Frequently Asked Questions About Health and Human Services

What Health and Human Services should I apply for?

Food Stamp Benefits

What Health and Human Services should I apply for?
You should apply for every benefit that you think you may need.
When your application arrives the County Assistance Office will look at your income and tell you what Health and Human Services you can receive.

Can I get Food Stamp benefits if I don't get Cash Assistance?
Yes, you may be able to receive Food Stamps even if you can no longer receive Cash Assistance and/or Medical Assistance. Food Stamps are determined differently than Cash Assistance and Medical Assistance.

Is there a time limit on how long I can receive Food Stamps?
If you are determined to be eligible for Food Stamps, you can receive them for as long as you are eligible. While cash assistance programs may have time limits on the length of time you can receive benefits, Food Stamps do not.

What can I buy with Food Stamps?
Households can use Food Stamps to buy any food or food product that is made for humans. You can also buy seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food.
Households CANNOT use Food Stamp benefits to buy:
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Lunch counter items or foods to be eaten in the store
  • Vitamins or medicines
  • Pet foods
  • Any non-food items (except seeds and plants)

Some restaurants accept Food Stamp benefits from some homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. Contact your County Assistance Office for a list of these restaurants. Food Stamps cannot be exchanged for cash.

If I own a vehicle (car, truck or van), can I still receive Food Stamps?
YES. One vehicle per household, no matter what it is worth or how it is used. This vehicle will not be counted when looking at the value of a household's resources. All vehicles (licensed or unlicensed) with an equity value of $1,500 or less are also excluded.

I currently receive Food Stamp benefits. When should I report an increase in my monthly household income to the County Assistance Office (CAO)?
The reporting requirements for Food Stamp recipients vary by household size and income level. Please use the attached chart when determining if the increase in your household income should be reported to the CAO or Change Center (1-877-395-8930 or 1-215-560-7226 for Philadelphia residents only).