Can a Felon Get Food Stamps in Missouri? A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the complexities of food assistance programs can be particularly challenging for individuals with a criminal history. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the specific eligibility criteria, application process, and potential restrictions surrounding food stamps for felons in Missouri.

By providing a clear understanding of the legal landscape, we empower you to make informed decisions and access essential nutritional support.

As we explore the intricacies of this topic, we will uncover the specific requirements and documentation needed for felons to apply for food stamps. We will also shed light on the types of benefits available, potential limitations, and consequences of violating program regulations.

Additionally, we will provide valuable resources and organizations dedicated to assisting felons with their food stamp applications and other related concerns.

Eligibility Criteria

In Missouri, individuals seeking food stamps must meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for assistance. These criteria include income limits, asset limits, and residency requirements.

Regarding felons, there are no specific restrictions or additional requirements imposed on their eligibility for food stamps in Missouri. Felons are treated like any other applicant, and their eligibility is determined based on the general criteria mentioned above.

Income Limits

  • Gross monthly income must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
  • For a single-person household, the gross monthly income limit is $1,714 (as of 2023).
  • For a household of four, the gross monthly income limit is $3,617 (as of 2023).

Asset Limits

  • Individuals can have up to $2,500 in countable assets, while couples can have up to $4,000.
  • Countable assets include cash, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds.
  • Non-countable assets include a home, a car, and personal belongings.

Residency Requirements

  • Applicants must be residents of Missouri.
  • They must have lived in Missouri for at least 30 days prior to applying for food stamps.

Application Process

Applying for food stamps in Missouri involves several steps. Felons should be aware of the specific requirements and procedures to ensure a smooth application process.

To initiate the application, individuals can either submit an online application through the myDSS portal or visit their local Family Support Division (FSD) office. The online application offers convenience and allows applicants to track their progress remotely. Alternatively, visiting an FSD office provides personalized assistance and the opportunity to interact with staff directly.

Required Documents

When applying for food stamps, felons must provide specific documentation to establish their eligibility. These documents include:

  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport
  • Proof of residency, such as a utility bill, lease agreement, or mortgage statement
  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs, bank statements, or self-employment records
  • Proof of expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and childcare costs

In addition to these general requirements, felons may need to provide additional documentation related to their felony conviction, such as court records or proof of completion of any required programs.

Application Review

Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by an FSD caseworker. The caseworker will assess the applicant’s eligibility based on the information provided and determine the amount of benefits the applicant is entitled to receive.

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used to purchase food at authorized retailers. The EBT card will be loaded with the monthly benefit amount, which can be used to purchase a variety of food items, including fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products.

Tips for Felons

To increase their chances of approval, felons should:

  • Gather all necessary documentation before applying.
  • Be honest and accurate in their application.
  • Attend any required interviews or appointments.
  • Cooperate with the FSD caseworker throughout the application process.

By following these tips, felons can navigate the food stamp application process in Missouri and access the benefits they need to support themselves and their families.

Documentation Requirements

To apply for food stamps in Missouri, you will need to provide documentation to prove your identity, income, and residency. This documentation can include:

  • A photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID card
  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs, bank statements, or a letter from your employer
  • Proof of residency, such as a utility bill or lease agreement

Additional Documentation for Felons

In addition to the above documentation, felons may also need to provide:

  • Proof of release from prison or jail
  • Proof of any convictions or arrests
  • A letter from a probation or parole officer

Providing this additional documentation will help to ensure that you are eligible for food stamps and that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to.

Benefits and Restrictions

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Missouri’s food stamp program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides monthly benefits to eligible individuals and families. The amount of benefits you receive depends on your household size and income. In Missouri, the maximum monthly SNAP benefit for a one-person household is $281, and the maximum benefit for a four-person household is $835.

There are some limitations and restrictions that apply to felons receiving food stamps. For example, felons convicted of a drug-related felony within the past 10 years are not eligible for SNAP benefits. Additionally, felons who are serving a prison sentence or are on probation or parole for a drug-related felony are also not eligible for SNAP benefits.

SNAP Work Requirements

Able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 18 and 49 are subject to SNAP work requirements. These individuals must work or participate in a workfare program for at least 20 hours per week to continue receiving benefits. Exemptions may apply for individuals who are disabled, pregnant, or caring for a child under the age of 6.

Disqualifications and Penalties

In Missouri, several circumstances can lead to disqualification from food stamps. These include:

  • Intentionally providing false or misleading information on the food stamp application or during the interview.
  • Failing to comply with the work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) or refusing to participate in the employment and training program.
  • Being convicted of a drug-related felony while receiving food stamps.
  • Transferring food stamps or selling them for cash or other items.
  • Using food stamps to purchase non-eligible items, such as alcohol or tobacco.


The consequences of violating food stamp regulations for felons can be severe. Individuals convicted of a drug-related felony while receiving food stamps face disqualification for up to 20 years. Additionally, they may be subject to criminal charges and imprisonment. Other violations, such as providing false information or misusing food stamps, can result in disqualification for varying periods and potential criminal charges.

Additional Resources

Felons who are interested in applying for food stamps in Missouri can find assistance from several organizations and resources.

These resources can provide guidance on the application process, eligibility requirements, and other related issues.

Contact Information and Websites


In conclusion, the eligibility of felons for food stamps in Missouri is subject to specific criteria and restrictions. Understanding these requirements and navigating the application process can be complex, but with the right guidance and support, felons can access this essential nutritional assistance.

By leveraging the resources and organizations Artikeld in this guide, individuals with a criminal history can overcome barriers and secure the food assistance they need to thrive.

Helpful Answers

Are there any specific income limits for felons applying for food stamps in Missouri?

Yes, there are income limits based on household size and composition. Felons must meet these limits to qualify for food stamps.

Can felons receive food stamps if they are incarcerated?

No, individuals who are incarcerated are not eligible for food stamps.

What types of documentation do felons need to provide when applying for food stamps?

In addition to the standard documentation, felons may need to provide proof of their criminal history, such as a court document or probation/parole papers.

Are there any work requirements for felons receiving food stamps?

Yes, able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 may be subject to work requirements to continue receiving food stamps.

What are the penalties for violating food stamp regulations for felons?

Violations can result in disqualification from the program, fines, or even criminal charges.