SNAP provides benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income households. In Oklahoma, SNAP is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) and benefits are sent out monthly to SNAP accounts, which are linked to Access Oklahoma Cards. Benefits are sent out according to the same schedule every month, including December.
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SNAP recipients can use their Access Oklahoma cards to purchase most food items at authorized retail food stores and farmers' markets. Use the USDA's SNAP Retail Locator to locate nearby SNAP-authorized retailers.
When making a payment with your card using your SNAP benefits, select "EBT" and enter your PIN. Your receipt shows the amount left in your SNAP account. Your Access Oklahoma Card can also be used online. You can check here for approved online retailers.
You can use your SNAP EBT card to purchase:
Fruits and vegetables
Meat, poultry and fish
Breads and cereals
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat
However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does have restrictions on how you can use your SNAP benefits. Among the items you can't buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics.
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Oklahoma's SNAP also has an Employment and Training Program and a partnership between Oklahoma Human Services and community agencies to provide recipients with employment and training services - called OK SNAP Works. If you receive SNAP benefits, are looking for a job and do not receive cash assistance (TANF), you may be eligible for free job training. The OK SNAP Works program is currently offered in Oklahoma, McIntosh and Tulsa counties, but the OKDHS stated recipients in surrounding counties can participate if it does not create a barrier for them or the partner.
How To Score EBT Discounts
There are more ways to save money using your Access Oklahoma Card. Here are discounts or free services available to SNAP recipients:
Amazon Prime: Oklahoma SNAP recipients can sign up for an Amazon Prime EBT Discount for $6.99 per month, which is half the regular price.
Internet and phone: Through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), eligible SNAP recipients in Oklahoma could receive up to a $30 per month discount on internet service and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. SNAP households may also qualify for free or low-cost landline or cell phone service through the Federal Lifeline Program. Consult with your service provider for more information.
Farmers' markets: Double Up Oklahoma matches the value of SNAP dollars (up to $20 per day) spent at farmers' markets and grocery stores. Check the website to find participating markets and stores.
Museums/zoos/aquariums: The nationwide Museums for All initiative gives EBT cardholders free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums, aquariums and zoos across Oklahoma (as well as nationwide).
For more information, look online for discounts or free services available to SNAP recipients in Oklahoma.
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You can apply for Oklahoma's SNAP online at OKDHSLive.org. You can also submit a completed application to your local DHS Human Services Center. Forms are available in local offices, as well.
In Oklahoma, benefits are sent out from the 1st to the 10th of every month, based on the last digit of your case number. Here is the December 2022 deposit schedule for Oklahoma SNAP:
The recent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) also increased SNAP EBT benefits by 12.5% beginning Oct. 1. This increase is intended to help with soaring inflation rates, which are at their highest levels in more than four decades.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Food Stamps: Access Oklahoma Schedule for December and Where To Get SNAP Discounts