Nebraska

Assistance Programs, Local Agencies and Charities

Food  Housing  Cash Assistance  Bills  Health  Education  Employment

 

QUICK INFO BOX

  • Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  – Monthly food stamp benefits to help low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health, Call: 800-383-4278
  • Nebraska Assistance to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) Provides financial aid and medical assistance to Nebraska persons in need who are age 65 and older, or who are age 64 and younger and blind or disabled according to Social Security program definitions, Call: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)  – Provides cash assistance to low-income Nebraska families with minor children to help them pay for living expenses like rent, utilities, food, clothing, and other necessitiesCall: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska Telephone Assistance Program (NTAP) – Assists qualifying low-income individuals with keeping telephone services affordable by lowering monthly service rates, Call: 800-526-0017
  • Nebraska Medicaid Program  – Pays for covered medical services for those persons who are unable to afford to pay for medically necessary services and who meet certain eligibility requirements, Call: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – Offers health care coverage for qualified children living in Nebraska who are without other health insurance and who do not qualify for Medicaid, Call: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program  – Healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals, Call: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska National School Lunch Program (NSLP)  Provides low-cost or free lunches to school children, Call: 402-471-2488
  • Nebraska Special Milk Program  – Offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps, Call: 402-471-2488
  • Nebraska School Breakfast Program (SBP)  Provides low-cost or free meals to school children, Call: 402-471-2488
  • Nebraska Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)  – Provides free meals and snacks to help low-income children in the summer months, Call: 402-471-2488
  • Nebraska Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)  Provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day care, Call: 402-471-2488
  • Nebraska Head Start  – Comprehensive child development programs serving low-income children and their familiesCall: 308-865-5690
  • Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Designed to help people with limited incomes offset the cost of heating and cooling their homes, Call: 402-471-3121
  • Nebraska Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program – Assists households reduce energy bills by improving energy efficiency of their homes, Call: 402-471-2867
  • Nebraska Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)  – Designed to aid eligible senior citizens known to be at risk of malnutrition due to low income and poor health conditions, Call: 800-942-1171
  • Nebraska Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)  – Provides low-income seniors with special coupons to buy fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers’ markets, Call: 800-422-6692
  • Nebraska Housing Choice Voucher Program  – Helps eligible low-income households lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords, Call: Local PHA
  • Nebraska Public Housing  – Provides safe, decent, and affordable rental units for eligible low-income residents., Call: Local PHA

Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs

Nebraska – 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 Nebraska homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Nebraska 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:

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 Nebraska

 

Nebraska 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 Nebraska. 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.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has many rules and they can vary from state to state and year to year. Under the SNAP federal guidelines each State operates its own version of the food assistance program.

In Nebraska, the SNAP is known as Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) and is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Federal Government pays 100% of Nebraska SNAP Benefits with federal grants appropriated for SNAP. The SNAP federal grants also pay a share of the Nebraska SNAP administrative cost.

According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services “The purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is to safeguard the health of the nation’s low income families through better nutrition, increase the food purchasing power of low income families, and increase the flow of foods from the nation’s farms through the normal trade channels.”

 

Who is Eligible for SNAP (Food Stamps) in Nebraska?

The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Nebraska, 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.

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.

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.

The 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 SNAP, certain people must be included in one 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 Nebraska anyone with limited income and resources may apply for food stamps but, in general, to qualify for Nebraska SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Nebraska 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) for standard resource test, or assets of $25,000 or less for households who receive services from Expanded Resource Program, and no asset limit if categorically eligible (inquire with DHHS for details);
  • Income Limits –  Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both standard gross (130% of federal poverty level – FPL) and net income (100% of FPL) limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross monthly income eligibility standards for households where elderly, disabled are a separate household is 165% of FPL – see the table below. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and other listed income sources.

See the table for Maximum Monthly Income allowable for SNAP benefits eligibility in State of Nebraska as per household size:

[table id=56 /]

Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards

 

Quick Eligibility Check

Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you may be eligible to get Nebraska SNAP benefits (Food Stamps). Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make an application for Nebraska SNAP benefits and send it to the DHHS office. There are other federal and state specific requirements that must be met for Food Stamp benefits applicants in different situations. DHHS is the authority in Nebraska that can make determination on SNAP eligibility and can approve SNAP benefits.

 

What are Maximum Nebraska SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?

If approved, the Nebraska 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 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 Nebraska?

In Nebraska, applicants for SNAP can start the application online at the ACCESSNebraska Web Portal.

Using online tools you can also apply for the following programs:

  • Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)
  • Aid to Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD)
  • Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP)
  • State Disability Program (SDP)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Child Care
  • Social Services for the Aged and Disabled (SSAD)
  • Social Services for Children and Families (SSCF)

You can also download the Nebraska SNAP application and other assistance application, answer as many questions as you can, sign, and drop your application to any DHHS office.

Follow this link to do local DCFS office search or call: 1-800-383-4278.

With your SNAP application you may need to provide some supporting documents that would help DHHS office determine your eligibility.

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 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later.

After the application is received and processed a DHHS worker will schedule and conduct an SNAP eligibility interview with the applicant. Before determination is made some of the information must be verified and proofs provided as required.

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 Nebraska DHHS finds that you qualify for SNAP benefits, you will be eligible to receive food stamps from the date your signed application is received.

 

Nebraska SNAP Benefits Approval, Rules, Proofs Required

The DHHS has to verify provided information and interview you before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP Benefits.

Here is what DCFS lists as examples of proof that you may need to present when applying for SNAP benefits:

  • Identity of the person making application and the authorized representative, if applicable;
  • Social Security numbers or proof of application for Social Security number;
  • Residency;
  • Alien status for household members applying for SNAP benefits;
  • Eligible student status if claimed;
  • Resources if the total amount of countable resources indicated on the application is $1500 or more;
  • Income;
  • Medical expenses and disability if claimed;
  • Dependent care costs; and
  • Child support costs;
  • Citizenship;
  • Work requirements;
  • Household composition;
  • Shelter costs;
  • Utility costs.

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 Nebraska should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DHHS office. When start getting food stamps benefits, households must report any changes of their situation in a set period of time in order to assure their participation in the Nebraska 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. Nebraska SNAP recipients may choose to participate in the Employment and Training Program if eligible.

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.

The employment and training activities in Nebraska are known as the Nebraska Employment Training Program.

Call 1-800-383-4278 to find more about the Nebraska E&T Program for SNAP recipients.

 

Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP Benefits?

Nebraska SNAP provides the benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Nebraska SNAP benefits are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through an Nebraska EBT Card, which is issued to anyone approved for SNAP benefits.  The Nebraska SNAP Benefits are deposited into the recipients accounts each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.

Benefits are made available from the 1st to the 5th of every month, based on the last digit of the head of household’s SSN:
SSN ends in 1 or 2 = benefits available on the 1st of the month
SSN ends in 3 or 4 = benefits available on the 2nd of the month
SSN ends in 5 or 6 = benefits available on the 3rd of the month
SSN ends in 7 or 8 = benefits available on the 4th of the month
SSN ends in 9 or 0 = benefits available on the 5th of the month

If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Nebraska EBT Customer Service: 1-877-247-6328

 

How and Where to Use the SNAP Benefits?

When approved, Nebraska SNAP beneficiaries will get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards – Nebraska EBT Card. Nebraska EBT cardholders may use their Nebraska EBT card in authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stores in any of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Check this list of Nebraska 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 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 1-800-383-4278 for more information on Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.