If you are trying to see if you are eligible to apply for Food stamps in Iowa (SNAP) or need more information about Iowa EBT, you’ve come to the right place. The Iowa food stamps and EBT program, also called the Food Assistance Program, is a federal nutrition program that helps low-income individuals and families buy food.
Food Stamps benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets.
The program is run at the state level by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS).
If you apply and are approved for benefits, your monthly food stamps allocation will be given to you each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card.
We have provided below everything you need to know to successfully apply for food stamps. We have also explained how EBT Card works and what you can expect with your card if you are approved for food stamps.
Table of Contents:
- Should I apply for Iowa Food Stamps?
- Who is Eligible for Iowa Food Stamps?
- Iowa Food Stamps Income Limit
- How Much Will I Receive in Iowa Food Stamps?
- How to Apply for Iowa Food Stamps
- How long to get Approved for Iowa Food Stamps?
- What is the Iowa EBT Card?
- What can I buy with EBT in Iowa?
- Which Iowa Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
- What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Iowa?
- How to Check Iowa EBT Card Balance?
- How Do I Get an Iowa EBT Card Replacement?
- Iowa EBT Card Discounts, Perks, and Freebies
Should I apply for Iowa Food Stamps?
If you’ve hit tough times and are struggling to afford food for yourself or your family, you should consider applying for food stamps.
The food stamps program is a federal entitlement program. This means anyone who is eligible will receive benefits. You will not be taking away benefits from someone else if you apply.
In addition, the food stamps program is a nutrition program and not a welfare cash assistance program (which is called TANF). You do not have to be receiving TANF to get food stamps.
Who is Eligible for Iowa Food Stamps?
To be eligible for food stamps in Iowa, you have to meet the Gross Income, Net Income, and Asset tests.
Additionally, if your household has an elderly (over 60) or disabled member, you may be exempt from the Gross Income, Net Income, and/or Asset tests.
In Iowa, eligibility for SNAP is limited to people with gross incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty line.
Also, your net income (Gross income minus allowable deductions) cannot exceed 100% of the poverty level.
Furthermore, able-bodied adults without dependents can only receive three months of benefits during any three-year period if they’re not working a minimum of 20 hours per week or participating in a training program.
Iowa Food Stamps Income Limit
Below is the food stamps income limit for Iowa. It is based on the number of people in your household.
For example, if you are a family of 4, you cannot make more than a gross income of $3,007 a month to qualify for food stamps.
|Iowa SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2023|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Monthly Net Income (100% of FPL)||Monthly Gross Income (130% of FPL)||Monthly Gross Income (165% of FPL) for households with an Elderly or Disabled Member|
|Each Additional Household Member: Add||$394||$512||$649|
Iowa Food Stamps Asset Limit
Here’s what you need to know about the Iowa SNAP Asset or Resource test:
Unless you get SSI or FIP benefits, you need to show that you are under income and resource limit to qualify for SNAP:
Resources are things you own like your home and car as well as cash you have in the bank, stocks, or U.S. savings bonds.
However, not all of your resources will be counted.
To get food assistance or SNAP benefits in Iowa, the value of your counted resources must not be more than:
- $2,250 for most households;
- $3,250 for households of one or more if at least one person is 60 years or older, or has a disability.
How Much Will I Receive in Iowa Food Stamps?
The amount of food stamps benefits a household gets depends on how many people are in the household and how much monthly net income remains after taking allowable deductions.
A family of 4 can receive a maximum food stamps benefit of $939.
Because food stamps households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their own resources on food, the amount of food stamps you get is calculated by multiplying your household’s net monthly income by 0.3 and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size.
|Maximum SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for Fiscal Year 2023|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment|
|Each Additional Household Member: Add||$211|
Iowa Food Stamps Work Requirement
The state of Iowa has very strict work requirements when it comes to eligibility for food stamps.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the work requirements below before applying for benefits.
With some exceptions, able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 must register for work, accept suitable employment, and take part in an employment and training program to which they are referred by the Iowa DHS.
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the SNAP Program.
Additionally, able-bodied adults between 18 and 50 who do not have any dependent children can get Iowa food stamps only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search.
Also, Iowa Food Stamp recipients who are disabled are exempt from the requirement to register for work or take part in the Food Stamps Employment and Training (FSET) program.
How to Apply for Iowa Food Stamps
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Iowa.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the Iowa DHS OASIS portal – as shown in the image below.
If you have an account, you can log in or create your Iowa DHS OASIS Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DHS Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) office near you. Click here to locate a DHS office.
Option 3 – Download Iowa Food Stamps Application
You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county DHS office or submit it in person.
How long to get Approved for Iowa Food Stamps?
Generally, a decision will be made on your Iowa food stamps application within 30 days of the day you submitted a COMPLETE application.
Once you submit a complete application, your caseworker will schedule an interview with you to review your application information and ask any questions they may have about the information you submitted.
