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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, helps low-income people in the U.S. — including those who work for low wages or are unemployed, disabled or on welfare — buy the food they need to sustain a nutritious diet. The amount of SNAP assistance a family can receive is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan, which is an estimate of what it costs to buy nutritious low-cost food to make at home.
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You can apply for SNAP assistance through the local office of your state’s public assistance agency. However, you must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for the program. For better understanding of the program’s benefits, here are 10 things most Americans don’t know about SNAP.
You Can Be Homeless and Qualify for SNAP
In general, everyone who lives together and prepares meals together in the same household can qualify for SNAP payments. However, you can be homeless and still qualify for SNAP. You are considered homeless if you are temporarily staying in a supervised shelter, halfway house, another person’s residence or you sleep somewhere such as a hallway, bus station or lobby.
Some Non-Citizens Are Eligible To Qualify for SNAP
While undocumented non-citizens are not eligible for SNAP, non-citizens who are legally in the U.S. and who meet one of the following requirements are generally eligible to qualify for SNAP:
- Lived in the U.S. for at least five years
- Receiving disability assistance or benefits
- Under age 18
Related: SNAP & Medicaid COVID-19 Benefits Will Expire on April 15: These States, Territories Will be Impacted
Meeting Gross and Net Income Limits Is Required To Qualify
Most households must meet gross and net income limits to qualify to receive SNAP assistance. Your gross income is your total income before taxes or deductions, while your net income is the amount left over after taxes and deductions. Housing costs, child support payments and child care payments are all things you can deduct from your gross income to help you meet SNAP income limits.
Gross monthly income must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty line. Net income must be at or below 100% of the federal poverty line.
However, there are some exceptions. A household with an elderly person or someone who receives disability payments only has to meet the net income test. Additionally, if everyone in the household receives Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance …….