Food Stamps, Cash Assistance

questions & answers

Question: Is it illegal for me to use my Moms food stamp card while she is incarcerated?

Answer: The benefit of Nutrition Assistance (formerly called food stamps) is a program which your mother would have applied and been approved for. If your mother listed you on the application, you would be able to use the card.

This is a list of everything that is needed to complete the application:
Whether you are applying for the first time or reapplying, the items listed below MAY be needed to determine eligibility. Tell your Eligibility Interviewer (EI) if you need help finding or showing proof of the documents. Please bring all current information to your interview; this will help to speed up the eligibility process.
•Identification (I.D.) for applicant for Cash Assistance (CA) and Nutrition Assistance (NA).
•Proof of citizenship and identity for everyone who is applying for AHCCCS Health Insurance (Medical Assistance or MA), Cash Assistance (CA), and Nutrition Assitance (NA).
•Alien Registration Cards, if there are non-U.S. citizens in your household.
•Social Security numbers for everyone, or proof that a Social Security number has been applied for.
•Birth certificates for everyone.
•Name, address & daytime phone number of landlord or neighbor.
•A statement verifying your address and the names of everyone living with you. The statement must be made by a non-relative who doesn’t live with you.  It must be signed, dated and include that person's address and telephone number.
•Proof of ALL money your household received from any source last month and this month.
•Proof that your employment ended and last date paid.
•Bank or credit union (savings or checking) complete statement for the most recent month.
•Proof of savings bonds, securities, retirement plans and life insurance.   
•Proof of rent/mortgage and utility bills (electric, water, gas, etc.) for the most recent month.
•Proof of child care expenses for the most recent month.
•Proof of all medical expenses for those who are age 60 or older or receive disability benefits if they are applying for Nutrition Assistance.
•Proof of any medical insurance other than AHCCCS.

The following information is also taken from the Arizona Department of Economic Security website:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) establishes eligibility requirements for the Nutrition Assistance program. Eligibility is based on the household’s resources, income and other requirements such as residence, citizenship or qualified non-citizen status, and cooperation with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment & Training program.  You may view our benefits chart or use the benefits estimator at Link Icon

Even you are unsure whether you qualify, you should still apply.

If approved for benefits, there are ongoing eligibility requirements including participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment & Training Program (SNA E&T).

After applying for benefits, you are required to complete an eligibility interview (also called a fact-finding interview).

Additional eligibility details are found in the Family Assistance Administration (FAA) policy manual.

The following is the website for the form your mother would have signed after receiving approval for the program. It lists possible sanctions for misuse of the program. It is called the "personal responsibility agreement." Notice the part which lists "penalties."

If you have more questions, check out the Department of Economic Securities website:


  • Is it illegal for me to use my Moms food stamp card while she is incarcerated?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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