Do you qualify for SNAP Food Stamps?

In order to receive SNAP Food Stamps you need to apply, you can get started with how to apply on this website. You can also go to your local SNAP office to receive assistance with your application.

Determining your eligibility for this program will depend on many factors. These include your gross income, your resources and it will depend on the number of people in your household. Your residency and citizenship status will also determine qualification.

U.S. citizens are eligible, but many legal aliens qualify for SNAP Food Stamps too. Those members of a household that are eligible to receive benefits will not be affected by any members of your household that cannot receive benefits. If you would like additional information about immigrant SNAP eligibility please see this website.

Screening for SNAP Food Stamps

Some people would like to prescreen their eligibility prior to apply for SNAP benefits. There are a few ways to do this. Please note, pre-screening is NOT an application, you must separately apply to receive benefits. The USDA provides an online pre-screening tool to help determine if you are eligible for benefits. This tool will also give an estimate of the amount of benefit you may receive. You can access the USDA pre-screening tool here.

If you need assistance in using the USDA's pre-screening tool, a tutorial is available here.

Many states vary on food stamp eligibility criteria, and the only way to determine if you qualify is to find out your state's specific eligibility criteria. Please view the following 'Just the Facts' video about qualifying for SNAP Food Stamps.

Tennessee Eligibility Requirements

Tennessee Food Stamps requires that you meet certain program requirements before you are enrolled for benefits. Here are different requirements of the program:

  • All applicants should be residing in the state of Tennessee to receive Food Stamps in Tennessee
  • Children under the age of 21 and living with their parents will have to apply for the program as one household. However, the program does not restrict who can apply for the program. Minor children can also apply at their own in case they are not living with their parents. Similarly, individuals can also apply. However, those living together, buying food and preparing it together will be considered as one household for the purpose of the program.

Work requirements: The Food Stamp program requires beneficiaries to work in order to receive the benefits. Most beneficiaries will qualify for work and training programs. However, disabled and elderly will be excused from work. Those who are required to work, will also be required to participate in employment training and accept employment offer when it comes their way. Beneficiaries of the program will not be able to quit a job.

Students: Students enrolled in work-study program can receive benefits through the Tennessee Food Stamp Program if they work for 20 hours a week. Students responsible for minor children will also be able to receive aid through the program.

Income requirements: In order to receive assistance through the program, applicants will have to meet certain income related requirements.

When a student is applying for the benefits, the scholarships and other aids for study wouldn't count towards income. Similarly, heating assistance, reimbursements, and earnings of children under the age of 17 years will not become a part of household income for the purpose of program.

Income counted for calculating income include worker's compensation, wages, income from self-employment, pensions, social security, supplementary income (SSI), public assistance benefits, and payments received for child support.

If you are not sure whether you meet income criteria or not, you can simply use this income chart to match your household size and its income against the income limits set for the Tennessee Food Stamps program.

Resources/assets requirements: Apart from income requirements, applicants will also have to meet requirements related to resources. The applicants will have to have resources under certain limit to receive benefits through the program.

The general resource limit for a household is $2,000 but for household with disabled or elderly living in it, the resource limit is set at $3,250. Various assets are excluded when counting resources. Income producing property, house that applicant lives in, real estate up for sale, life insurance, retirement accounts, and vehicles with equity under $1,500 are examples of exempted resources.

On the other hand, resources/assets such as bonds, property not for sale, stocks, certificates of deposit, money in bank accounts, and cash in hand are calculated for computing total assets of a household.