What is food assistance?
The Food Assistance Program is a nutrition assistance program which provides a Vision card (plastic debit card) to eligible persons to purchase food.
How does the program work?
Monthly benefits are provided on a Vision card, which looks and functions like a debit card. When food is purchased the cost is electronically subtracted from the individual’s Vision card account. Simply present the card to the store clerk when purchasing food.
You may also use your Vision card at selected farmers' markets in Kansas to purchase fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables. You may also purchase breads, jams, meat, plants to grow food (such as a tomato plant) and other food items at the farmers' markets.
Who may be eligible?
Persons who work, but have a low income and those who are unemployed may be eligible. Persons who live together and buy food together may be eligible. Household members do not have to be related to be considered part of the household.
Persons age 60 and older and persons with disabilities may be eligible. Persons with disabilities such as those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability payments, certain veteran’s disability payments, disability retirement benefits for a permanent disability and railroad disability may be eligible.
Any single individual, household or group of individuals who live and eat together, whose income and resources are low and who meet certain basic program requirements can qualify.
The Food Assistance program is available to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, political beliefs or handicaps.
How much help can I get?
The amount of assistance eligible persons receive is based on household size and amount of income after deductions.
What are the income requirements?Maximum Monthly Income What other household resources count toward eligibility?
All income and resources must be reported when you apply. Although certain types of income may be excluded, most is counted in determining eligibility and the amount of food assistance benefits that can be provided to the household. Food assistance income limits go up as household size increases. The following can be deducted from total gross monthly income to determine monthly net Income:
to cover basic household expenses, a standard deduction will be subtracted
to cover work-related expenses and payroll taxes, a 20 percent deduction will be subtracted from earned income
to cover dependent care expenses, a deduction for actual costs will be subtracted
to cover high shelter expenses, a deduction for actual costs, up to the maximum allowed, may be subtracted
to cover legally obligated child support payments, a deduction for actual payments will be subtracted
All households may have up to $2,000 worth of resources. Households may have up to $3,250 if at least one member is age 60 or older or is disabled. Some countable resources that apply toward the $2,000 (or $3,250) limit are:
- cash, checking and savings accounts
- U.S. Savings Bonds
- Savings Certificates
- Buildings or land (except family home)
- Jointly owned resources
Certain Resources are exempt, such as:
- The home where you live
- Cars and other vehicles
- Life insurance policies
- Income-producing real estate (if the property annually produces income consistent with its fair market value)
- Tradesman tools and farm machinery
See Special Provisions that apply to the elderly, disabled, Veterans, households with farm income, and those receiving other assistance.
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
U.S. citizens and certain legal non-citizens may be eligible for food assistance benefits when other eligibility requirements are met. If you are not eligible due to immigration status, your legal resident or citizen children may still qualify. Citizenship verification or non-citizen documentation is required for the individuals you are applying for.
Food Assistance Program Overview