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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can get SNAP benefits? If I do not have children, can I still receive SNAP benefits?

All types of people receive SNAP benefits — single adults, families, seniors, and working people. Many people who do not have children are eligible for SNAP benefits.

How is SNAP eligibility determined?

Eligibility depends on things like the number of people in your household, income, and resources (cash, bank accounts, etc…). Income includes money earned from work. It also includes benefits like Social Security, unemployment, and SSI. Find out if you may be eligible with the SNAP Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool.

What are emergency SNAP benefits? Who is eligible?

Expedited benefits mean that you may receive benefits within seven days. We suggest you go in person to your local SNAP office to apply.

To be eligible for expedited benefits, you must meet criteria determined by your state.

Do I need to be working to apply for SNAP?

No. Certain SNAP recipients may have to enroll in a job search program a few months after their benefits begin; however, many SNAP applicants do not.

I own my own home. Does this mean I cannot get SNAP?

No. In fact, the costs associated with owning your home are used as deductions in determining your eligibility. The home you live in is not considered an asset.

I am not a US Citizen. Can I apply for SNAP?

Yes. Many non-citizens are eligible for SNAP. Receiving SNAP will have no impact on your application for citizenship and/or a green card. If you do not have documented immigration status, you will not be able to apply for yourself, but you may be able to apply for other eligible household members.

Children born in the US may receive benefits even if their parents do not have documentation.

I am homeless. Can I apply for SNAP?

Yes. A permanent address is not required to apply for SNAP. You can get benefits whether you live on the street, are staying in a shelter, or are living with family or friends on a temporary basis. Homeless individuals and families who do not have regular shelter expenses can claim an automatic deduction from their income.

Do I have to go into an office to apply?

No. You may be able to email or fax your application, or apply online, depending on the state you live in.

I live with other people. Do I have to put their names on my application?

Yes. If you buy and prepare food with the people you live with, you all apply together. If you do not, you apply separately, but you would still need to put their names on your application. Some people must always apply together, including spouses and children under 22 living with a parent or step-parent.

How do I find out the status of my SNAP application?

You should first try to contact your local office or assigned caseworker.

How long will it be until I get my SNAP benefits?

It can take up to 30 days to receive benefits. Some households may be eligible for expedited/emergency SNAP, which are available in seven calendar days.

I received an EBT card in the mail but the balance is $0. What does this mean?

When you apply for SNAP you may be given an EBT card right away, but until your application is processed, you will not have any benefits on your card.

It is also possible you may be categorically eligible for $0, meaning when your income and expense information was calculated the amount of SNAP benefits you qualified for was $0. However, you are still considered a SNAP recipient and can receive any associated benefits, such as utility discounts and free school meals for your children.

Does receiving SNAP affect my taxes?

No. SNAP benefits are not considered income.

What can I purchase with my EBT card?

For a comprehensive list of permissible foods to purchase with your SNAP benefits, please visit the USDA website.

How can I find where I can use my EBT card?

Please bookmark this page and check back soon with for all the places that will take EBT as payment.