Think You Can't Get Food Stamps? Take a Fresh Look

Myth-busting questions and answers about Food Stamps


Think you cannot get Food Stamps if you own a car? Not true!

Think you cannot get Food Stamps if you have a savings account? Not true!

Think that applying for Food Stamps isn’t worth the trouble because most people are only eligible for $10 anyway? Not true!

Think that if you want to apply for Food Stamps, you have to go to the FIA office in person? Not true!

Think that when you get Food Stamps, you have to use coupons at the grocery store? Not true!

Food Stamp rules have changed.

You can still receive Food Stamps, even if you have a car. You can still receive Food Stamps, even if you have modest savings, such as a retirement account.You may have been told you cannot get Food Stamps or even lost your right to get them because the Department of Human Services (DHS), formerly the FIA or Family Independence Agency) thought you were no longer eligible. However, if your income is low or for other reasons you have trouble making ends meet, you may in fact be eligible for Food Stamp benefits.

The amount of Food Stamp benefits depends on family size, income and certain expenses.

For example, persons 60 or older and persons with disabilities can deduct their medical expenses from their income, which can mean more Food Stamp benefits.

You can apply for Food Stamps by mail.

You may have to attend an interview at the local office of the Department of Human Services (DHS) office later, but if you are elderly, disabled or cannot attend for other reasons, such as work or transportation difficulty, DHS may be able to do a phone interview.

Food Stamp benefits now come on a debit card,

Called the Michigan Bridge Card. The Bridge Card looks like and works like a regular ATM or debit card. The program that supplies these benefits in Michigan is referred to as the Food Assistance program.

For more information on foodstamps you can view other articles on this site: Need Foodstamps Right Away?, and Were You Denied or Cut Off of Food Stamps? Are You Losing Your Food Stamps Before You Have To?.

If you want to find out if you are eligible for Food Stamps before you apply or if you have questions visit the Food Stamp help website at www.foodstamphelp.org.

To locate free or low cost legal assistance:

  • Visit the Michiganlegalaid.org home page and search for local assistance by entering your zip code in the box marked “Find a lawyer, organization or related service to help you with your problem.” or

  • Look under "attorneys" in the yellow pages to find your local legal aid office, or

  • Contact the Michigan State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 968- 0738.

  • Persons age 60 or older, regardless of their income, may be able to receive free advice from the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors by calling (800) 347-5297.

This article appears courtesy of the Michigan Food Stamp Partnership