Florida Food Stamps Eligibility

The Florida Food Assistance Program helps eligible low-income families and individuals buy the food needed for good health. Food Assistance benefits are intended to supplement other household income and may only be used to purchase food.  If you meet the program eligibility guidelines, you will get a special debit card (called an EBT Card). The EBT card is loaded monthly with the money you qualify for. You can then use the card to purchase food at grocery and other approved locations. The amount of money a household gets may depend on three things:

  • household income from all sources (earned and unearned) such as money you get from a job, Social Security, SSI, or interest
  • how many people live in your household
  • where you live

If you want to apply for Florida Food Stamps, you have to make sure you qualify and are eligible. There are strict eligibility requirements that you must follow to apply for Food Assistance. In this article, we will discuss the guidelines for qualifying for assistance.

Florida Food Stamps Eligibility Guidelines

Proof of Identity – Applicants must provide proof of their identity to show that they are the person they claim to be.

Work Rules – If you are between the ages of 18-50 and are healthy, you must work at least 20 hours a week to receive Food Stamps. If you are not working or participating in a workfare program, then you can only receive Food Stamps for three months in every three year period.

Residency – The applicant must live in the state of Florida.

Citizenship – You must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified noncitizen status to apply for Florida Food Stamps.

Social Security Number – Individuals must provide a Social Security Number or proof they have applied for one.

Child Support Requirement: You may be required to cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and providing child support.

Income and Deductions –  Under federal rules, to be eligible for Food Assistance, a household’s income and resources must meet three tests:

  • Its gross monthly income — that is, its income before any of the program’s deductions are applied — generally must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty line.  For a family of three, the poverty line in the federal fiscal year 2014 is $1,628 a month.  Thus, 130 percent of the poverty line for a three-person family is $2,116 a month, or about $25,400 a year.  The poverty level is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.
  • Its net income, or income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line.
  • Its assets must fall below certain limits:  households without an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $2,000 or less, and households with an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $3,250 or less.

Income Chart

Income is one of the most important criteria for Florida Food Stamps Eligibility. Each household that is applying for assistance must have their total monthly gross income compared to a percentage of the federal poverty level, as described above. Gross Income means a household’s total income before deductions. Deductions allowed include childcare, medical expenses, and housing cost. When you subtract the deductions from the Gross income, you get the Net Income amount. The chart below shows you the Gross Income and Net Income levels required for qualification, based on the number of people in each household.

"florida food stamps income limit 2017"

How Much in Food Stamps will I Get?

If you are approved for food stamps in Florida, how much in benefits you get partly depends on the number of people in your household. The table below shows you the maximum amount in benefits you may receive if you are approved, based on the number of people in your household.

"Florida Food Stamps Eligibility"

Who CANNOT Apply for Food Stamps? 

You are not eligible for Florida Food Stamps if you have been convicted of drug trafficking, are running away from a felony warrant, have intentionally violated a court-ordered program, or are a student in an institution of higher education (there are exceptions if you are working, a single parent, or other special cases). Also, those who break Food Assistance Program rules on purpose and non-citizens without a qualified status are not eligible to apply.

As with every government program, there are do and don’t. That is true for the Food Assistance Program.

Foods You Can Buy With EBT Card (Food Stamps Card)

  • Bread and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants to grow and produce food for the household to eat

What you CANNOT buy with the EBT Card (Food Stamps Card)

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Pet food, soaps, paper products, or household supplies
  • Vitamins and other medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot Foods

It is very important that you only buy the foods allowed under the Food Stamp program. Engaging in any illegal use of the EBT card may cause you to lose your benefits. And once they are revoked, you will never be allowed on the program or be eligible to apply for Food Stamps again.

If you meet the Florida Food Stamps Eligibility requirements and want to apply for Food Stamps, click here.


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  • Patricia Poage

    I applied for food stamps last week on line and I haven’t heard anything yet. I want to know if I am eligible and if so when can I expect the card

  • john agresti

    I can’t locate a site to complete an elibility review. I’m going to fax this also .

