While you may apply for SNAP if you’re unsure about your eligibility, you can learn more about the SNAP program’s qualifications first. This may help you know what to expect and how to gather any necessary documentation more quickly.
The biggest eligibility factor for the SNAP program is income. SNAP is an income-based program. This means a household must meet income guidelines in order to qualify for assistance. If your household does not have any disabled persons or seniors and you live in the continental U.S., the gross monthly income limit will be as follows:
- 1 Person: $1,755
- 2-Persons: $2,371
- 3-Persons: $2,987
- 4-Persons: $3,603
- 5-Persons: $4,219
- 6-Persons: $4,835
- 7-Persons: $5,451
- 8-Persons: $6,067
- 9-Persons: $6,683
- 10-Persons: $7,299
Households with more than 10 people can add an additional $616 to their gross monthly income limit per person. Additionally, households in Hawaii or Alaska, and households with at least one elderly or disabled household member, will have higher income limits than the ones shown above.
Furthermore, these limits are before SNAP deductions are applied, so a family may still qualify for assistance if their income is a little higher than the above limits.
If a household meets income guidelines, there are a few more eligibility requirements that they must meet. These requirements include citizenship, student, and work-related requirements.
While undocumented citizens are not eligible for SNAP EBT, lawfully present non-citizens may qualify for SNAP. Non-citizens may may qualify for benefits if they:
- Have lived in the United States for at least five years; and
- Are currently receiving disability-related benefits or they are a minor under the age of 18.
Students attending college at least part time usually do not qualify for food assistance.
To qualify for SNAP benefits, all household members considered an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependent must meet the program’s work requirements. Work guidelines require participants to participate in approved work-related activities for at least 20 hours a week and 80 hours a month.
Beneficiaries will be considered exempt from work-related activities if they meet any of the following:
- Are 17 years old or younger
- Are 50 years old or older
- Are pregnant
- Are currently receiving unemployment benefits
- Are responsible for a dependent child or incapacitated person
- Are temporarily or permanently deemed unfit for work, such as those receiving disability-related benefits
If someone is not exempt from work requirements and does not meet these guidelines, they will be limited to 3 months of SNAP benefits. After the initial three month period, they must meet these requirements to continue receiving help from the SNAP program.