The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, isn't designed for individuals and families to receive food benefits forever, but just until they are able to get back on their feet. Once you no longer need the extra help, you can close out your food stamp account. There are several ways to go about canceling the account. Choose the one that best fits your circumstances.
Removing a Household Member
When a member of the household leaves home, you must report that change to your local social services agency. Perhaps an adult child finished college and got a job out of state, or your elderly parent needs full-time care in a nursing home. Whatever the reason, removing that individual from your food stamp account reduces the number of household members. The family will now need to meet income guidelines for one less person in the home. Often this puts a household above the required income limits for SNAP, which results in the social worker closing out the case. To report a change, call your case worker directly or mail the agency your request. Be ready to supply your account number, the name of the individual you are dropping from the account and, in some instances, the reason why the person is being removed.
Letting Benefits Close Naturally
Another option is to simply let your benefits end naturally, with no action on your part. There are two situations when this can occur. First, you may be close to a re-certification and you want to forgo the re-certification interview and the associated paperwork. Failure to supply the required information results in the agency closing out your food stamp account. Second, you can report changes that would put you over the maximum income and resource limit, so that when the social worker reviews the new information, she will adjust the amounts in the system. The system then determines that you are no longer eligible for benefits, and you will receive a notice of account closure in the mail.
Requesting an Account Closure
SNAP recipients are free to request an account closure at any time if they no longer want to receive benefits. Call your local social services agency and inform them of your wishes or mail a request. Don't forget to include your name, address, account number and date. If you have any questions before you take this step, contact the SNAP information hotline at 800-221-5689. The hotline has prompts in both English and Spanish.