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SNAP Outreach

The federal nutrition program called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or food stamps) is available for you. Everyone can apply for SNAP benefits–college students, seniors over 60, people with disabilities, homeless individuals, and families. SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.

One of our Coordinators can quickly tell you if you’re eligible and help you apply for SNAP benefits over the phone.  If you need help in languages other than English and Spanish, we can assist with those, too.

If you’ve been approved to receive SNAP benefits, you’ll receive an EBT card (it works just like a debit card) so you can buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, convenience stores, and anywhere you see “We Accept EBT” signs.

The following deductions are allowed for SNAP:

  • A 20-percent deduction from earned income.
  • A standard deduction of $198 for household sizes of 1 to 3 people (higher for some larger households and different for households in Alaska, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam).
  • A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education.
  • Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else. This is described on the elderly and disabled page.
  • In some states, legally owed child support payments.
  • A standard shelter deduction for homeless households of $179.66.
  • Excess shelter costs as described below.

SNAP Excess Shelter Costs Deduction

The excess shelter deduction is for shelter costs that are more than half of the household’s income after other deductions.

Allowable shelter costs include:

  • Fuel to heat and cook with.
  • Electricity.
  • Water.
  • The basic fee for one telephone.
  • Rent or mortgage payments and interest.
  • Taxes on the home.

Some states allow a set amount for utility costs instead of actual costs.

The amount of the shelter deduction is capped at (or limited to) $672 unless one person in the household is elderly or disabled. The limit is higher in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. For a household with an elderly or disabled member all shelter costs over half of the household’s income may be deducted.

For more information, contact a SNAP Outreach Counselor by filling out the form below.

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