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Food stamps: What does it mean when my SNAP application is pending?

Some people are nervous when applying for food stamps for the first time ever, especially while waiting for their application approval.

grocery cart filled with food stamp eligible items in a grocery aisle

Millions of Americans rely on food stamps each month to get by.

Applying may be easy, but knowing what’s happening behind the scenes while you wait is not as easy.


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Food stamps explained

Food stamps are under the program called SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

EBT cards are given to those receiving benefits and the amount they get each month is loaded onto the card.

The card can be used like a debit card at participating retailers.

In order to apply, you need to do so in your state of residence.

Most people with a gross income of up to 130% of the federal poverty line will qualify.


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Pending food stamp applications

Most states will process your application and approve or deny you within 30 days of applying or sooner.

Sometimes you’ll see that it’s pending for longer than 30 days.

If this happens, contact your local SNAP benefit office to see what’s happening.


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California’s program is called Calfresh and if you applied, you submitted documents online.

You may contact your local county if you have questions or missed your interview.

Texas offers the Lone Star Card, and you may check your application online or call 1-850-300-4323 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In New York you can call the New York office at 1-800-342-3009 to inquire about your application.

You can also email [email protected]

In Pennsylvania you can call the COMPASS benefits line at 1-800-692-7462.

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