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Benefit Details
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Managing Agency U.S. Department of Agriculture

Program Description

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides benefits to low-income people that they can use to buy food to improve their diets. SNAP recipients spend their benefits (provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card) to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores. Through nutrition education partners, SNAP helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices.

General Program Requirements

Anyone who meets the program eligibility requirements can get SNAP benefits. To be eligible for SNAP most households must meet certain resource and income limits. A household with an elderly or disabled household member need only meet the net income limit.

A household's benefit amount is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Thrifty Food Plan, which is an estimate of how much it costs to buy food to prepare nutritious, low-cost meals for a household. A household's net monthly income is multiplied by 0.3, and the result is subtracted from the maximum allotment for the household size to determine the household's allotment. This is because SNAP households are expected to spend 30 percent of their own income on food, so the amount of benefits received help to supplement the household's food budget. For example, if a one-person household has a net income of $500, this amount is multiplied by 0.3 to get $150. The $150 is then subtracted from the maximum allotment of $200 for a household size of one (based on zero income) to get a SNAP benefit amount of $50.

Visit SNAP's eligibility page, to find out more about eligibility requirements and how benefits are computed.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

Learn if you or someone you know might be eligible for SNAP, through using this list of 10 Steps to Help You Fill Your Grocery Bag Through SNAP.

To see if you might be eligible for SNAP benefits, use SNAP's pre-screening tool.

Program Contact Information

Please visit SNAP's Contact Us page to find many ways to get in touch with your local SNAP office.

You can also find the nearest local office by calling your state's SNAP hotline.