General 3SquaresVT Questions
If I get 3SquaresVT benefits, am I taking benefits away from others who need them more?
No. There are enough 3SquaresVT benefits for everyone. If you get 3SquaresVT benefits, you will not be taking them away from others. 3SquaresVT is an entitlement program which means everyone who is eligible for 3SquaresVT benefits has a legal right to get them.
Can I get 3SquaresVT benefits even if I am not on welfare?
Yes! You can get 3SquaresVT benefits even if you do not get any other benefits from the state.
Can people who leave the Reach Up program still get 3SquaresVT benefits?
Yes! Your 3SquaresVT benefits should not automatically stop if you stop getting Reach Up. 3SquaresVT benefits are different from Reach Up benefits, so even if you are no longer eligible for Reach Up, you may still be able to get 3SquaresVT benefits.
Can a woman living in a domestic violence shelter get 3SquaresVT benefits?
Women and their children living in a shelter may be able to get 3SquaresVT benefits, even if they received 3SquaresVT benefits as part of their former household that same month.
If you are living in a shelter, the 3SquaresVT office will look at your income, resources, and expenses. The 3SquaresVT office will not consider the income, resources, and expenses of your former household.
The 3SquaresVT office will not count any of your resources that are held jointly with your former household. Any room payments you make to the shelter will count as shelter expenses. This will help you get 3SquaresVT benefits.
Can I get 3SquaresVT benefits if I don't have a permanent address?
Yes. You do not need a fixed address to get 3SquaresVT benefits. You will need to give the 3SquaresVT office an address where you can get mail. That can be a shelter, church, or a friend's house.
Can students get 3SquaresVT benefits?
A student is someone in a business, technical, trade, or vocational school or college half time or more (use your school's definition of halftime). If you are in school less than half time, these rules do not apply to you, and you can get 3SquaresVT benefits based on the regular rules.
If you are in school half time or more, you can get 3SquaresVT benefits if:
- You are 17 or younger or 50 or older; or
- You have a disability; or
- You receive Reach Up; or
- You are in the JOBS program under Title IV; or
- You participate in work study; or
- You work at least 20 hours a week for pay equal to the federal minimum wage; or
- You are in an on-the-job training program; or
- You take care of a child under age 6; or
- You take care of a child age 6 - 12 when child care is unavailable; or
- You are a single parent in school full time and responsible for the care of a dependent child under 12; or
- You are in school through:
- Workforce Investment Act
- Employment and Training Program
- A Trade Act Program
- Employment and training program for low income households operated by State or local government.
If you are in school half time or more and none of these statements apply to you, you cannot get 3SquaresVT benefits.
The Application Process
Do I have to go to the 3SquaresVT office for an interview?
3SquaresVT requires an interview to receive benefits. This interview may be over the phone or in person. Most interviews are now done over the phone, and you will receive a notice in the mail with a phone number to call to complete your interview. However, you can also complete a face-to-face interview in a local 3SquaresVT office. Click here to find an office near you. You do not need to make an appointment.
If I live with other people, do we have to apply for 3SquaresVT benefits together?
It depends. The general rule is that you must apply for 3SquaresVT benefits with the people you live with if you buy food and make meals together. If you live with other people but you buy food and make meals separately, you may be able to apply for 3SquaresVT benefits on your own.
Some people who live together must apply for 3SquaresVT together, even if they do not buy food or make meals together, including:
- parents and children 21 and younger
- children under 18 who live with and are financially dependent on an adult who is not their parent.
- If you live with other people and buy food and make meals together but you want to apply for 3SquaresVT on your own, you can start buying your own food and making your own meals. Then you can apply for 3SquaresVT separately from the other people in your house.
There is a special rule for people who are 60 years or older who live with other people. If the older person cannot buy food or make meals alone because of a disability, this person and his or her spouse may be able to apply for 3SquaresVT separate from the other people in the house.
How often do I have to reapply for 3SquaresVT?
It depends on your situation. Most people will have to reapply for 3SquaresVT every 12 months. People 60 and older and people with disabilities usually have to reapply every year or every 2 years.
What can I do if the 3SquaresVT office does something that I think is wrong?
If the 3SquaresVT office does something you think is wrong, you can talk to your worker or your worker's supervisor or you can call your local Community Action Agency, Agency on Aging, or Vermont Legal Aid toll-free at 1-800-889-2047 for help. Sometimes the 3SquaresVT office makes mistakes, so if you have questions, it is a good idea to talk to someone about your situation.
What should I do if my application for 3SquaresVT is denied?
If the 3SquaresVT office says you cannot get 3SquaresVT benefits, you can:
- Ask for a hearing if you think the 3SquaresVT office is wrong. On the back of the letter you get from the 3SquaresVT office, there will be information about how to ask for a hearing.
- Get legal advice. If you think the 3SquaresVT office is wrong or you have questions about your application, Vermont Legal Aid toll-free at 1-800-889-2047 can answer your questions and may be able to help you with an appeal.
- Apply again if your situation changes. For example, if you get laid off and have less income, you may be able to get 3SquaresVT benefits even if you were denied before. You can apply again at any time.
How can I find out how much money is left on my 3SquaresVT card?
You may find your account balance, change your PIN, review transaction information and more at: www.ebtedge.com. Click "Cardholder Login" on the left side of the page, then enter your card number and PIN.
You can call the Vermont EBT Customer Service Line at 1-800-914-8605 to find out how many 3SquaresVT benefits you have on your card. The call is free.
Another way to find out how many 3SquaresVT benefits you have on your card is to look at your last receipt. When you buy food with your card, your receipt will tell you how many 3SquaresVT benefits you have left in your account.
What happens to my 3SquaresVT benefits if I do not use them all during the month?
Unused benefits remain on your EBT card for up to one year. Even if your 3SquaresVT case is closed and you are no longer actively receiving benefits, you can still use up any remaining benefits for up to one year.
How long can I stay on 3SquaresVT benefits?
There is no time limit. You can get 3SquaresVT benefits for as long as you meet the income and resource limits.