SNAP (SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION
The Food Stamp program (now known
as SNAP) is a federal program administered by
the US Department of Agriculture and managed in
Connecticut by the Department of Social Services
(DSS). The following is summarized from the DSS
WHO CAN GET SNAP?
A person must be a U.S. citizen
or an eligible non-citizen to qualify for
U.S. citizens and certain legal
immigrants who have little or no income are
likely to be eligible for SNAP. This includes,
but is not limited to, people who are:
- Retired with no or low pension
or Social Security income
- Working, but earning low wages
- On state cash assistance (TFA,
SAGA, or State Supplement)
- Legal immigrants who are
disabled and receiving disability benefits
(SSI, or disability-related Medicaid) are
eligible for SNAP without a waiting period.
- Students in post-secondary
schools (college) can receive SNAP if:
- Age under 18 or 50+
- Physically or mentally
- Receiving TFA
- Responsible for more that
50% of the care of a dependent family
member if under age 6 or age 6-12 if
adequate care is not available
- Enrolled less than half
- Enrolled half time or more
and employed a minimum of 20 hrs/wk
- Placed in higher education
by the Workforce Investment Act program.
- Participating in a
federally financed work study program
during the regular school year
- Participating in an
on-the-job training program through the
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program, or
in a program under Secion 236 of the Trade
Act of 1974, or in a Food Stamp Employment
and Training program, or in an employment
and training program for low income
households that is operated by a state or
local government entity.
USDA WEBSITE ON ELIGIBILITY
- Beginning July 1, 2009, income
limit for most households is 185% of the
Federal Poverty Level (FPL), with no net
income or asset limit. Households with an
elderly (ages 60+) or disabled member do not
have to meet a gross income limit. Instead,
shelter, medical, and other qualifying
expenses are deducted from gross income. If
the gross income of an elderly/disabled
household is below 185% FPL, there is no asset
test and there is no net income test. However,
if the elderly/disabled household's income
exceeds 185% FPL, the net income after
allowable deductions cannot be more
than 100% FPL and they cannot have more than
$3,250 in countable assets.
- Combat pay is not included as
- Elderly or disabled households
with gross income over 185% FPL is $3,250.
There is no asset limit if gross income is at
or below 185% of FPL.
- Not all assets count toward the
- The value of a house
a person owns and lives in is not counted
and a lien is not placed on a home.
- Retirement accounts are
not counted as assets.
- Car value is NOT counted as an
WHERE DO PEOPLE APPLY?
- Apply for SNAP at the DSS
office that serves your town or download an
application at http://www.ct.gov/dss/lib/dss/pdfs/w-1food.pdf
and mail it in. Applicants can do their
required interview by phone; it is not
necessary to go to a DSS office.
- Note: The
Community Health Centers located throughout the state are
designated SNAP Outreach sites and they
can assist with eligibility screening. For a list of
locations, see the 2-1-1
Assistance * Food Stamp/SNAP Recipients
- If disabled and unable to go to
a DSS office, you can request that an
authorized representative apply for you.
- People who apply for or receive
SSI can apply for SNAP at the Social Security
office located nearest their home.
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED?
- Proof of citizenship or refugee
- Legal immigrants with permanent
residence status ("green card") should call to
ask what documentation is required.
- Proof of earned and unearned
- For elderly/disabled households
whose income exceeds 185% FPL, documentation
of countable assets (bank account statements,
stocks, bonds, CDs, etc.
- Social Security numbers for
everyone in the household.
- Verification of shelter
expenses, such as rent receipt or lease, and
- Verification of out-of-pocket
child and dependent care expenses
- Verification of court ordered
child support payments
- Elderly/disabled households
should also verify out-of-pocket medical
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET
The DSS office must act on
applications within 30 days of the date a person
submits a signed application. Eligible
households will have benefits in their EBT
account within four days of the date that DSS
grants their application.
In emergency situations, person
may be eligible for Expedited SNAP, which can be
obtained within 7 days instead of 30 days. (See
EXPEDITED SNAP, below.)
The 30 day period begins the day
that the signed application is received in the
DSS office. Also, the first month of SNAP is
prorated from the day that the application is
signed, so it is very important to at least put
name and address on the application, SIGN it,
and submit it to the appropriate DSS office,
even if the applicant needs to provide more
information and/or documentation to support the
EXPEDITED SNAP (also known as
EMERGENCY FOOD STAMPS)
Some people can get SNAP benefits
within seven days of the date they apply. To
qualify for Expedited SNAP person must:
- Have income less than $150 per
month and assets of $100 or less.
- OR have monthly
rent/mortgage and utility expenses that are
more than total monthly income plus liquid
- OR be a destitute
migrant or seasonal farm worker
- ID is the only documentation
required for the first month of expedited SNAP
ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER
All benefits are issued into the
recipient's EBT account. If your last name
starts with A-F, you will receive benefits on
that 1st of the month; G-N on the 2nd,
and O-Z on the 3rd. Benefits are
issued on these dates even if it's a holiday or
When granted SNAP, an EBT card is
mailed to you, along with instructions on how to
set up your PIN (Personal Identification
Number).This number is your secret code that
allows only you to access your benefits. If you
give this number to someone else, they can
access your benefits if they have your card.
Keep your PIN number safe and do not keep it
with your card. Benefits removed from your
EBT account will not be replaced.
If you lose your EBT card, you
must contact your worker to get a new card.
If your card is stolen, you must
call 1-888-328-2666 and report it stolen so that
the EBT card can be cancelled immediately.
WHAT IS THE APPEAL PROCESS IF
SNAP BENEFITS ARE DENIED?
Request for appeal of a denial
must be made within 90 days of the date of the
decision notice. Request a hearing by calling
the Fair Hearing Unit at 1-800-462-0134 or write
to: Fair Hearing Unit, Department of Social
Services, 25 Sigourney Street, Hartford, CT
For information concerning legal
rights or for assistance with an appeal call
Statewide Legal Services. End Hunger Connecticut
provides advocacy for the food needs of low
income children and adults in the State of
End Hunger Connecticut has an
online SNAP prescreening tool in English and
Spanish at http://www.ctfoodstamps.org/.
Also, End Hunger SNAP Outreach
Advocates can assist with eligibility
questions, problems with applications, and
other services needed for recipients, ages
50+, to receive and maintain benefits under
the SNAP/Food Stamp program. Services
include pre-eligibility screening and
assistance with applications,
re-determinations, periodic review forms and
USDA designed Spanish-language SNAP Retailer
Locator, an online search tool designed to help
recipients find SNAP authorized stores near their
home or workplace, see: http://www.snapretailerlocator.com/
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN
CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: Food
SOURCES: Connecticut State
Department of Social Services and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture
PREPARED BY: 211/rj
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED:January2013