Have you ever wondered what SNAP Eligibility means? Do you know the eligibility terms for SNAP? If you are looking forward to knowing more about the topic then you are in the right place. SNAP has in so many ways helped individuals and households in trying times.
Getting SNAP Eligibility means being deemed fit by the state in which you applied to enjoy SNAP Benefits. Yes, the state you currently reside in is the state you apply to and the one that determines your eligibility. One must meet other conditions in addition to the income and resource requirements. Now we have been mentioning SNAP and still do not know what it means. Let us learn more about it.
What Is SNAP
SNAP means the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the United States of America. This is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance for low income and no-income people living in the country.
In layman terms, SNAP helps people buy food that they need for good health. These assistances are what are referred to as SNAP benefits. There are several benefits one can receive from SNAP. Some of the benefits one can get from SNAP are listed below.
- Health Care: SNAP also makes available some health care benefits. There are some people with little or no money to get health care but through SNAP, there are some health benefits that one can receive.
- Support Services: This is a program that offers daily needs such as bathing, dressing, eating, making meals, laundry shopping and other services of caregivers, treatment for mental health issues and alcohol or drug. These services are offered to people with disabilities, people who are older, people who need help with mental health issues, drug issues and alcohol abuse issues.
- WIC Food Benefits: This a supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children. This gives updates for foods that infants and growing children need. The program helps to care for infants, children, and women by providing necessities for them. The does not stop when the child turns one.
- SNAP Food Benefits: This helps to provide food or allows access to food. This program also makes sure you eat healthy as there are certain foods one cannot buy using SNAP benefits. The foods that SNAP benefits allows can only be purchased from stores or retailers that accept SNAP (places authorized by SNAP). Only staple foods are allowed to be purchased by SNAP. Foods like fruits, seeds, vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, non-alcoholic beverages, fish, poultry, cereals and snack foods. Food one cannot buy with SNAP benefits are Tabaco, Alcohol, cigarettes, instant foods, medicines, supplements and vitamins.
- TANF Cash Help: This means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. These are for families who have difficulty in caring for themselves especially when there is an older person or a disabled person.
The SNAP Eligibility
To become eligible for SNAP benefits, one has to first apply for it. You would have to apply to the state you currently live in and meet their requirement in order to be eligible. Every state in the United States has different requirements. To apply, one has to go to the local agency office closest to their location this is because one cannot apply for SNAP benefits online.
Although there are websites to go to on SNAP benefits for each state, these websites do not carry the application form, instead, they share more information on the process to follow and all the local agencies to go for the application.
Maximum Monthly Income Limits For SNAP
An individual or household applying for SNAP benefits has to meet the maximum monthly income limits. This means a family or individual whose monthly income exceeds the stipulated limits is not eligible. People with a gross income that is not up to 130% of the federal poverty line are likely eligible. Below is a breakdown of the limits per family size.
- For a family size of 1, the monthly amount of income allowed is $1,354
- For a family size of 2, the monthly amount of income allowed is $1,832
- Family size of 3, the monthly amount of income allowed is $2,311
- For a family size of 4, the monthly amount of income allowed is $2,790
- For a family size of 5, the monthly amount of income allowed is $3,269
- Family size of 6, the monthly amount of income allowed is $3,748
- For a family size of 7, the monthly amount of income allowed is $4,227
- For a family size of 8, the monthly amount of income allowed is $4,705
- And for each additional person, add: $479
The gross income limits vary for different states in the country.
Maximum Monthly Allotment From SNAP
There is a limit to the allotment an individual can receive from SNAP as benefits. An allotment is the amount of money SNAP gives to an individual or a household. The allotment is per the size of the family applying for SNAP benefits. Below is the stated maximum amount that can be received as an income from SNAP monthly.
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $194 for a family size of 1
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $355 for a family size of 2
- The maximum monthly allotment allowed is $509 for a family size of 3
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $646 for a family size of 4
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $768 for a family size of 5
- The maximum monthly allotment allowed is $921 for a family size of 6
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $1,018 for a family size of 7
- Maximum monthly allotment allowed is $1,164 for a family size of 8
- For each additional person, add: $146
These allotments are also different for the states in the country.
EBT is ‘Electronic Benefit transfer’. It is only used to authorize transfer from of the government benefits from a federal account to a retailer account for the payment of purchases. Having been eligible, it takes a few days for one to receive the benefits. This is mostly received as an EBT card. The card works exactly like a debit card. This EBT is used in all the 50 states and every other place in the country and imposed since 2004.
For a retailer or store to be eligible or have SNAP authorization, it has to meet one of the two staple food requirements. Staple foods are the basic foods that usually make up a significant portion of one’s diet. These foods are prepared at home and eaten as a meal. These staple foods do not include accessory foods, prepared foods and heated foods. The staple foods requirements are
- Staple food inventory or
- Staple food sales.
Meeting either of these criteria makes a store or retailer eligible to receive SNAP payment. For the staple food inventory. A store must have three stocking units of three different varieties for each staple food category on a continuous basis. A variety in two of the three staple food units must have perishable food. For the other criteria, a store must have more than 50% of its total gross retail sales from the sale of staple foods.
Other Stores Eligibility
All specialty stores like butcher shops often get their authorization under the staple food sales criteria. While staple food stocking units are needed to meet the staple food inventory criteria. Other criteria needed to be met by stores are;
- Need for access; how accessible is the store to areas where SNAP clients are located.
- Restaurants; a restaurant is not allowed by SNAP. A store is considered a restaurant over 50% of the total gross sales come from sales of hot or cold foods (fasts foods) and
- Co-location; if multiple firms operating in the same location meet certain criteria, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will consider them a single firm when determining eligibility.
Meeting any, some or all of these criteria can get a store considered for eligibility to accept SNAP payment for goods purchased.