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Americans applying for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program benefits must meet an extensive set of eligibility criteria to be eligible, and one of them relates to income.
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SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture that provides food assistance to low-income households. Beneficiaries now pay with electronic benefit transfer cards instead of food stamps.
According to the USDA, all people who live together and buy and cook meals together are grouped into a single SNAP household. This is the case even if they buy and prepare the meals separately. In most cases, you are not eligible for SNAP benefits if an institution provides you with most of your meals, but there are exceptions for seniors and people with disabilities.
In terms of income eligibility, the USDA looks at both gross income and net income. Normally, your household must meet both gross and net income limits or you are not eligible for SNAP and cannot receive benefits. Exceptions are households with an elderly or disabled person, in which case you only have to meet the net income limit.
For SNAP purposes, gross income is a household’s total non-excluded income before any deductions. Net income is gross income less allowable deductions.
If all members of your household receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, or in some places other general assistance, your household may be considered “categorically eligible” for SNAP because you have already been determined eligible for another means-tested program. .
The current income eligibility limits listed below apply to households in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia applying for SNAP between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022. SNAP gross and net income limits are higher in Alaska and Hawaii, so if you live in those states, contact your local SNAP administrator.
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|household size||Gross monthly income||Net monthly income
|Each additional member||+$492||+$379|