Food stamp benefits generally last 12 months, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. For households with disabled or elderly members who have no earned income, the period is usually extended to 24 months. Once that time is up, those who want to continue receiving benefits must re-certify, which means they must provide information on their current financial and living situations. A caseworker will check this information to see if the household still qualifies for benefits.
Missouri sends the first certification form -- called the mid-certification review -- at the middle point in the benefit period. This gives the household a chance to report any changes in the home. If there are no changes, simply check the box that says "no changes" and return the form on time. A notice of an impending interview near the end of your benefit period is also mailed to you as a reminder, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Missing the Date
If you fail to return the mid-certification review on time, the department will close your food stamp case, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. In this case, you'll have to go through the application process again to receive benefits. If you miss your interview at the end of your benefit period, the department will send you a "Notice of Expiration" with a blank application for food stamps attached, according to the USDA. If you don't reply to this notice, the department has no further obligation to you.
You can reapply for benefits if you've missed all interviews and notices. In this case, you'll have to apply as you did the first time. Provide all necessary documentation again, including identification, proof of income, proof of residence and proof of expenses. You'll also have to wait the customary 30-day review period, according to Legal Services of Missouri.
Expedited food stamp benefits are available to families in dire need of immediate assistance, according to Legal Services of Missouri. Your food stamp application is reviewed and if it's determined that your situation meets the criteria for immediate benefits, you can receive assistance within seven days of applying. Eligibility criteria includes earning $150 or less a month, having shelter costs that exceed your monthly income or being a migrant or seasonal worker with less than $100 in assets.
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