The Life Center of Hernando Suggests Benefits


Foods available with WIC

Foods available with WIC

WIC  Benefits

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a federal health and nutrition program that provides several kinds of assistance to low-income mothers of young children. The program supplies food vouchers to pregnant women and mothers of children up to the age of five, these can be used to purchase specific grocery items. In addition, WIC provides screening and referrals to health care and social services, as well as nutrition education and breastfeeding support.  Anyone already receiving supplemental nutrition assistance (food stamps), welfare or Medicaid is automatically eligible for WIC.
Unlike food stamps WIC vouchers cover individual food items rather than set dollar amounts,  these include eggs, milk, cheese, canned fish, vitamin-C fortified fruit and vegetable juices, infant and adult cereals, dried beans, tofu, whole-grain breads and peanut butter. In addition, vouchers are available to cover the cost of infant formula and the purchase of fresh local fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.

You will use your WIC EBT card to purchase WIC approved foods at authorized WIC grocery stores. If you have a WIC EBT Card and have questions or problems using your card, call WIC EBT Customer Service at 1-866-629-1095.

Check your balance before shopping. You can do this by calling WIC EBT Customer Service at 1-866-629-1095 or by going to the WIC EBT website. If there is a WIC EBT Point of Sale (POS) machine at the store, you can also slide your card and enter your PIN to get your balance.

To apply for WIC, contact a local WIC office.  Call 352-540-6800.

The local WIC office will give you an appointment to see if you are eligible for WIC. At this visit, your household income and the medical/nutrition status of each applicant will be reviewed.


Broke, Busted and Disgusted? The Life Center of Hernando suggests you apply for benefits. Try your local library for access to a computer. One website will allow you to apply for several benefits at once.

Woman applying for benefits through ACCESS

Woman applying for benefits through ACCESS


The ACCESS Florida system allows customers to connect with their public assistance information 24/7, through the online application and MyACCESS Account. The Economic Self-Sufficiency Program helps to promote strong and economically self-sufficient communities by determining eligibility for food, cash and medical assistance for individuals and families on the road to economic recovery.

The Food Assistance Program 

Woman using food stamp Benefits

Woman using food stamp Benefits

helps individuals and families purchase nutritional foods needed to maintain and promote good health.

The Temporary Cash Assistance  program provides financial assistance to pregnant women in their third trimester and families with dependent children to assist in the payment of rent, utilities and other household expenses.

Shortly after that you will be asked to go to From the menu pick  Jobseekers.  Then choose Orientation from the drop down menu. Do the orientation.

Then you will need to go to Career Source on Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill for 5 days M-F from 10:30 to 1:00. No children are allowed. When you get there, sign in and go to the waiting room. The instructor will come to get you. That workshop will help you get ready to work. It will help prepare you for job searches or community service.

The red line of The Bus does stop near Career Source.

Even if you have been denied benefits for the next 2 or 3 months, you can  reapply even before that time is up. Sometimes people are denied benefits because they don’t complete the process by attending the workshop. You can call Career Source for more information at 352 200 3077

According to the department of revenue
You do not need to apply for child support if:
You have recently applied for assistance from the state or if you now receive public assistance from the state. They will automatically provide child support services.

Woman enjoying cash assistance benefits

Woman enjoying cash assistance benefits

 The Medicaid Program provides medical assistance to individuals and families to cover or assist in the cost of services that are medically necessary. 

Doctor offering medicaid benefits

Doctor offering medicaid benefits

You may apply for assistance from any computer with an internet connection at

Go to your account to check on the status of your application, report a change, request additional benefits or find information about your current benefits. This information and more is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days per week, when you use your online account. In addition you can also submit requested verification to the department using the document upload feature.

To get fast and up to date information about your application or benefits without having to speak with a customer service representative using our automated response system by calling 1-866-762-2237. Your ACCESS number or Social Security Number and date of birth are required to access your case information.


Temporary Cash Assistance to Needy families is called TANF

Career Source has a few requirements for those receiving TANF. After applying for TANF, you will be contacted and told to work with Career Source.

One week of training at Career Source’s workshop  is a DCF requirement.  An individual cannot get final approval for cash assistance until this  step is completed.

the training is usually 5 days from 9:30 – 1:30pm.  Neither transportation nor Child care is provided. After the training Career Sources can place someone to do volunteer work at a location that is close, convenient and fits the requirements for volunteer hours. 

In the event of health issues an applicant will still need to complete the workshop but a doctor’s note may exempt the applicant from volunteer service.

Once someone is actively searching  work, Career Source will begin more actively providing assistance.

Career Source  352 200 3020

7361 Forest Oaks Blvd

Spring Hill, FL 34606

Woman looking for workers

Woman looking for workers

What's Next?

What’s Next?

What’s Next?

OK so you just submitted your application to MYACCESS and you are wondering: WHAT’S NEXT? Here is what the Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency says: (When they say “we” they do not meant TLC!)

It may take up to 30 days to process your application (longer if you need a disability determination). If you sign up for email notification in your MyACCESS Account you will receive an email alert when we post a notice in your account. If you did not sign up for email notification we will send your notices by U.S. mail.

STEP 1: Your application is reviewed to see if you need an interview.

