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The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is the cornerstone of the Federal food assistance programs, and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work. The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers SNAP at the Federal level through its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). State agencies administer the program at State and local levels, including determination of eligibility and allotments, and distribution of benefits.
To participate in SNAP:
• Households may have no more than $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($3,000 if at least one person in the household is age 60 or older, or is disabled). Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot. Special rules are used to determine the resource value of vehicles owned by household members.
• The gross monthly income of most households must be 130 percent or less of the Federal poverty guidelines. Gross income includes all cash payments to the household, with a few exceptions specified in the law or the program regulations.
• Net monthly income must be 100 percent or less of Federal poverty guidelines. Net income is figured by adding all of a household's gross income, and then taking a number of approved deductions for child care, some shelter costs and other expenses. Households with an elderly or disabled member are subject only to the net income test.
• Most able-bodied adult applicants must meet certain work requirements.
• All household members must provide a Social Security number or apply for one.
To apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you must fill out an application and return it to a local SNAP office. Each State has a different application. Find Your State! Or, visit your local SNAP office and fill out an application.
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy: