“When you move, stay in close contact with your new caseworker to make sure your case is handled properly.
The short answer to this question? “Yes.” Of course you have the right to apply for food stamp benefits in another state if you move. The food stamp program — renamed “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in 2008 — was created in 1939 to assist needy families during the Great Depression and became a permanent part of American welfare during the Johnson administration. It’s there to provide help whenever someone needs it, no matter the state. There are certain steps you should take, though, to avoid being guilty of receiving benefits from two states at the same time, and to avoid facing a lapse.
While You’re Moving
The California Guide to the Food Stamp Program points out that it’s unconstitutional to deny a person food stamp benefits because she is moving between states. It’s also unconstitutional for an agency to terminate food stamp benefits before the scheduled termination date. This means while you’re traveling, you have the right to continue using the benefits you qualified for in your home state. Your card will work in any of the continental states, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Apply for benefits in your new state right away. It can take up to 30 days to get approved for benefits, so the sooner you do it, the better. Waiting can cause a lapse in your benefits. Let your new caseworker know you’re receiving benefits from your previous state, so there is no confusion. Once you’ve moved to another state, the previous state is no longer responsible for providing benefits, according to Life Without Limits.
If you don’t make your new caseworker aware you’re already receiving benefits from another state, you might wind up getting benefits from two states in the same month. While the extra money might be welcome, this is considered food stamp fraud, and you will have to repay it. You may even have to face criminal prosecution, according to Neighborhood Legal Services.
There are two exceptions to the overlapping rule. First, an abused person who is fleeing the state for his safety may qualify for expedited food stamp benefits, even if he already received benefits that month. Also, a person who qualified for benefits but moved before he received them and had to have them mailed isn’t violating the rules, according to the California Guide to the Food Stamp Program.”