Food Assistance (Food Stamps)

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I have a food stamp Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card from Iowa. Can I use it in another state where I am staying?

  • Yes. The card is good anywhere in the United States.

I lost my EBT card. How can I get a new one?

  • You can make a toll-free call.
  • The Iowa EBT number is 1-877-937-3663.

What if I lost food when my power was out because of the disaster?

  • DHS does give replacement food stamps in disasters.
  • You had to be on food stamps to get replacement food stamps.
  • If you asked for replacement food stamps and were denied, you can appeal. To appeal, write to the food stamp office where you applied.

Can I get disaster food stamps?

  • If you live in county in Iowa that was declared a Presidential disaster area. To qualify a household must because of the disaster have experienced at least one of the following:
    • Loss of food;
    • Damage to, or destruction of the household's home;
    • Damage to, or destruction of a household member's self-employment business;
    • Disaster-related expenses not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster period; or
    • Loss or inaccessibility of income.

How to Apply:

  • There is a special disaster application for this program. Applications will only be taken for a limited time. Applications will be taken for the FEMA disaster site offices as they are set up, or residents may contact their local DHS offices to apply. Some people who would not qualify for Food Assistance under the regular rules may qualify for Disaster Food Assistance. DHS encourages all households affected by the disaster to apply. To find the nearest DHS office call "211" or go to:
  • If you currently receive Food Assistance you may get benefits in addition to what you have already received.
  • If you live anywhere in Iowa and currently receive Food Assistance you can apply for assistance to replace food destroyed or spoiled due to the disaster.

What is the difference between "expedited" food stamps and "emergency" food stamps?

  • Usually, "expedited" food stamps are regular food stamps very needy people get a week after applying.
  • Because so many people had to leave their homes or counties because of the disaster, evacuees can also get expedited food stamps.
  • Disaster or "emergency" food stamps are short-term disaster benefits offered in select areas to people not eligible under normal rules. These food stamps go to people who need food assistance because they have lost income and other financial resources because of the disaster.
  • Not everyone with disaster-related food losses can get disaster food stamps.
  • To get disaster food stamps, you must meet federal eligibility requirements.
  • Emergency food stamp benefits can also give extra help to people who get regular food stamps.

Who is considered to be an "evacuee"?

  • You had to live in the disaster area prior to the disaster.
  • You also had to move from your home because of the disaster. The move could be out of state or within the state.

I am not an evacuee. How do I know if I qualify for expedited food stamps?

  • To get expedited food stamps, your income and resources must be low enough to meet normal food stamp requirements. For information about food stamp eligibility, go to the Iowa Legal Aid website at and click on Legal Information and Other Resources for Iowans. Then, go to the section called Food Assistance. You can also call our toll-free number: 1-800-272-0008.
  • You must also show one of the following:
  • Your household has no more than $150 in monthly income before taxes and no more than $100 in cash or in bank accounts; OR
  • Your basic shelter and utility expenses are greater than your present income and resources combined.

I am an evacuee. How do I know if I am eligible for expedited food stamps?

  • Call 1-877-937-3663

I am an evacuee. How much will I get in benefits?

  • For the first month, you get the most anyone can get for your household size.
  • For the next three months, you can get benefits based on your income. You do not have to give proof of your income. Your word is enough.

Where can I get more information?

  • and click on "Storm Help."
  • Iowa Legal Aid helps eligible clients with "civil" or non-criminal problems. If you have further questions and need legal help, call Iowa Legal Aid at 1 800-532-1275.
Last Review and Update: Jun 27, 2008

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