Documents Needed for Welfare in the United States

If you are interested in applying for welfare to help you pay for food, you must meet all requirements.

Keep reading to learn about different programs available and their eligibility requirements.

Different Programs in the United States

There are a pair of well-known government-administered programs for low and no-income households. The programs are known as:

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

To obtain welfare assistance from either SNAP or TANF for purchasing food, you will need to be able to demonstrate:

  • Your identity
  • US Citizenship
  • Need of financial help

To prove your identity and that you are a citizen of the United States, you will need your US birth certificate or another type of official record.

Regulations and requirements for obtaining food stamps change by state. Ensure you know the differences between the programs and the rules for eligibility in your area.

Which Is Best for You

Depending on your circumstances you may have more eligibility for one program over another. Review who often receives help from both SNAP and TANF below.

  • SNAP: Helps households which are low to no income. This can be only one person or a group of people who buy and prepare food together.
  • TANF: Assists families with children who are dependent on low income.

This means if you are an individual without any dependent children, SNAP may be the better option for help.

On the other hand, if you have a family with a dependent child or children, you should request assistance from TANF.

Documents You Need to Apply for Welfare

Having the correct forms of identification and proof of your economic struggles is critical if you want your application for assistance to be accepted.

You must submit the following 8 types of documents to correctly apply for welfare:

  • Valid Identification
  • Proof that you are a US citizen
  • Proof of your residence
  • Unearned and earned
  • Medical bills
  • Household bills
  • Evidence of disabilities
  • Evidence of school attendance (if applicable)

Your bills related to healthcare or household expenses such as electricity and gas can help demonstrate that you are in deep financial trouble.

With your identification you’ll be able to demonstrate your full name, date of birth, and that you are a citizen of the United States.

If you need a new birth certificate or other vital record it’s essential to apply for one as soon as possible if you plan on applying for welfare in the near future.

Completing the Interview

If you apply for help paying for food with SNAP, you’ll need to take part in an interview after your documentation has been submitted.

This interview attempts to ensure the information you provided is accurate and to protect against fraud. You will also learn more about what benefits you will be receiving.

During the interview process, you may be asked to provide more documentation such as additional government-issued IDs. For this reason, it’s recommended to have as many forms of ID as possible available.

Once the interview has ended you can wait for the approval of your application. If for some reason your application is denied you can always appeal the decision.

For more information about benefits you may qualify for you can visit the official government website.