This is an overview of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) adapted from a fact sheet published by the Social Security Administration.
What is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides low-income households with often essential access to food. This is a federal program implemented and run by state or local agencies which means that the amount each person gets is different between each person. The amounts available are also different in each state.
What are the income requirements?
Households must not exceed income limits, often divided into two groups: gross and net. Gross income is the total income before taxes and net income is what you have left after taxes and allowable deductions. Allowable deductions are other subtractions from the original income amount earned before taxes. These deductions often include housing and utility costs, child support payments, childcare payments, and monthly medical expenses over $35 for disabled or elderly people over age 60.
Some households are considered income-eligible because they have already applied for and been approved for another government program. Often, if everyone in the household receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), they will be automatically approved for SNAP because they were already approved for the other government programs that help low-income households.
What are the resource limits?
SNAP has a resource limits. In general, households may have $2,250 in resources, such as cash or money in a bank account, or $3,500 in resources if at least one person is disabled or over age 60. Each state has their own rules about the resource limits. If you own your home and at least one car, it is not usually counted as a resource to put you over the limit to qualify.
What if I am homeless?
Many people do not know that you can still qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) even if you are homeless. A person is considered homeless if they do not have a permanent place to sleep at night. That means that a person may still qualify as homeless whether they sleep on the street, in a shelter, halfway house, or even go from house to house staying with a friends and family.
How do I find out more about SNAP eligibility?
Where can I apply for SNAP benefits?
- Apply online at yourtexasbenefits.comor visit your local SNAP office.
- Over the phone using the Texas SNAP hotline (877-541-7905)
- In person by calling 211 for the location of your nearest Texas Workforce Solutions Center or administering agency.
If I need food now, where can I free food pantries in Texas?
FoodPantries.org is a great place to start.
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