Tennessee Food Stamps (SNAP) Application Information

Tennessee Food Stamps (SNAP) is premiere program in the state of Tennessee to provide nutritional benefits to eligible families and individuals. The program is funded through Federal funds and administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). The program provides benefits to a wide class of needy people living in the state of Tennessee covering children, families, elderly, disabled, and even unemployed individuals.

The program provides food benefits for families and individuals who cannot afford to pay for their own food anymore. The implementation of this program in Tennessee has virtually eliminated malnutrition. The program is available to everyone who meets the criteria. Parents living with their children under the age of 21 years will be considered one household for the purpose of this program. For individuals falling under the other categories, there is no age limit to receive benefits through Tennessee Food Stamps program.

Tennessee Food Stamps are provided through Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) or a Benefit Security Card. Both the cards work the same way, providing funds to beneficiaries automatically and electronically. Once the date for transfer of funds is due, beneficiaries will have them in their card, which can be used just like a Debit Card.

In order to receive benefits, you will have to meet various program requirements. You will be required to appear in an interview with DHS who will decide your eligibility. In case, you qualify, you will start receiving food stamps through EBT card.

The program has provided simple eligibility criteria, requiring applicants to meet certain income and resources requirements along with residency requirements. Once an applicant is qualified, he or she will be receiving a date for interview with DHS.

Students will also be able to receive food stamps in the state of Tennessee if they work for 20 hours a week through study-work program. Those responsible for dependent minors will also be able to apply for the program. However, tuition aid and scholarships will not be counted as income when computing income for determining the eligibility.

In order to apply for the program, applicants will have option to apply online, through mail, or in person by visiting their nearest DHS office.

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.

Food Stamps Application Instructions

In order to apply for Tennessee Food Stamp program, applicants have various options, you can:

Apply Online

You can apply online for Tennessee Food Stamp program. All you have to do is submit an online application. After your application is received and viewed by DHS, you will be giving a time and date for interview.

Apply in Person

You can also apply for the Tennessee Food Stamp by visiting your local department of Human Services. You can easily find local county office using DHS Office Locator. If you have any problems completing the application, contact the agent at DHS office.

Apply by Mail

You can also apply for Tennessee Food Stamp program through mail. In order to do that, you will be required to download application forms first. You can download it in English, Spanish, Somali and Arabic.

After you download the application, print it. Complete the application in all respects, attach necessary documents and then send it to your local DHS office through mail. You will find mailing address on the application.