
Birth Month is June and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 10th of the month
Birth Month is June and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 11th of the month
Birth Month is July and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 12th of the month
Birth Month is July and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 13th of the month
Birth Month is August and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 14th of the month
Birth Month is August and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 15th of the month
Birth Month is September and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 16th of the month
Birth Month is September and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 17th of the month
Birth Month is October and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 18th of the month
Birth Month is October and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 19th of the month
Birth Month is November and first letter of last name is A-K = benefits available on the 20th of the month
Birth Month is November and first letter of last name is L-Z = benefits available on the 21th of the month
Birth Month is December and first letter of last name is A-Z = benefits available on the 22nd of the month
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Missouri EBT Customer Service: 800-997-7777
How and Where to Use the Food Stamp Benefits?
Missouri Food Stamp benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) authorized stores displaying the Quest mark.
Households and individuals get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to use their food assistance benefits at any grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Food Assistance Benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food Stamps (SNAP) authorized stores. Find a Missouri Food Stamp participating store in your area.
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 Food 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. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible. Call 1-855-373-4636 for more information on Missouri Food Stamp Program.