Food stamps are meant for low income individuals and families. Therefore, before you can be deemed to be eligible for food stamps, you will have to prove that your (total household) income is low enough. Food stamps eligibility is assessed on a case by case basis by case workers or case managers. In determining whether you are eligible for food stamps, your income from all sources will be looked at. It is the most critical consideration. But besides the income, the resources/assets available to you will also be looked at. So will your employment status, as well as the size of your household.
What is maximum income for food stamps?
If your monthly income exceeds a certain amount, you won’t be eligible for food stamps. The specific amount varies from state to state. There are states where, for instance, you find that for a one person household, the maximum (monthly) income for food stamps is $1307. So this means that if you are in such a state, and you live alone, and earn anything above $1307, you wouldn’t be eligible for food stamps. For a 2-person household, you may find the maximum total income being $1760 – meaning that if, for instance, you live as a couple, and your combined earnings are anywhere above $1760, you wouldn’t be eligible for food stamps. The most important thing for you is to visit your state’s food stamps website, and check what the maximum income for food stamps in that particular state is. If the website doesn’t offer that information, you should consider emailing or making a phone call to the department that is in charge of food stamps in the state.
Assets and food stamps – how do assets/resources affect food stamps eligibility?
As noted earlier, available resources/assets are among the factors taken into consideration in determining whether a household qualifies for food stamps. Thus, whereas a family’s income may be low, if it has lots of resources/assets at its disposal (which it could use to buy food), then it wouldn’t be eligible for food stamps. In most states, for instance, a family with assets above $2250 may not qualify for food stamps. The only exception is for households with members who are either elderly or disabled. For those, the ceiling is at $3,500 – meaning that if they happen to have assets worth more than that, they wouldn’t qualify for food stamps.
Thankfully, in most states, assets such as the home that the family lives in and retirement savings don’t count. So the focus is on assets that could be liquidated to get money to buy food – including money in bank accounts, stocks and the likes..
Employment and food stamps – work requirements for food stamps?
The general requirement is that you need to be either working or enrolled in a job training programs, to continue being eligible for food stamps. If you are neither working nor in a job training program, you would only be eligible for food stamps for 3 months per 3 years (that is, for 3 months out of every 36 months).
Therefore if you apply for food stamps, and it turns out that you are neither working nor taking part in a job training program, you will only get the food stamps for 3 months. But there are exceptions for, among others, folks who are below 18 or above 50, disabled individuals/those who are unfit for work, pregnant mothers, students, living with child(ren)… and so on.
Household size and food stamps – how does household size affect food stamps eligibility?
Food stamps benefits depend on household size: with larger households getting more. Thus, for instance, you may find that the maximum food stamp benefit for a 1-person household is $192 in some states. That grows to $353 for a 2-person household, $505 for a 3-person household… and it can go up to $1155 for a 8-person household.