Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP is the United States’ largest program for fighting domestic hunger. Working in tandem with state agencies, the Food and Nutrition Service helps low-income individuals and families receive the benefits that they require and deserve. All that it takes is finding out if you are eligible for SNAP and filling out the proper SNAP application.

How to Apply for SNAP

The process to apply for food stamps in the US varies depending on the location. Some states have a website that allows you to complete the application process online. Other states do not provide as much information or even the necessary SNAP application online, requiring you to go in person to your local SNAP office. Luckily, finding an office is simple. Information on these locations can be found in the government pages of your telephone book. Just search for the following terms:

  • Food Stamps
  • Human Services
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Security

Once you know what documents you need to apply for SNAP in your state of residence, visit a local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office to pick up an application. Otherwise, apply online or print out your application and mail it in to the address listed on the form. Do not contact the USDA Food and Nutrition Service directly, as this organization does not personally handle SNAP applications.

Filling out the Application

The form that one must fill out to receive the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program requires applicants to provide a wide variety of information. Prospective beneficiaries must provide their full name, their address and their Social Security Number at the top of the form, along with other personal information about themselves, their spouse and their children (if applicable). After providing the necessary personal information, one must give information about their current occupation and income to find out their possible eligibility for SNAP benefits. In addition to information about the company of employment and personal details, applicants are also asked to provide answers to a number of health coverage questions.

Once the form is completed with all of the necessary information, it should be signed by and mailed in to the address listed on the SNAP application or submitted in person.

Eligibility for SNAP

In order to be considered eligible for SNAP in your state of residence, one must meet requirements in all of the following areas:

  • Deductions: Applicants must subtract deductions to determine if their net income makes them eligible for SNAP benefits.
  • Employment Requirements: Most applicants between the age of 18 and 50 are eligible for SNAP if they do not work and do not have dependent children.
  • Immigrant Eligibility: Only certain immigrants can receive benefits from SNAP, including those that have lived in the US for at least five years, children under the age of 18 and those immigrants who are receiving disability-related benefits.
  • Income: Unless a household is receiving Supplemental Security Income, TANF or general assistance, it must undergo an income test.
  • Resources: The maximum amount for countable resources per household is $2,250; however, households with a minimum of one person who is 60 years old or older can have countable assets of up to $3,250. 
  • Special Rules for Elderly or Disabled: These demographics include seniors, the blind, disabled veterans, surviving spouse of child of such a veteran, SSI beneficiaries, etc.