  • angi hoyt

    I live in florida and i see gas stations that will let people use there food stamps to buy beer etc by them ringing it up as food, and see people sell there food stamps to get cash. It is sad when people that really may need it to help and they get denied why i see others doing nothing because they know they can and lie and receive benefits its disgusting and heart wrenching. Everyone has different lives and not saying all people on welfare do this but the area of florida i live and people i have seen do this odds of judgement of people on food stamps that abuse them are high compared to ones that would use them for the intended purpose or need them to get by for a short time.

    • Nicole

      I’ve seen the same thing! It’s very sad! I am looking up now how to apply for health care help and support of any kind. I’ve never had to ask for help before, but now it’s crucial… I’m scared of some medical issues I may have and I can barely afford food in my home, let alone insurance and I’m told it’s hard to get the help through the state. I’m not one to abuse the system and now I’m worried if I don’t get the help. Yet others who have cash in them, doing all the wrong things are able too. I worked at a gas station years ago and I quit for that exact reason. My boss told me to let customers get whatever they want and for me to ring it up as food items. It is disgusting and very disturbing. What does someone like me do when I honestly need the help and may or may not get approved. Some people have told me that I have to say certain things to get approved. I honestly don’t understand why I can’t just be honest and get help. It’s really a sad thing. I never wanted or needed the states help before, but things have changed and now I do. So it just disgusts me to see these people buying alcohol, cigarettes and what not with these cards… And while pulling out the card, I always see wads of cash on them. I just don’t understand and don’t believe it’s fair at all to those who really need the help!

    • Julie Wilkerson

      If you see something line this you should report the store. Not fair to the people that play by the rules tho Have others abusing the program …CALL THE HOTLINE AND REPORT THE STORE

  • I cannot find the eligibility review form for food stamps on-line and I cannot reach anybody on the phone at their toll free number

  • Robert A Papp II

    I received a letter that my monthly benefit is decreased. I don’t understand the reduction of my benefit. They said something about
    S414.3 but I cannot find out what that means. I am dependant on the subsidy due to unemployment. I cannot secure a full time job and have to do odd jobs for people when I can find them. I am hoping you can give me some insight into the problem.

  • Joy

    Unfortunately, you will see actions such as, getting money for food stamps, or using them in stores to buy gas or beer or other things in EVERY state. It does not just happen in Florida. People find a way around the system, because there are BUSINESS owners that are ALLOWING them to find that way around the system. Also, there are people that are making out like bandits from people with food stamps too…I know of people that will buy food stamps from some of their friends for 50 cents on the dollar, so they profit 50 cents per dollar with each transaction….so they get 40 dollars in food stamps but, are only giving that person 20 dollars in cash. People are greedy, and it’s because of people like that, that our society, and our government are crashing when it comes to these types of programs. Unfortunately, it’s the people that really, truly do need these programs to survive that are suffering in the end.

    Instead of complaining about seeing these businesses do these things, or knowing people that do these things, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Make an anonymous call…No one wants to be a tattle, but, when it comes to the future of our country, and our well being…the future of our CHILDREN and THEIR CHILDREN….I don’t consider it tattling, I consider it honorable.

    Stop Complaining, start Doing.

    AND, just for the record, I think that they SHOULD drug test anyone that is applying for assistance. If you can afford drugs, you can afford food.

  • linda finley

    i make less than 10,000 A YEAR and am only eligible for $16.000 a month in foodstamps. i just got my W-2. it reads 9,2552,12 really and i cant get any more help than that?

  • z

    I only got approved for $16 per month!! WTF???

  • Was in. Hospital came and. Apply weeks before. Time. Had to reapply, did phone. Interview.she Said. I was good didn’t. Need. Any thing else, and ask for emergency now. It’s. My date I normally. Get my stamps and nothing. Please. Help let me know something please

  • keysha

    Can 2 people rcive foodstamps that live in the same household?

  • Douglas A. Morin

    I needed food to eat. I asked for assistance and like most other state agencies the process has failed.

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