Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ("SNAP") Program Facts
This article about food stamp basics is adapted and exerpted from a fact sheet published by the Social Security Administration. It contains information and links to help you better understand and apply for food stamps, also known as SNAP benefits.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income people buy food. Although SNAP is a federal program, it's run by state or local agencies.
Adapted from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Facts.
Households must meet an income limit to qualify for benefits. There are two income limits: gross and net.
Your total income, before taxes or any other subtractions, is called gross income. However, certain subtractions to your gross income, called deductions, are allowed. These can be for things like housing costs, child support payments, child or dependent care payments, and monthly medical expenses over $35 for people age 60 or older or disabled people. The amount left over after these deductions is called net income.
Most households must meet both income limits.
Households are considered income-eligible if everyone in the household receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). SNAP also has a resource test. In general, households may have $2,250 in resources, such as cash or money in a bank account, or $3,250 in resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled. However, some states have different resources limits, and the resource limit may be higher in your state. If you own your own home, it is not counted as a resource. In some states, you may have at least one car. The resources of people who receive SSI or TANF do not count.