If you are trying to see if you are eligible to apply for Food stamps in Maine (SNAP) or need more information about Maine EBT, you’ve come to the right place. The Maine 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 Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
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 Maine Food Stamps?
- Who is Eligible for Maine Food Stamps?
- Maine Food Stamps Income Limit
- How Much Will I Receive in Maine Food Stamps?
- How to Apply for Maine Food Stamps
- How long to get Approved for Maine Food Stamps?
- What is the Maine EBT Card?
- What can I buy with EBT in Maine?
- Which Maine Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
- What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Maine?
- How to Check Maine EBT Card Balance?
- How Do I Get a Maine EBT Card Replacement?
- Maine EBT Card Discounts, Perks, and Freebies
Should I apply for Maine 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 Maine Food Stamps?
To be eligible for food stamps in Maine, 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 Maine, 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.
Maine Food Stamps Income Limit
Below is the food stamps income limit for Maine. 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.
|Maine 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|
Maine Food Stamps Asset Limit
In addition to the income limit, Food Stamps applicants in Maine must also meet an asset limit.
Households may have $5,000 in countable resources (such as cash or money in a bank account) and still qualify for food stamps.
However, certain resources are NOT counted when determining eligibility for SNAP:
- A home and lot;
- Resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
- Resources of people who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF; also known as welfare); and
- Most retirement and pension plans (withdrawals from these accounts may count as either income or resources depending on how often they occur).
How Much Will I Receive in Maine 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|
Maine Food Stamps Work Requirement
The state of Maine has very strict work requirements when it comes to eligibility for food stamps.
In general, applicants for food stamps must meet work requirements to be eligible for benefits.
These work requirements include:
- Registering for work;
- Not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing hours;
- Taking a job if offered; and
- Participating in employment and training programs, if assigned by the DHHS.
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the SNAP program.
In addition, able-bodied adults without dependents are required to work or participate in a work program for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive SNAP benefits for more than 3 months in a 36-month period.
Those who do not have to meet the food stamps work requirements include:
- Pregnant women; and
- People who are exempt for physical or mental health reasons.
How to Apply for Maine Food Stamps
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Maine.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the My Maine Connection Portal – as shown in the image below.
If you have an account, you can log in or create your My Maine Connection Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DHHS Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office near you. Click here to locate a DHHS office.
Option 3 – Download Maine Food Stamps Application
You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county DHHS office or submit it in person.
How long to get Approved for Maine Food Stamps?
Generally, a decision will be made on your Maine 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 Maine EBT Card?
The Maine EBT card, also called the Maine Pine Tree Card is a safe and easy way to get and use your Maine food benefits
If you are approved for food stamps, your monthly food stamps allocation will be given to you each month on a Maine EBT Card, which works like a debit card.
You can access your SNAP and/or Cash benefits using your Maine EBT Pine Tree Card card and your 4-digit PIN.
What can I buy with EBT in Maine?
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 Maine
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 Maine Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
The following grocery stores accept Maine SNAP EBT cards online for pickup and/or delivery.
BJs Wholesale Club
Sam’s Club Scan and Go
What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Maine?
SNAP benefits in Maine are sent out from the 10th to the 14th of the month. The day your benefits are available on your Maine EBT Card is based on the last digit of your birthday.
Here’s the complete SNAP EBT Schedule for Maine.
|If the Last digit of your Birth Day ends in||Benefits are deposited on the|
|0 or 9||10th of the month|
|1 or 8||11th of the month|
|2 or 3||12th of the month|
|4 or 7||13th of the month|
|5 or 6||14th of the month|
How to Check Maine EBT Card Balance?
There are three ways to check your Maine EBT Card balance.
Call 1-800-477-7428 to check the balance on your Maine Pine Tree Card.
- You can check the balance online here.
- You can also check the balance by locating your Last Receipt.
How Do I Get a Maine EBT Card Replacement?
To report your card lost, stolen, damaged, or not received in the mail call the Maine EBT Customer Service number at – 1-800-477-7428.
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.
Maine EBT Card Discounts
Your Maine 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 Maine.
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.
|Company Name||Phone||Type of Service|
|Safelink Wireless||800-723-3546||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Tag Mobile||866-959-4918||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Yourtel America||855-299-9990||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Life Wireless||888-543-3620||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|U.S. Cellular||800-944-9400||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Cintex||877-304-9183||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Q Link Wireless||855-754-6543||Mobile Lifeline Service|
|Assurance Wireless||888-898-4888||Mobile Lifeline 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 Maine, see the Maine Low Income Free Internet Program guide.
Maine Food Stamps and EBT Summary
We hope this post on Maine 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.