Understanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Understanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • SNAP feeds millions of hungry Americans.
  • The nutrition program is only available to Americans and some legal immigrants.
  • The US Department of Agriculture runs the SNAP program.
  • States decide who to approve for benefits. 

Understanding SNAP Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult, This Guide Makes It Easy

(NewsReady.com) – The government provides several social safety net programs to help Americans who are going through a tough time. One of those programs is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Formerly known as food stamps, this provides funds to families so they can buy food.

As of 2019, the SNAP program was feeding 38 million people across the country. It’s the largest supplemental nutrition program provided by the US Department of Agriculture. The federal government pays for 100% of the SNAP benefits, but it splits the administrative costs for the program with the states. That allows states to implement their own qualifications for the program.

Who Qualifies?

Each state might have slightly different qualifications for SNAP, but there are federal guidelines for it.

In order to qualify for SNAP benefits, the federal government requires households to meet three tests:

  • Assets: Households without an elderly (age 60+) person or a member with a disability must only have assets equal to or less than $2,500. Households with an elderly member or someone with a disability must have assets of $3,750 or less.
  • Gross monthly income: This is income that has not had any of the program’s deductions applied. It must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty line. For example, for the 2022 federal fiscal year, 130% below the federal poverty line is $28,550 a year or $2,379 a month.
  • Net income: This is the household income after deductions are applied, and it must be equal to or less than the poverty line.

In addition to the income requirements, a person must be an American citizen or qualifying immigrant. Illegal immigrants do not qualify for SNAP benefits.

How to Apply

Each state has a different system for applying for SNAP benefits. Most states, like Florida, allow you to do it online. You can visit USA.gov to see how to apply for benefits in your state. The website also has resources to help you find immediate food assistance if you’re in need right now.

If you’ve fallen on hard times and need to apply for benefits, don’t feel ashamed. Bad things happen to good people, and that’s why these safety nets are in place. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family.

Copyright 2022, NewsReady.com