The Benefit Letter


I received the benefit letter finally. Starting in March we will receive $367 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits for a year provided that our income does not rise above $1,594.00 a month.

If it does rise over that amount I am to report the difference to the Food Stamp office within 10 days.

I am rather astounded at this number. Is this a normal amount for 2 people? I thought about calling to ask but I’m afraid of looking stupid to them. Everyone that I’ve ever known to receive food benefits (without cooking the books) only got a hundred or so for one/two people, though the larger families got more.

I took everything in, including my Microplace investment information, the few dollars in residuals I receive from various content farms and my online savings accounts… I’m just rather flabbergasted at the amount considering that there are only two of us.

Do you receive food assistance? If so how much do you receive? Do you receive more or less than you expected and does it last you the whole month or what? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

6 thoughts on “The Benefit Letter

  1. Laurie

    It sounds right to me. I mean even though there are only two of you, the income levels have been increased in recent years. They take your rent, lights, and a few other things into consideration to come up with what you’d have left to live off of. Being self employeed you meet the work requirement. Vehicle insurance amounts don’t count b/c then they’d have to count the value of them as assets. When they took your income since you are self employed and you get a payment every three months from one of them, they averaged it out to come up with what you actually have to live on each month. You can have so much in savings before they really count it against you. It’s gotten easier to get benefits to those that can actually use them. Sometimes they send out quarterly reports every six months for you to fill out and they adjust the amount based on those. As long as you did what you always do and took everything they needed and laid it all out there your amounts are going to be correct. Just enjoy not having to worry about feeding your child and write another book to increase the earnings, then it’ll have all been worth it when the day comes you get the letter that you’ve been cut off completely without warning b/c you make too much money.

    Speaking of books, I got a new computer and when I put the kindle app on it, not all your books went onto it. Do I have to remove them from the first application then put them on this one? Or is it simplier to just to buy another copy?? and does the spyware book go over correctly getting all my files off the old system to portable storage and wiping the system clean so I can put a new one on it and give it to the kiddo to play games (offline) she’s only five and I’m still learning to work my parental controls.

  2. Annie Post author

    Dear Laurie,
    Did you buy all of the books from Amazon or did some of them come from Smashwords? You will have to login to Smashwords and redownload the books purchased from there if you didn’t save them elsewhere.

    As for Amazon, if you go into your account it will tell you how many computers are authorized on your account. You may need to deactivate some. I’m not certain how it works because I only have a couple of computers on my account, sorry.

    As for the spyware book I was unable to go through a step by step process for each computer because each system is different. If you have a large USB drive it is an easy matter to copy your files and settings over to it: if you want you can even use the files and settings transfer wizard in Windows. Instruct it to pull the files off by saying it is the “old” computer, then put them back on by re-running the wizard and telling Windows it is now the “new” computer.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Laurie

    Thanks Annie that helps a lot! I want to keep my books but I don’t the baby to lock up the computer and loose them. Some were smashwords some Amazon, I’m an idiot. I should have thought to check the purchase source first. And those directions will make it easier to get my stuff off the old one.

    Oh, and I bought what was in my budget, so I have to ask…how does the compaq presario CQ57 measure up? should I be happy with this as long as I gaurd it carefully? I was in a hurry to get a new one and the selection was slim, the only other in my budget one was too small to see with no CD rom and the other was out of stock….oh heavens, you get paid to answer these sorry.

    Oh and thanks for info. ! I do appreciate you!

  4. Annie Post author

    Dear Laurie,
    I looked up your computer and you got a nice one for everyday use with some upgradeability built in. When your budget allows I recommend that you upgrade the memory to the max (it will support 8 GB of RAM) for a machine that will perform really well and resist becoming obsolete in the next few years. Some places like CompUSA will install the memory for free with purchase and will be your easiest solution. It only takes a few minutes to upgrade and the performance increase will definitely be worth it.

    Enjoy your new computer!

    PS: if you need Microsoft office, visit They offer the best prices around, and OneNote really rocks if you are a writer because you can keep all of your notes and ideas in it easily. It takes a few days for them to verify your redit card info but the money you save is worth it – that is where I got my copy of Office.

  5. Sunny

    I don’t know anything regarding this, but I think 1 500$ could be what they considered the minimum needed to cover the needs of 2 person, to live decently. I know you manage to live on much less without suffering, but you didn’t have health insurance for yourself and you needed help for a dentist visit. So you have deprive yourself of some stuff you needed. So I think that under 1 500$, you’re living in poverty, even if you don’t exactly consider it poverty. Does this make sense? I don’t want to be offensive, however.


Your comments are appreciated. Thanks!