SI BOS01801.301 Application for Food Stamps - Maine - (TN 5-257 - 10/2005)

A. Introduction

The Food Stamp Act of 1977 requires SSA to take food stamp applications from SSI applicants and SSI recipients who live in pure SSI households. In addition, under the prerelease process, residents of public institutions may apply for food stamps at the same time they file for SSI benefits, if they expect to live in a pure SSI household upon release.

B. Policy

Per SI 01801.060 a pure SSI household is defined as follows:

  • An individual who lives alone and is applying for or receiving SSI, or

  • A household (as defined for food assistance purposes) where everyone has applied for or is receiving SSI.

For food assistance purposes, it is important to remember that more than one household can live under one roof, if separate purchase and preparation of food is declared. If other persons who are not SSI applicants/recipients physically live in the same household with the SSI claimant/recipient and the SSI claimant/recipient purchases and prepares food separately from the rest of the household, the SSI claimant/recipient meets the definition of a pure SSI household. For food assistance purposes the SSI claimant/recipient is considered to be in the SSI's claimant/recipient's own household. Do not confuse the living arrangement determination for SSI payment purposes with the living arrangement determination needed for food assistance purposes.

Consider individuals who live in public/private nonprofit shelters for the homeless as individual households for food stamp application purposes. (See SI 01801.040.)

SSA must use State designed food stamp applications. The State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services (ME DHHS) must provide SSA field offices (FOs) with sufficient food stamp application forms for FO use. The State must also provide SSA with informational material to distribute to food stamp applicants.

C. Procedure

1. Completing the Application

Complete the Maine food stamp application for an individual who:

  • Is a Maine resident,

  • Is an SSI applicant/recipient,

  • Resides in a pure SSI household as defined for food assistance purposes or is in a public institution and filing for SSI benefits under the pre-release program, and

  • Wishes to apply for food stamps at the SSA FO. Interviewers must encourage members of a pure SSI household to file for food assistance at SSA. Refer to SI 01801.015, if an individual in a pure SSI household is reluctant to file for food stamps in the SSA FO.

Complete the “MaineCare” application, the BFI IMS01 (R05/04), for all disabled and aged applicants. This application covers both food stamp and Medicaid benefits.

To complete the MaineCare Application:

  • Check off the food stamp block and one of the MaineCare blocks as appropriate if the applicant wishes to file for medical benefits.

  • Complete the applicant information on the first page of the application form.

  • A “Yes” answer to any one of the questions on the first page is an indication the applicant is eligible for expedited service (SI 01801.150).

  • Complete the remaining questions on the form.

  • Have the applicant sign the first page of the form.

  • Sign your name in the space labeled “Signature of person filling out this form.” Annotate “SSA” next to your signature.

  • Do not complete sections labeled “For office use only.”

  • Write the word “PRERELEASE,” if appropriate, in large letters in red ink across the top of the first page of the completed food stamp application.

  • Obtain from the food stamp applicant the documentation needed by the food stamp agency to process the claim. (See SI 01801.300C.)

2. Providing Informational Material to the Applicant

Provide the applicant the ME DHHS brochure, “How to Apply For and Use Food Stamps.” This material informs the applicant of the basic eligibility requirements, the 30-day application processing requirement, the remaining actions to be taken in the application process and basic reporting responsibilities. When the ME DHHS approves and processes the application, it will send the applicant printed reporting requirements, rights and responsibilities for the applicant's specific household. Provide the applicant the local food stamp office address and telephone number.

3. Routing the Food Stamp Application

Send the completed food stamp application (using SSA-4233, SSA Transmittal for Food Stamp Applications) to the servicing ME DHHS office within one Federal workday after receipt of the signed application. (For instructions see SI 01801.310.) A printer-friendly version of the SSA-4233 is in SI 01801.400.

Write boldly in red ink “Expedited Service” across the top of the SSA-4233 when requesting expedited service.

D. List of Food Stamp Offices

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services provides a current list of Regional Offices on its website.

E. Obtaining Additional Applications and Information Material

To obtain additional supplies of the food stamp application and brochure, contact your local ME DHHS Regional Office. You can also obtain supplies of the brochure and application from the ME DHHS stockroom at 207-287-2558.

The “MaineCare” application is available on BOSNet in the SSI Subject Index under “Food Stamps” and the brochure, “How to Apply For and Use Food Stamps”, is available on the ME DHHS Food Stamp website.

F. References

  • Household Composition for Food Stamp Purposes, SI 01801.060

  • Completing Food Stamp Application Forms, SI 01801.300

  • Expedited Service, SI 01801.150

  • Completing the SSA Transmittal for Food Stamp Applications, SSA-4233, SI 01801.310

  • Exhibit - SSA Transmittal for Food Stamp Applications, SSA-4233, SI 01801.400

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SI BOS01801.301 - Application for Food Stamps - Maine - (TN 5-257 - 10/2005) - 10/17/2022
Batch run: 04/25/2023