 If you need an interview:

o We will call you within 5 days at the phone number you provided. If we can’t reach you we will leave a message and send a notice with our contact information.

o During your interview, we will ask questions about your household situation.

o You may also be asked questions to help us verify your identity.

STEP 2: You may need to provide additional information.

 We will give or send a notice to you showing what is needed.

 The notice will give you a deadline to provide the required information. Some examples are:

o Proof of identity, citizenship, and noncitizen status.

o Proof of earned and unearned income for each household member (such as last four weeks of check stubs, child support, notices from Social Security or Veteran’s Administration)

 You can mail, fax, upload your documents to MyACCESS Account, or turn in information at a local office or community partner. Please write your ACCESS # or case #, name, date of birth, phone number, etc., on all of the information you give us.

 Allow 3 days for your MyACCESS Account to show the information was received.

STEP 3: Your information is received and your application is being processed.

 Your needs are important and we want to ensure every family receives the correct benefit, but it may still take up to 30 days to finish your application (longer if you need a disability determination).

STEP 4: Your eligibility is determined.

 Food or cash assistance:

o If you are eligible for the first time, and your case is approved, you will be mailed an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card with a brochure that tells you how to use your card.

o If you received benefits in the past 24 months and still have an EBT card, you can use that card if your case number is the same and the card is not expired (see Good Thru date on the card).

o If you no longer have your EBT card or your card has expired, please contact EBT customer service at 1-888-356-3281 for a replacement.

o If you are reapplying and it has been more than 24 months since you received food or cash assistance, a new EBT card will automatically be mailed to you.

 Medicaid:

o If you are eligible for Medicaid you will receive a gold card in the mail for eligible household members. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will send Medicaid Choice Counseling information to you if you need to select a managed care plan.

 If you are not eligible for one or all benefits (food or cash assistance or Medicaid):

o You will receive a notice in the mail and in your MyACCESS Account explaining the reason(s) why you are not eligible.

Helpful Websites – Login to your MyACCESS Account : – Locate a community partner – Choice Counseling (1-877-711-3662)


Getting Your Library Card

While you are at the library, why not get a free card?

Woman enjoying benefits of library card

Woman enjoying benefits of library card

Free library cards are available to all residents of Hernando County. To obtain a card, patrons may visit any location of the Hernando County Public Library, complete an application form, provide current photo identification and proof of a current local address.

  • A library card or driver’s license must be used in order to check out library materials.
  • Only one card is issued per person.
  • A lost or stolen card should be reported immediately to the library.
  • All materials checked out on a card prior to a loss or theft being reported are the responsibility of the cardholder.
  • A change of address should be reported immediately to the library.
  • All patrons must provide a physical address. When using Post Office Boxes or General Delivery for a mailing address, an alternate street address must also be provided.
  • Juveniles under 18 years of age need parental or legal guardian consent to get a card. A guardian must present an order or judgment from a judge, attorney or the Department of Children and Family Services. Documents from other sources may be accepted along with a Proof of Guardianship form obtained from the Library and executed before a Notary Public.
  • Hernando County Code  Using a false name, address or another person’s card  is prohibited.

Any one of the following may be accepted as Proof of Residency:

  1. Valid Florida driver’s license
  2. Florida ID card
  3. Hernando County Voter Information Card
  4. Florida vehicle registration (current)
  5. Personal checkbook with name and local address
  6. Official documents from a Federal or State government agency addressed to the patron

Note: if an unpaid fine is overdue, it must be paid prior to the library issuing a new or replacement card.


Other Library Resources:

What else can you do at the library?

 The Right Service at the Right Time is an online service  that lists services agencies.  It allows a person to describe himself and the services needed and returns a list of potential resources.  Obviously it’s only as good as the data available.

The  Testing & Education Reference Center  is a great resource for students.  It’s an online resource that provides free access to study materials and practice tests for a variety of tests and certifications, including ACT, SAT and GED cosmetology, auto repair, and many more.  It also includes career exploration tools, scholarship search, and resume builder.  It’s a great resource for students.

 The  library has a number of other resources that could be really beneficial:

Woman enjoying benefits of  library computer

Woman enjoying benefits of library computer

·         Universal Class – free online classes on a variety of subjects, academic, personal and professional development, and more.

·         Freegal – free downloadable music.  Users can download three songs each week.

·         Creation Station – an Apple computer with all the software needed to do photo, audio and video editing and production.  It’s available for anyone to use.

·         Chilton’s Library – free online access to Chilton’s repair manuals from 1940 onward.  This could be a huge resource to students at the Suncoast Technical Education Center.


Life Line Phone

Each family in a shelter is a household and each is entitled to a life line phone. One carrier is Assurance Wireless. Their number is 800 392 3850

Please apply to the carrier of our choice. If the carrier needs clarification have them call USAC 888 641 8722. If a shelter resident needs mailing address assistance, she should contact the director. 

Free Life Line Phone

Free Life Line Phone

It will not matter that the building address has been used before. Each low income  family (household) is entitled to a phone. When you move, you must report a new address.

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The life Center of Hernando, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization registered under s.496.411(3), F.S. A copy of the official registration may be obtained from the division of consumer affairs by calling 1-800-435-7352 Toll-Free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. The Life Center’s registration number in Florida is CH 22951.