As the economy continues to struggle, unemployment in the state of Tennessee remains high. If you are one of the many workers in Tennessee who have recently been laid off or lost a job, you may be eligible for the government-issued coupons known as Food Stamps which can be exchanged for food. The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the Food Stamps Program, is very helpful for individuals and families with reduced incomes.
Frequently after people apply for unemployment in Tennessee and begin to fill out their weekly unemployment certification, the next step is to apply for food stamps. If you need help applying for food stamps in Tennessee, follow these ten steps so you know what to expect with the application process.
Top 10 Things You Need to Do to Collect Food Stamps in Tennessee
1. Determine if you Qualify for Tennessee Food Stamps
If you are unemployed or on very reduced wages, and you reside in Tennessee, you may be eligible for Food Stamps. If you are not sure whether or not you qualify, you can call the independent 211 help hotline from anywhere in the state of Tennessee for a free food stamps pre-screening interview over the phone.
2. Contact the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS)
If you think you are eligible for Food Stamps, contact the Department of Human Services. The direct link for the Food Stamp Program online is listed below in the Resources.
3. Request a Food Stamps Application
The Food Stamps application can be requested in Spanish or English over the phone, online or by visiting the Department of Human Services
4. Fill Out the Food Stamp Application
The application is several pages long and must be filled out completely and accurately. The Food Stamps application can be mailed in or turned in to the DHS office.
5. Visit Your Local DHS Office
After sending in your application, you will probably have to schedule an appointment with your local DHS office. To find a Department of Human Services office near you in Tennessee, there is a map of Tennessee counties where you can find your county in the Resources below.
6. Bring all the Required IDs & Documents
Several different forms of ID and income documents are required to apply for Food Stamps to prove you are a US citizen, that you are live in Tennessee and that your income is low. The list of things you may be asked to bring includes: valid social security card, birth certificate, check stubs, utility bills, bank statement, rent receipts, insurance policies, and tax returns.
7. Go to the Food Stamp, Employment and Training Office
After you have submitted the Food Stamps application, you will be asked to go to the Food Stamp, Employment and Training office. In Nashville, the office is at the Career Center on Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Metro Center.
8. Check Your Mail for Notification
You will be notified by mail within 45 days of the date you applied for Tennessee Food Stamps whether or not are approved.
9. Collect Your Food Stamps
If you qualify, you will either need to either collect your food stamps from your local Food Stamp office or they will be mailed to you.
10. Test Your Food Stamps
Make sure your Food Stamps are in proper order by testing them first on a small purchase at an approved Food Stamps merchant in Tennessee.
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