The food stamp program is a federal program that helps people
with low income to purchase food. Food stamps come on a plastic
card that you use at the grocery store just like a credit or bank
debit card. Benefits are added to your card monthly.
In order to receive food stamps in you must complete a food stamp
application and eligibility interview. In Milwaukee County, apply
at the Milwaukee County Department of Human Services at:
1220 West Vliet Street or 1673 S. 9th Street.
In other counties, contact the County Department of Social Services.
A complete list of agencies is available on the internet at
If you are elderly or disabled, you may request that an
application be mailed to you by calling (414) 289-6101.
It is also possible to apply on-line with a computer at
The amount of food stamps you will receive each month is based
on the number of people in your food stamp group, the groupís
income, shelter costs and certain deductions.
People who live together, buy food and prepare meals
together are grouped as a "household". Husbands and wives, and
in most cases, their children under age 22 who live together
must be in one household.
You may qualify for food stamps if your income is at or below
200% of the federal poverty level. In 2006, 200% of the federal
poverty level is:
for family of one,
for a family of 2,
for a family of 3,
for a family of 4
for a family of 5.
If you are found eligible for benefits you will be assigned a
case worker who will be responsible for managing your case and
issuing your benefits.
For food stamp benefits, you are only
required to report changes to your worker if your total monthly
gross household income exceeds 130% of the federal poverty level
for your household size. [
There are different reporting rules for food units that have
only elderly, blind and/or disabled members who are not working.
The following rules do not pertain to these households. For
information on rules for non-working elderly, blind and /or
disabled households call Milwaukee County at (414) 289-6000 or
Legal Action at (414) 278-7722.]
Total gross income means all household income, such as earnings
from a job, child support, unemployment compensation, Social
Security, W-2 and SSI payments. This is income before deductions
such as taxes and withholdings.
Use the following chart to determine your income reporting limit
HOUSEHOLD SIZES WITH MONTHLY GROSS INCOMES ABOVE THESE AMOUNTS MUST REPORT CHANGES IN INCOME
| 1: $1,264
|| 2: $1,704
|| 3: $2,144|
| 4: $2,584
|| 5: $3,024
|| 6: $3,463|
| 7: $3,903
|| 8: $4,343
|| 9: $4,783|
If your total household income goes above the amount on the
chart which corresponds to your household size, you must report
the change by the 10th of the next month.
In Milwaukee, you can contact Milwaukee County Customer Service
at 289-6000 or the walk-in verification unit located at 1220 West
There are different reporting requirements for W-2, child care
and medical assistance that you will need to comply with if you
receive those benefits.
Food Stamp households are required to meet with their case
worker on a periodic basis to update the information about their
case. This is called a review. For most households reviews
will be scheduled every 12 months.
Food Stamp households that include a migrant or seasonal farm
worker and households that are homeless will have reviews every
Food Stamp households will be required to submit an income
report form known as a SMIRF every six months. This report will
be mailed to you by your county food stamp agency. It will ask
you to report and verify your income and any changes since your
last food stamp review.
Food Stamp households that include only elderly, blind or
disabled persons without any earned income will not be required
to complete SMIRFS.
For more information about food stamps or for information about
food pantries and meal programs available to you, call
"211 Milwaukee" at 773-0211. If you are denied food stamps and
believe you are eligible for assistance contact Legal Action at
(414) 278-7722 or toll free at (888) 278-0633.
Prepared by Legal Action of Wisconsin, June 2006