Eligibility for SNAP (food stamps) benefits is usually based on gross and net income (for families with at least one elderly or disabled member, just net income).
Gross income limits are established by the federal government and adjusted annually. Current gross income limits are available by clicking here. Gross income is total income minus verified legally obligated child support paid.
A family may have liquid resources (cash, checking accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.) of up to $2,000. With one or more family members who are disabled or age 60 or over, the resource limit is $3,250.
If eligible, the amount of benefits received is determined by household size and adjusted gross income after these deductions:
a standard deduction.
a 20 percent earned income deduction.
a deduction for dependent care.
a limited deduction for medical expenses for elderly or individuals who are disabled.
a limited deduction for excess shelter care expenses.
The program requires mandatory recipients to participate in any one or a combination of the following activities as a condition of their SNAP eligibility:
Job Search / Job Club / Job Readiness
Mandatory participants include:
18 to 59 years old; and
Not in school; and
Working less than the equivalent of 30 hours per week at federal minimum wage; and
Not receiving unemployment insurance or SSI; and
Not the parent/caretaker of a child under age six.
Exempt participants include:
Any child under age 18 (unless applicant and not in school); or
Any adult 60 or older; or
Any parent/caretaker of child under age six; or
Any unemployment insurance applicant or recipient
Any person working more than the equivalent of 30 hours per week at federal minimum wage; or
Any caretaker of an incapacitated person in their home; or
Any person with a health issue that affects their ability to participate; or
Any pregnant woman in her fourth or later month of pregnancy.
Report all Changes Affecting Eligibility
All SNAP recipients must report anytime their monthly gross income is over the maximum allowed for their household size. Income maximums can be found on notices or by calling your Benefits Specialist. The income must be reported by the 10th day of the month, following the month the income exceeds the maximum.
All SNAP recipients are also required to complete a recertification (review) process once every 12 months. Most SNAP recipients will fill out a report form in the 6th month of their recertification period. Recertification and report forms will be mailed to recipients.
Recipients are not required to report any other changes, but they may choose to report changes such as:
the addition of a household member and their income.
increase in expenses, such as shelter costs, daycare costs, etc.
income stops or decreases.