What is the Iowa EBT Card?
The Iowa EBT Card is used to administer your monthly food stamps and cash benefits.
If you are approved for food stamps, your monthly food stamps allocation will be given to you each month on an Iowa EBT Card, which works like a debit card.
You can access your SNAP and/or Cash benefits using your Iowa EBT card and your 4-digit PIN.
What can I buy with EBT in Iowa?
You are allowed to use your food stamps benefits card to buy foods that your household will prepare to eat at home, including the following
- breads and cereals
- fruits and vegetables
- meats, fish and poultry; and
- dairy products
- Seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat
- Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream
- Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore not eligible
What you CANNOT buy with EBT in Iowa
Now that you know what you can buy with your SNAP card, here is the list of things you CANNOT buy with the card:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, diapers, and household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods
- Live animals
NOTE: In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.
Which Iowa Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
The following grocery stores accept Iowa SNAP EBT cards online for pickup and/or delivery.
New Pioneer Food Co-op
Sam’s Club Scan and Go
What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Iowa?
SNAP benefits in Iowa are sent out from the 1st to the 10th of the month. The day your benefits are available on your Iowa EBT Card is based on the first three letters of your last name.
Here’s the complete SNAP EBT Schedule for Iowa.
|If the First Letter of your Last Name is||Benefits are deposited on the|
|A or B||1st of the month|
|C or D||2nd of the month|
|E, F, or G||3rd of the month|
|H or I||4th of the month|
|J, K, or L||5th of the month|
|M, N, or O||6th of the month|
|P, Q, or R||7th of the month|
|S||8th of the month|
|T, U, or V||9th of the month|
|W,X,Y, or Z||10th of the month|
How to Check Iowa EBT Card Balance?
There are three ways to check your Iowa EBT Card balance.
Call 1-800-359-5802 to check the balance on your Iowa EBT Card.
- You can check the balance online here.
- You can also check the balance by locating your Last Receipt.
How Do I Get a Iowa EBT Card Replacement?
To report your card lost, stolen, damaged, or not received in the mail call the Iowa EBT Customer Service number at – 1-800-359-5802.
If your EBT card is stolen and benefits are used these benefits cannot be replaced.
You can also call the number above for the following:
- To report your card lost, stolen, damaged, or not received in the mail.
- To know the date your benefits will be available in your account each month.
- To know if your benefits have been deposited into your account and get your account balance.
- To hear your last 10 transactions.
- To file a claim if you question a transaction in your account.
- If you want to select or change your PIN.
- If your card does not work.
- To find the nearest location where you can use your card.
- If you have other questions about or problems with your card.
Iowa EBT Card Discounts
Your Iowa EBT Card comes with some perks, discounts, and freebies. This includes:
- 50% Discount on Amazon Prime Membership
- Discounts on Home or Cell Phone Service
- Up to $30 credit toward home internet service
- A one-time discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer
For details on the SNAP EBT discounts and perks described above, continue reading below.
Sign up for Amazon Prime Discount for EBT Holders
Amazon.com has announced that beneficiaries enrolled in some government assistance programs can now get Amazon Prime subscriptions for $6.99 a month. EBT Cardholders are included in this offer.
This means that if you are currently receiving benefits on an EBT card, like Food Stamps, you can sign up for Amazon Prime discount for EBT holders. To sign up, click here to be taken to their sign-up page.
The regular Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 a month. However, if you have an EBT Card, you can get Prime Membership for $6.99. That’s over 50% off the regular price.
Discounts on Home and Cell Phone Services
If you are currently on Food Stamps, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost cell phone or home phone service for you or a member of your family through the Federal Lifeline Program, which serves nearly 13 million Americans.
The Lifeline Program program provides discounts on cell phone service or home phone service for qualifying low-income consumers, including those on Food Stamps.
Here are the companies that participate in the program in the state of Iowa.
There are different companies providing cell phone (Mobile Service) and home phone service (Home Service). Be sure to view the “Type of Service” column to make sure you are selecting the right company.
- Home Service means that the provider offers Lifeline home phone or Internet service.
- Mobile Service means the provider offers Lifeline mobile phone or Internet service.
An asterisk (*) after the company name means that this service provider offers both ACP and Lifeline.
Discounts on Internet Service and Laptop/Tablet
If you are currently on Food Stamps, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost internet service and a one-time credit towards the purchase of a laptop or tablet. for you or a member of your family through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
How much of a discount will I receive on my Internet Service?
If your household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can receive:
- Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of an eligible laptop, tablet, or desktop computer
For the companies that participate in the program in the state of Iowa, see the Iowa Low Income Free Internet Program guide.
Iowa Food Stamps and EBT Summary
We hope this post on Iowa Food Stamps and EBT was helpful.
If you have further questions about SNAP Benefits & EBT, or Personal Finance topics affecting low-income households, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on low-income personal finance.