What are Expedited Food Stamps and how do I know if I am eligible for them?
Expedited Food Stamps are food stamps you can get quickly. You and members of your household may be eligible for them if you are in one of the following categories:
Your household has $100 or less in liquid resources and less than $150 in gross monthly income. Liquid resources are money that is available to you, such as cash on hand, bank accounts, savings certificates, and lump-sum payments (tax refunds, retroactive lump-sum Social Security, SSI, or public assistance payments).
You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker without money or resources.
Together, your monthly income and liquid resources are less than the total of your monthly rent or mortgage and heating costs and utilities (electricity, telephone, and water).
How do I apply for Expedited Food Stamps?
If you reside in Nassau County, go to the first floor of the Department of Social Services Building at 60 Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Uniondale NY 11553-3656.
If you reside in Suffolk County, there are four Department of Social Services Centers where you can apply:
Riverhead (893 E. Main St, 631-852-3560),
Smithtown (2000 Wireless Blvd, 631-853- 8714),
Coram (80 Middle Country Rd, 631-854-2300), and
South West Center (2 South Second St, Deer Park, 631-854- 6600).
You should apply at the Center closest to where you reside. Tell the worker that you are in need of Expedited Food Stamps.
The worker should give you an application to fill out. You will have to prove:
your identity, by producing a driver’s license, birth certificate, or Social Security card, etc.;
the number and identity of persons in your household (bring birth certificates or Social Security cards of your children);
your income (if any);
your liquid resources (bring bank books or bank statements).
You should not be denied Expedited Food Stamps because you cannot provide written proof of the items listed above, but the more written proof you have, the better your chances will be.
What happens next?
You will be interviewed. Your interview must be conducted on the same day you request Expedited Food Stamps. You should be notified at the end of the interview if you are eligible or not.
How long will it take for me to get my Food Stamps?
You can usually get Expedited Food Stamps within a day or two. If you get to DSS by 8:30 a.m., you may be able to get them within 24 hours, but you should know that the law permits DSS to take up to 7 days to issue Expedited Food Stamps. If you have no food, ask for an immediate referral to a food pantry.
If I am approved for Expedited Food Stamps, will I continue to receive Food Stamps from month-to-month?
Not automatically. In order to continue receiving Food Stamps, you must complete the application process. This means that you will be called back for another interview and asked to submit certain documents. If you do not follow through, you will not continue to receive Food Stamps.
What if I cannot go to the Department of Social Services to apply for Expedited Food Stamps?
If you can’t travel for medical reasons or because you do not have transportation, you can appoint a representative to go to DSS and apply for Expedited Food Stamps for you.
If you don’t have anyone to appoint as your representative, you can call the Food Stamp Office in Nassau County at (516) 227-8523.
In Suffolk County you should call the Center closest to where you reside:
South West (631-854-6600).
Ask them to waive the face-to-face interview. If they agree, your application information can be taken over the telephone, and the application will be mailed to you for your signature. It is important that you mail back the application as soon as possible, because the processing period will not begin until the signed application is received by DSS.
What if I have trouble getting Expedited Food Stamps?
If you are not allowed to apply for Expedited Food Stamps or are denied them, please feel free to call us for help. Delays in processing Food Stamps applications or recertifications should be reported to the Empire Justice Center in connection with recent class action litigation at (631) 650-2305.