Have you ever wondered how EBT cards work? As an Oklahoma resident, you are entitled to certain benefits offered by different government programs when it comes to your food options and it's important to understand what they are.
So in this blog post, we're going to be discussing these EBT card-based benefits, as well as how to apply for and receive your food benefits in Oklahoma.
What Are EBT Cards and Who Qualifies for Them in Oklahoma?
EBT cards, or Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, provide funds to those in need of food assistance across the nation and that includes Oklahoma. If your annual household income falls below certain threshold, you likely qualify for an EBT card.
How Do EBT Cards Work?
EBT cards work like debit cards. Benefits are deposited onto the card each month, and you can use it to purchase approved food items at participating grocery stores or farmers markets. In Oklahoma, the EBT card program is called SoonerCare.
To qualify for an EBT card in Oklahoma, your household must meet income requirements based on family size. You must provide proof of income and other documentation like your current bank balance to determine if you're eligible. If approved, your EBT card will be mailed to you.
What could You Buy?
EBT cards can be used to buy most grocery staples like:
- Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
EBT cards cannot be used to purchase non-food items like:
- Alcohol, tobacco, paper products, diapers.
- Prepared foods (like restaurant meals)
- Vitamins and medicines
With an EBT card, you can provide nutritious food for your family. The funds are there to assist you during times of financial hardship so you can get back on your feet.
Understanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
EBT Card is closely linked to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.
To qualify for SNAP, your household must meet income requirements based on the number of people in your household. Some expenses like high housing costs are taken into account.
You must also meet work requirements, unless you are exempt due to age, disability or caring for children. Work requirements include working at least 20 hours a week or participating in a workfare program.
Applying to SNAP Program
Applying for the SNAP food assistance program in Oklahoma is straightforward. To start, you need to fill out a SNAP application. There are a couple ways to apply:
The easiest way to apply for SNAP in Oklahoma is online at OKDHSlive. You will need information like income details, Social Security numbers for household members, rent and utility bills, and information on any assets you may have. The online application process takes around 15 minutes to complete.
You can also apply in person at your local Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) county office. Call ahead to make an appointment, and bring the same documentation you would need for the online application. Applying in person allows you to get help right away if you have any questions about your application.
Otherwise, you can apply for SNAP benefits by filling out a paper application and mailing it to your local Oklahoma human services office. Paper applications typically take longer to process than online or in-person applications. Make sure to provide photocopies of all required documentation with your mailed application.
To qualify for SNAP in Oklahoma, you must meet certain income requirements based on your household size. The benefit program aims to help low-income individuals and families buy nutritious food. Once approved, you will receive an EBT card (or an Access Oklahoma card) loaded with your monthly benefit amount which can be used at most grocery stores and farmers markets to purchase food items. SNAP benefits and the program overall aim to help address the issue of hunger and improve nutrition for those in need.
Other Programs that Offer EBT Cards
For residents of Oklahoma, EBT Cards are also used for the WIC program, which provides supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no cost. WIC serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk.
To qualify for WIC benefits in Oklahoma, you must meet the following requirements:
- You're living in Oklahoma
- Be pregnant, breastfeeding, or a postpartum woman, an infant (under 1 year of age), or child (between 1 to 5 years of age)
- Meet the WIC income guidelines for your household size
- Be at nutrition risk, meaning you have a medical condition like anemia or poor growth
Once enrolled in WIC, you receive an EBT card to purchase WIC-approved foods at authorized stores. The foods provided with WIC are designed to supplement participants’ diets with nutritious staples like:
- Infant formula and cereals
- Milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Dried and canned beans, lentils
- Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
WIC also provides nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals. WIC aims to guide you toward a lifetime of healthy eating and lifestyles.
WIC is a wonderful supplemental nutrition program for those in need. Take advantage of all the benefits WIC provides for you and your family. Eating healthy, nutritious foods will help set the right foundation for growth and development.
Applying to WIC Program
Applying for the WIC program in Oklahoma is actually pretty simple. First, you need to schedule an appointment at your local WIC clinic. While at your appointment, you're going to meet with a nutritionist who evaluates your eligibility based on income and nutritional risk.
To qualify for WIC in Oklahoma, your household income must fall at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty level. The exact income limits could change each year, so check with your local WIC office for the most up-to-date levels.
In addition to income, you must be deemed at "nutritional risk" to qualify for WIC. This means you have a medical or dietary condition like:
- Anemia (low iron)
- Underweight or overweight
- A history of poor pregnancy outcomes
- Dietary deficiencies
The WIC nutritionist will evaluate factors like your height, weight, blood iron levels and eating habits to determine if you're at risk.
To apply, simply call your local WIC clinic to schedule an appointment for certification. When At your appointment, bring proof of income (pay stubs, tax returns), proof of address (utility bill), and proof of identification (driver's license) for yourself and any family members applying. The nutritionist will review your documents, evaluate your nutritional risk, and certify you for WIC benefits on the spot if eligible.
WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and health care referrals to low-income women, infants and children. The benefits of WIC are substantial, so if you think you might qualify, don't hesitate to apply. The nutritionists are there to help determine your eligibility and get you started with the program.
Struggling to Find Food? Apply to Some FREE Benefits!
If you're reading this blog, you're likely struggling with some sort of financial hardship. Luckily, EASY Wireless is here to help even more. Partnering with government programs such as Lifeline & ACP, we're able to offer FREE phones with unlimited data to low-income households or individuals.
Whether you need to keep in touch with friends & family or you want to just save some money on your current plan, here's what we're offering:
EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
To start with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking the below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.