FNS Number or Food Stamp Number is a unique number given by Family Nutrition Services to people who receive food stamps from the federal government. The program was initiated during the early 1960s when it was known as the Food Stamps Program and coupons were distributed instead of debit cards. After over four decades, the program has become more organized and efficient. Now people receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to purchase food for their families. The EBT card works just like a debit card.
FNS Number is given by the FNS office at the state level, where you live or your benefit issuance state. This number is used for tracking purposes.
FNS Number – Temporary or Permanent?
You may receive a 7, 10 or 11 digit FNS Number, depending on how long you will be receiving benefits from the program. A temporary number can have less than seven digits and is generally used for short-term benefits. If the benefit issuance state has submitted an application, but the FNS has not approved it yet, then you will likely receive a temporary number. You can use this 7-digit temporary FNS Number for up to six months. If the state processes your application and submits it to FNS before the expiration of this time period, you will be issued a permanent 11 digit number within a couple of days.
A permanent FNS Number is a 10 digit number, which can be used for a longer-term. If you have been approved to receive benefits for over six months, then the state will submit an application to FNS and you’ll receive a 10-digit Permanent FNS Number in the mail within five days after it is processed.
FNS Number Format and Validation
The FNS is an 11-digit number, beginning with a one or two and followed by eight numbers. The first digit signifies the Federal Fiscal Year when you became eligible for food stamps. One indicates 2001 to 2009; Two represents 2010-2019 and so on. The next two digits represent the state agency responsible for issuing food stamps. The next four digits indicate your unique case identifier. The last two digits are used as check digits to validate your FNS Number.
What if I don’t have an FNS Number?
If you do not have a food stamp number, there could be several reasons for this, which are explained below.
If you have not yet submitted your application, then you do not have a food stamp number as of now. You will be sent an FNS if and when an application for benefits is approved by the Federal government. If you live in a state where the program is run by the state government rather than the Federal government, you will not receive an FNS Number. This is because the state government issues food stamps instead of FNS. However, you still receive the same benefits as others do. If you are a member of certain Native American tribes, your Tribal organization may issue benefits to you directly rather than through the Federal or State governments. In this case, too, you will not receive an FNS Number.
Also, Read – What is CVV Number?
What if I have more than one FNS Number?
If you have applied for benefits in different states, then it is possible that you have more than one FNS Number. It is also likely that you have received a new number due to a change in your case status. For example, if you were not eligible for benefits in one state, but an application was approved, later on, then the Federal Government will issue a new FNS to you.
How can I check my FNS Number?
You can verify your FNS by visiting the FNS website and entering your complete 11-digit number with no dashes or spaces. Then, click on the Go button. If your number is correct, you will be directed to a page that shows the state agency responsible for issuing food stamps in your state and how long you have been receiving benefits.