The Food Supplement Program (FSP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides nutrition assistance to help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. Everyone has the right to apply for FSP.
Read the Regulation: Code of Maryland Regulations 07.03.17.01
- file an application,
- be interviewed, and
- meet all financial and technical eligibility factors prior to issuance of FSP benefits.
Some people who have little or no money may qualify for Expedited Food Supplement benefits right away. They must have only an interview and verify identity.
You can apply by completing the online application, or by completing the written application and filing it with your local Department of Social Services. Income eligibility guidelines are available on the Department of Human Services website.
- Citizenship and Immigrant Status: some non-U.S. citizens are eligible for FSP. To verify that your immigration status meets the program requirements, refer to the Program Manual.
- Social Security numbers: all members of your household need a Social Security number to apply for FSP
- Work: able-bodied adults age 16-60 must look for work and/or attend the local department's training program to be eligible for FSP
- Students: most students age 18-49, who are enrolled at least half time, are not eligible for FSP
- Income deductions and verification: see the FSP website for information on how your household's income is calculated, and what documents are required for verification purposes.
You have the right to:
- have your signed application accepted on the same day that you submit it to the local department of social services
- have an adult who knows your situation apply for you if you cannot get to the local department of social service;
- get your FSP benefits within 30 days after you apply if you qualify;
- get FSP within 7 days if you are in immediate need (no income or very little income) and qualify for faster service;
- not be discriminated against because you are elderly or because of sex, race, color, disability, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs;
- be told in advance if the local department of social services is going to reduce or end your benefits during your certification period because of a change in your situation;
- look at your own case file and a copy of the FSP rules; and
- have an administrative hearing if you don’t think the rules were applied correctly in your case. At an administrative you may explain to a hearing officer why you don’t agree with what the local department of social services has done.
- When you apply for the FSP, answer all questions completely and honestly. Sign your name to certify, under penalty of perjury, that all your answers are true and correct.
- Provide proof that you are eligible. Promptly report changes in household circumstances to the local department of social services that you are required to report.
- Do not make changes on any FSP cards or documents.
- Do not sell, trade, or give away your food benefits, or any electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards or documents.
- Use FSP benefits only to buy eligible items.
Violating Program rules could result in a loss of benefits.