What Are the Asset & Income Limits for Michigan Food Stamps?
- The USDA began the Food Stamp Program to prevent poor children from going hungry.roast dinner image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
The U.S. Department of Agriculture began the Food Stamp Program in 1964 and expanded the program in 1974 to offer food stamps to low-income families to help put food on the table and prevent children from going hungry. The Food Stamp program is a federal program. However, it is usually run by state or local agencies. Residents of the state of Michigan can visit or call their local Department of Human Services to apply for food stamps. To qualify, they must be U.S. citizens, have valid Social Security numbers and provide documentation verifying income eligibility. Family size, income and available assets or resources, such as bank accounts or property, determine eligibility for food stamps.
Federal Asset and Income Limits
- Asset limits vary by state. Federal food stamp guidelines state that a household’s income and assets must total no more than $2,000 ($3,000 if a member of the household is over 60 or disabled). Gross monthly income must be 130 percent or less of the federal poverty guideline ($2,389 for a family of four through September 30, 2010). Net monthly income must be 100 percent or less of the federal poverty guideline ($1,838 for a family of four through September 30, 2010).
Michigan Asset and Income Limits
- In the state of Michigan, assets are not considered for food stamp eligibility. A household qualifies for food stamps if it is low-income and/or has high expenses. Eligible income is calculated by adding gross income and subtracting program-approved deductions. Eligible income includes wages from employment (after taxes), self-employment, unemployment or disability income, child support, alimony, Social Security or pension/retirement income. Income from household members under the age of 18, loans or scholarships, or Earned Income Tax Credit money are not counted as income.
- Certain expenses may be deducted from income considered for food stamp eligibility. Allowed expenses include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes and homeowners insurance. Individuals paying court-ordered child support may deduct it from their monthly income. If a person is caring for a dependent child or disabled adult, she may deduct all medical expenses over $35 from her income. These expenses may include prescription or over-the-counter drugs, doctor visits, medical supplies and health insurance premiums. Households of up to three people are allowed to take a standard deduction of $125. Expenses such a monthly car payment, food, or renters insurance are not allowed deductions.