SI BOS01801.304 Application for Food Stamps – Rhode Island (TN 5-258 – 12/2005)

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 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 Rhode Island Department of Human Services (RI DHS) must make the application available to SSA field offices (FOs). The State must also provide SSA with informational material to distribute to food stamp applicants. This material is included with the application.

C. Procedure

1. Completing the Application

Complete the Rhode Island food stamp application for an individual who:

  • Is a Rhode Island 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.

The RI DHS Application for Services for Individuals and Families – Food Stamps is the current application for food stamps. It is available only on the internet and FO staff must print the application from the internet or make photocopies. This application is shorter than the combination of the “RI DHS Application for Assistance Part-1” (DHS-1 (Rev.01/95)) and the “RI DHS Statement of Need” (DHS-2 (REV 3-00)) previously used. RI DHS will continue to accept these two applications if you wish to exhaust your current supply of forms.

To complete the RI DHS Application for Services for Individuals and Families – Food Stamps (internet application):

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

  • Complete the remaining questions on the form.

  • “Yes” answers to any one of the questions under “Expedited Food Stamps” on the first page are an indication the applicant is eligible for expedited service (SI 01801.150).

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

  • Sign your name and date in the space labeled “SIGN HERE: Signature of person who helped fill out application” on the last page. Annotate “SSA” next to your signature.

  • 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 with the “List of Documentation/Proofs you may need” page and the “YOUR COPY – Rights and Responsibilities” page located in the beginning of the application. This material informs the applicant of the basic eligibility requirements, the 30-day application processing requirement, and the local food stamp office addresses and telephone numbers.

3. Routing the Food Stamp Application

Send the completed food stamp application (using SSA-4233, SSA Transmittal for Food Stamp Applications) to the servicing RI DHS office within one Federal workday after receipt of a signed application. (For instructions on completing the SSA-4233, 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 Rhode Island Department of Human Services has a DHS Office Locations web page that determines which DHS office has jurisdiction based on the applicant's residence address. Select “Food Stamps” and then the city/town of residence to determine where to send the food stamp application and refer the applicant.

E. Obtaining Additional Applications and Information Material

Print the RI DHS Application for Services for Individuals and Families – Food Stamps, from the internet at and make photocopies accordingly.

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

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
SI BOS01801.304 - Application for Food Stamps – Rhode Island (TN 5-258 – 12/2005) - 10/17/2022
Batch run: 04/25/2023