Food Stamp Eligibility – Do I Qualify for Food Stamps


First food stamps

First food stamps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food stamp eligibility can be determined by numerous factors that were set by the government. The eligibility requirements were formulated to easily identify food stamps applicants who are in dire need of assistance. The program was formulated in an effort of the government to eradicate malnutrition among household who are below the poverty line.

General Requirements for Food Stamp Eligibility

  • You must have a Social Security number in order to apply for food stamps. This number is used by the local government as your unique reference number that is essential fo
    r recording and monitoring of your information.
  • You have to be a certified US citizen or a non-citizen with special immigration status approved by the government under particular programs. Non-citizen includes Cuban or Haitian participant, refugees, asylees and the like.
  • Must be able to comply with the work fare requirements set for food stamp beneficiaries.
  • Households composed of TAFDC or EAEDC existing members are automatically eligible for receiving food stamps without having to file separate food stamp or SNAP application.
  • A sixty-year old senior citizen who has his food delivered from Meals on Wheels or the like may avail food stamps to pay for food delivery.
  • Spouses living with their children who are less than 22 years old are eligible to apply for food stamps as a single family unit or as one household.
  • People who are of legal age and are living together but cook their food separately may apply for separate food stamps or SNAP as separate households.

Financial Requirements for Food Stamp Eligibility

The financial standing of a household is another important consideration for food stamp eligibility. The financial limit usually varies from one to state to another. However, the factors used to compute financial standing is almost the same such as the combined liquid assets and gross monthly income of the entire household.

  • A household with one senior citizen or a single member who has a disability is allowed to own up to $3250 worth of assets and is still be eligible for food stamps.
  • Standard household without a senior citizen or disabled member can own up to $2000 worth of countable assets.

A family member has to be sixty years old and above to be classified as a senior citizen. Disable household member has to be qualified for financial aid given to people with disability or eligible for regular financial medical assistance to be classified as a disabled member of a household.

Financial assessment for food stamp eligibility includes the amount of cash of your entire household, any forms of bank deposits which includes savings and checking accounts, lump sump insurance settlement, bonds, refunds from income tax or tax credits and extra properties that is not your home or business place. Your car and personal assets such as jewelries are not included in the computation or declaration of assets.

Computing your gross income and net income are also considered is essential for determine your food stamp eligibility.

  • Your gross monthly income is computed based on your monthly commissions, salaries and compensations before any allowable deductions such as tax were applied to reduce them. A household with at least one dependent child who is less than 19 years old or has one pregnant woman is allowed to have a gross income that is equivalent to or less than 200% of the gross income set by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Your monthly net income on the other hand is computed based on your monthly salaries, compensations and commissions combined after tax and allowable deductions had been applied.  A household with one senior citizen or one disabled member can have a monthly net income that is not more than 100% of the net income set by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Work Requirements for Food Stamp Eligibility

  • Food stamp beneficiaries who are sixteen to fifty-nine years old, physically and mentally fit are required to join the SNAP work fare or employment program. This is the part where the local government tries to find a suitable job for its food stamp beneficiary. You will be required to search and accept a job offer that is suitable to your credentials.
  • Some beneficiaries may be exempted from the work requirement if they are suffering from mental or physical medical condition, on the third trimester of pregnancy, is responsible for taking care of a child less than six years old, participating in other programs set by the government such as job from unemployment benefits and the like and when caring for disabled member of your household who needs looking after.

These are only some of the main factors that can affect your food stamp eligibility. Online screening programs are especially implemented on government sites that can help you determine your food stamp eligibility. Note that some rules or additional stipulations maybe applied to your case depending on the state where you are applying for food stamp eligibility.

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