Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Hawaii are administered by the state's Department of Human Services (DHS) Benefit, Employment & Support Services Division (BESSD). Payments are distributed according to the same schedule every month, including in December 2022.
See: Surprising Things You Can Buy With Food Stamps
SNAP Benefits: How Long Do They Last?
As in all states, households in Hawaii must meet specific eligibility requirements and provide proof that they qualify. SNAP benefits are available to eligible U.S. citizens, though some non-citizens who are admitted for permanent residency may qualify. Eligibility is based on income and household size.
In the Aloha State, households are broken down between one and 15 or more members, with net monthly income standards as of Oct. 1, 2022 ranging from $1,303 for a household of one to $7,641 for a household of 15.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. Although it is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is administered at the state level. In Hawaii, SNAP benefits are loaded onto Hawaii Electronic Benefit Transfer (HI/EBT) cards each month.
The cards can be used at most grocery stores and certain other retail locations. You can use SNAP benefits to purchase the following food items:
Fruits and vegetables.
Meat, poultry and fish.
Breads and cereals.
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages.
Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
Among the items you can't buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics. In Hawaii, you also can't use your EBT card to buy hot meals prepared at the point of sale because it is not among the states that participate in SNAP's Restaurant Meals Program.
How To Score EBT Discounts
SNAP benefits in Hawaii and elsewhere also come with perks that go beyond purchasing food - including discounts on certain products and services. Here's a quick look at money-saving opportunities your EBT card provides:
Amazon Prime discount: Recipients of SNAP and SNAP EBT Cash benefits (or Medicaid benefits) can qualify to save 50% off their Prime memberships. To see if you qualify, visit amazon.com/prime/qualify.
Museum discounts: Those receiving SNAP benefits can get free or reduced admission to more than 850 museum and arts groups throughout the U.S., including through the Museums for All program. Contact your local Hawaii SNAP agency to learn which museums participate.
Farmer's markets: You can also use your SNAP EBT card at participating farmers' markets to purchase fresh produce. The USDA's Food Nutrition Service provides a monthly list of the names and locations of markets across the country that are currently authorized to accept SNAP benefits.
Lifeline Program: If you are a SNAP recipient and your income is below a certain level, you might qualify for free or low-cost landline or cell phone service through the Federal Lifeline Program. You might also get discounted internet service. Consult with your provider to see if it offers the program.
There are three ways to submit your SNAP application in Hawaii. You can apply online using the online application. If you are filling out a paper form, you can mail the form to the BESSD or drop the form off at a local agency. For more information, visit the Hawaii.gov SNAP site.
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Hawaii SNAP benefits are made available on the 3rd and the 5th of every month, based on the first letter of your last name. Here's the schedule for December 2022:
Note that for combination SNAP and cash cases with cash direct deposit, benefits are made available on the first day of every month.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Food Stamps: Hawaii Benefits Schedule for December 2022 and Where To Get SNAP Discounts