SNAP Program

What is the SNAP Program?

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP is a federal program that provides food-payment assistance for low-income individuals and families.

How do you receive SNAP benefits?

To obtain SNAP benefits, you must apply with the state in which you reside and meet income and resource requirements. Requirements for the SNAP program are state-specific and updated annually.

How do I start an application for SNAP benefits?

Applications for SNAP benefits are typically completed by visiting a local SNAP office, applying through your state agency's website, or calling the state's toll-free SNAP information hotline.

What happens once I complete my SNAP benefits application?

Once you apply for SNAP benefits, applicants will then be contacted to complete an eligibility interview, either by phone or in-person, and provide verification of the information they've provided.

Once the entire application process is complete, applicants generally receive notification on their application status within 30 business days. If accepted into the SNAP program, during this time, applicants will also be notified of their certification period — explaining how long their benefits will last.

How will I receive my SNAP benefits?

If eligible, SNAP benefit funds are automatically loaded monthly onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The SNAP recipients can then use their EBT card to buy groceries at authorized food and retail stores.

What qualifies as "groceries" under the SNAP program?

Households can use SNAP benefits to purchase:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Seeds and plants to grow food
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages

Households cannot use SNAP benefits to purchase:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements
  • Live animals
  • Foods that are hot at the point of sale
  • Any nonfood items like pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene items, and cosmetics

Are there work requirements associated with the SNAP program?

Generally, applicants must meet work requirements to be eligible for SNAP benefits. Employment requirements encompass registering for work, not quitting or purposefully minimizing hours, accepting a job if offered, and engaging in employment and training programs.

Are students eligible for SNAP benefits?

Students ages 18-49 enrolled in college at least half-time, as defined by each educational institution, are not eligible for SNAP unless they meet specific exemptions.

Learn more about Goodwin's SNAP employment and training programs!

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