What is SNAP and are you eligible?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal entitlement nutrition program (meaning whoever is eligible will receive benefits) that increases access to groceries. SNAP recipients receive monthly funds through a benefits card, to buy groceries at local stores or farmers' markets. The amount a participant can receive each month depends on income and family size, and is loaded automatically each month.


What can and can’t SNAP buy?


CAN BUY

  • breads and cereals

  • fruits and vegetables

  • meats, fish, and poultry

  • dairy products

CANNOT BUY:

  • beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco

  • any nonfood items, such as:

  • pet food

  • soap, paper products

  • household supplies

  • vitamins and medicine

  • hot foods (prepared foods)


Eligibility

SNAP eligibility is determined based on income and expenses. This income can be earned or unearned (Social Security, unemployment, child support). To find out if you are eligible, check out this link: https://mybenefits.ny.gov/


What are the work requirements for SNAP?

In general, people must meet work requirements to be eligible for SNAP. These work requirements include:

  • Registering for work

  • Not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing hours

  • Taking a job if offered; and

  • Participating in employment and training programs, if assigned by the state.


In addition, able bodied adults without dependents are required to work or participate in a work program for at least 20 hours per week to receive SNAP benefits for more than 3 months in a 36-month period.

Some special groups may not be subject to these requirements including:

  • Children

  • Seniors

  • Pregnant women; and

  • People who are exempt for physical or mental health reasons.


Can students apply for SNAP?

If a student is enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education, they may qualify for SNAP if they meet one of the following exemptions:

  • Are under age 18 or are age 50 or older

  • Have a physical or mental disability.

  • Work at least 20 hours a week in paid employment.

  • Participate in a state or federally financed work study program.

  • Participate in an on-the-job training program.

  • Care for a child under the age of 6.

  • Care for a child aged 6 to 11 and lack the necessary childcare enabling a participant to attend school and work 20 hours a week or participate in work study.

  • Are a single parent enrolled full-time in college and taking care of a child under 12.

  • Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance.

  • Are enrolled in a TANF Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program.

  • Are assigned to, placed in, or self-placed in a college or other institution of higher education through:

  • A SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program

  • Certain other E&T programs for low-income households, which are operated by a state or local government and have an equivalent component to SNAP E&T

  • A program under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014

  • A Trade Adjustment Assistance Program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974.

  • Meet one of the new, temporary exemptions listed under Covid-19 Temporary Updates.

Double Up Food Bucks Recipients of SNAP benefits are automatically eligible to participate in Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB). When a participant uses their benefits card at any participating DUFB location (farmer’s market or grocery store in their area), they receive up to an extra $20 per day for fresh produce. This means, they are able to get twice as many fruits and veggies!



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