In Vermont, SNAP food benefits are provided each month to those households who qualify for the program, known as 3SquaresVT in the state. Those food stamps recipients can provide food for themselves, as well as their eligible family members. If the state finds that you are likely to receive SNAP benefits, you will receive your benefits each month on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
An EBT card works like a debit card, and will require a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for use. Each month, recipients of the benefits food stamps program in Vermont will have their benefits loaded automatically into their accounts, so they can get direct accesses to their benefits. Then, they can use their EBT cards to purchase groceries at any authorized food stores across Vermont. But, there is a limit to the amount of groceries a SNAP benefits recipient can buy, and an allotted amount that he or she can spend each month. Learn more about the SNAP program in Vermont in the sections outlined below.
Obtaining Vermont SNAP Benefits
Once your SNAP food benefits application has been submitted, and you receive an approval letter from the program, you will receive your EBT card that will immediately transfer benefits into your account each month. If a caseworker determines that your household is eligible for SNAP food benefits, you will be eligible to receive benefits dating back to when your application was submitted.
In Vermont, the number of food stamps benefits a recipient can receive will depend on household size, income and overall expenses. But, the average monthly benefit per household in the state is $235.
Your Monthly SNAP Benefits Allotment in Vermont
If your household meets the eligibility requirements for SNAP food benefits and a member of your household is younger than 65, your monthly SNAP benefits will be directly loaded onto your EBT card. But, if everyone in your household is over 65, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your food stamps benefits will be deposited into your bank account as cash. Once your benefits are loaded, you can use your card to purchase eligible food items at authorized stores and farmers markets.
If you meet eligible requirements for food assistance benefits in Vermont, and you have a school-age child whose school currently takes part in a federal meals program, the state will contact your child’s school stating that he or she can qualify for free meals, unless otherwise told not to do so. No school meal application is required.
Where can I use my food stamps benefits?
After you learn how to successfully apply for SNAP food benefits in VT, and you receive your EBT card and PIN, you can start purchasing authorized food products at qualifying retail food stores. But, you will need to know which food stores and farmers markets accept benefits. In Vermont, you can learn to use your EBT card to purchase food items anywhere that displays the QUEST logo. There is no minimum dollar amount that a recipient has to spend to use the card to buy food, and there is no maximum number of times he or she can use the card to purchase food items each month.
Though an EBT card works like a debit card, when purchasing eligible food items with your SNAP benefits, you cannot get cash back. The exact amount of your food purchase will be deducted from your account. Recipients also cannot request change using their EBT cards. Learn more about EBT card usage by downloading our informative guide.
Approved Vermont Food Stamps Benefits Purchases
Recipients of food stamps benefits in Vermont can purchase essential food items, like ice, water, and cool or room-temperature foods, just as long as the food items are not designed to be consumed in the store, such as hot foods. Additionally, non-essential food items you can buy with SNAP include:
- Soft drinks.
- Ice cream.
- Snack crackers.
- Bakery cakes.
According to federal SNAP benefits guidelines, consideration for products depends on the type of product label that has been chosen by the manufacturer. For an item to qualify for the food stamps programs, it must meet requirements established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Certain food supplements, such as Ensure, may be purchased with benefits. But, energy drinks must have nutrition fact labels to qualify for purchase, not a supplement fact label.
The benefits food stamps program states that recipients in Vermont can only use their benefits to purchase food items. But, they may also purchase seeds or plants that will be used to grow food for their households to consume. Typically, food stamps benefits cannot be used to purchase birds and animals, but live seafood, like lobster, fish and shellfish is considered an authorized purchase. Fruits that are edible and eligible for SNAP benefits in Vermont include pumpkins. But, any inedible pumpkins that are purchased primarily for ornamental purposes are not items that are eligible for purchase with food stamps.
Non-Essential Food Items You Can Purchase With Vermont Food Stamps Benefits
Federal guidelines state that Vermont food stamp benefits can be used to purchase non-essential food items, like birthday cakes, or other special-occasion cakes. But, the value of the non-edible decorations for the cakes cannot exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.
Ineligible Vermont Food Stamps Benefits Purchases
Many items cannot be purchased with SNAP food benefits in Vermont, and many of them include nonfood items, such as household supplies, like paper products, soap, pet foods, medicine, vitamins and more. SNAP benefits also cannot be used to purchase cigarettes, tobacco or alcoholic beverages. Download our guide to read more about items that cannot be purchased with food stamps.
According to Vermont SNAP benefits, gift baskets that contain both food and nonfood items, where the value of the nonfood items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price, are not eligible for purchase with your benefits.
Extra Vermont Food Stamps Benefits
In Vermont, if SNAP food benefits are not used for 365 days, they will permanently be removed from a recipient’s account. Also, cash benefits that are not used for 90 days will be permanently removed from a recipient’s account.