Re: the importance of getting all benefits you are eligible for..


New member
I got the news I am "conditionally approved" for SNAP. I realize I should have been getting it for the last... oh, 7.5yrs or so. And if I add up all the benefits I should have gotten... well, it's a lot. It's about equal to my debt, in fact. lmao.

So folks, remember to hoop jump for every benefit you might qualify for. I did apply several other times and failed to get accepted for a plethora of dumb reasons but alas it's on me for not persevering sooner. Learn from my mistakes :)

Here's some other benefits I also currently have (some context: I am both disabled and poor):
  • the ACP (free internet) [might run out in April 🥲 write to your reps, people!]
  • Medicaid (free state health care)
  • discounted Prime ($6.99/mo) that I share with my household (two accounts) [and allows me to subscribe to one Twitch user for free each month]
  • disability placard gives me free parking in some states (e.g., Florida) [that's not why I have it but it's a good financial perk when I am there]
  • access pass for ppl w/ disabilities gives me free lifetime admission to Natl Parks
  • library memberships offer free books/music/movies/video games/events
  • free Coursera membership (for everyone unemployed in NY)
  • access to ancestry and local newspapers through my local libraries - and free museum passes! (they offer access to these for non-residents for only $10/yr as well which I think is still a steal)
  • I think I also qualify for Lifeline ($9.95 off my phone service if eligible) or whatever but I gotta figure it out. And I assume I can't do two versions of the ACP (e.g., QLink for phone and my local ISP for internet)?
I also did my state's insurance reduction program for car insurance to get 10% off.

What other benefits do you have? Let's talk about them in the comments so everyone can learn about what they might be eligible for/missing out on. It definitely helps to stretch your limited dollars further!
@celestialangel18 This is dope! Thank you so much for sharing. My local library has museum passes but this is a great complement for all the spots they don't have passes for! Woohoo
@codygm once you have SNAP make sure you look for 2-for-1 type deals in your area. Usually farmer’s markets, etc they’ll give you $2 in spending power for every $1 in SNAP you use.
@shyhelpless Just looked this up for my local farmers' market. They do this for up to $50 in coupons back. That's not bad! So I'd have to spend $50 to get $50 in free coupons that I can use throughout the year. Sweet!! Thanks for the tip! I'll also check the other (smaller) farmers markets around me to see if they've got something similar. Anyone know if there's a database locator for these or do I gotta check each one individually? EDIT: did some digging and found a page for New York's database at least! Yaaay

Edit[sup]2:[/sup] found two other farmers markets and a co-op near me that also participate. Omg. What a blessing that is. Up to $20/day loaded on a "loyalty bucks" card that can be used at any of those three locations. That's wonderful 💌 Seems like I'll be able to almost double my SNAP benefits using all those resources (although gotta calculate the price difference between something like Aldi and shopping at these bougie-er places, I think if I shop smart I can still come out ahead)

I'm gonna ask my local CSA if they have any discounts too - they're great 💌
@codygm Benefits:
  • some utility company provides a discount/program for low-income residents.
  • LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
  • local public library has so many free resources:
    • free rental of wifi hotspot, you can use it as a substistue for internet plan
    • free rental of ipad/laptop/game console
    • free e-course/e-book for English, job hunting, IT
    • free lawyer consultation
  • food bank
  • Meals on Wheels, or food bank for senior/mobility-imparied residents (deliver food to your doorstep)
  • PCs for people discounted laptop/internet plan for qualified people
  • get rid of any online paywall / subscription, try or
@ervin00 Little confused by PCs for People. Are they just an ACP provider? Cuz you can do the govt's ACP National Verifier Registry site to see all the ACP providers in your location and cross-reference their promotions. You can get free Internet and a discounted $100 off laptop or tablet at most of them.

I get free 100Mbps Internet with Verizon and they also gave me a $50 Amazon gift card for going with them. If they lose the ACP funding Verizon says they're going to just discount service by $20, so not sure what I will do at that point. $40 for 100Mbps isn't horrible but I feel like I might be able to find a better deal if I look around? If I lived somewhere with Fios I'd be able to triple my speed for the same price using Verizon too but sadly not available here.

But I hope congress decides to pass the new funding bill for it!!

Some awesome tips here 🤗
@codygm Yes it’s important to know what benefits you are qualified for and spend time applying for them. Two years ago I learned there was an assistant program to help pay rent, the application was a lot, I finally submitted it and waited four months, we got approved and the program paid for three months of our rent.

I didn’t know there’s WIC until I was pregnant with my 2nd child.

I wish I know more about benefits back then, now we make a bit above our state income line, we aren’t approved for anything.
I wish I know more about benefits back then, now we make a bit above our state income line, we aren’t approved for anything.

I remember this feeling back when I was working. It's so frustrating. I think I was over by like $50/mo. So I didn't think much when I got rejected so many times for SNAP for dumb reasons. I should have worked harder at it cuz I left a lot of money/nutrition on the table. Admittedly they make these processes quite difficult and it's hard to know what you qualify for.

Looking for rent assistance is such a good tip! I also know there are rent-discounted HUD housing waiting lists you can get on (especially if you have SSDI) but in my state those waiting lists are years long. Still could be worth the effort for a lot of folks!
@codygm I blame the hospital where I gave birth to my first child, they didn’t ask anything like “do you know you can apply for WIC”, I had no idea there were things available. My husband didn’t know either. I thought we needed to be very poor for benefits.
@codygm In my city, if you qualify for SNAP or Medicaid you also qualify for things like a discounted zoo membership, discounted or free lime scooter or Lyft rides, discounted public transportation etc.

Most cities have some sort of webpage about this on a government site
@johnnyusa59 I remember the Bird scooters had a program like this too! [Then they left my city and now I moved somewhere where those scooters aren't allowed so yeah haha.]

Great tips!!
@codygm Some utilities offer pip plans. (Percentage of income). And there's HEAP for your heating source.

Ohio gives a discount on property valuations for low income seniors.
@davidm I think in my state (NY) if you're on LIHEAP they will also give you a free carbon monoxide meter and clean out your furnace for free once a year! Something like that was mentioned on my SNAP papers I read today anyway.

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