SNAP

(formerly Food Stamps)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides a monthly benefit for the purchase of food items through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT). The card is used at participating supermarkets and convenience stores. The monthly amount depends on countable income and family size. The maximum amount of benefits is shown below.

Who Qualifies?

  • Individuals and families.
  • Must be a citizen or eligible legal immigrant. Eligible immigrants include: Persons granted refugee or asylum status or withholding of deportation/removal, Cuban/Haitian entrant or Amerasian immigrant. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are under age 18 or are receiving disability-related assistance are eligible. Otherwise LPR must have entered U.S. before 8/22/96 or if entered on/after after 8/22/96, must be in status for five years or more or have credit for 40 quarters of work.

Income and Resource Limits

For most households there is no resource test for SNAP benefits.  For seniors or households with a member age 60+ there is a resource test of $3,000 if the senior has income above 200% FPL.  One car per adult household member is not counted (to maximum of two).  The home in which the senior/household lives in not counted.

For most households, there is a gross income test and net income test (countable income after food stamp deductions are applied). For households with an elder or disabled member, there is no gross income test. These households may qualify for SNAP benefits even if gross income is $500 or so higher than the amount listed on the guidelines chart below.

How to Apply

Apply online or fill out a paper application. For application information click here. You can also call 1 (855) 697-4347 to request an application or go to a local DHS office.

Proof of income and other documentation is required. Applicants must also have an interview with a DHS worker which can be at the DHS office or by phone, at the applicant’s choice.

The SNAP paper application is the “DHS-2” which is an application for many other DHS benefits. Applicants using the DHS-2 who only want SNAP benefits can answer only those questions where the SNAP icon appears. A printable DHS-2 can be accessed online: click here for English, click here for Spanish, click here for Portuguese. (As of November, 2015 the SNAP-only application and the SNAP application for elderly are no longer available).

DHS must make a decision on a SNAP application within 30 days of the date of filing the application (the date the application is submitted on-line or signed at the DHS office). Some households are entitled to have a decision on their application and SNAP benefits provided within 7 days of their application. Households entitled to this “expedited service” are those who have gross income less than $150/month and less than $100 in resources; households with combined monthly income and resources less than monthly rent and utilities and destitute migrant or seasonal farm workers.

Households need to renew eligibility for SNAP once a year.

Applicants denied SNAP benefits and recipients who are notified that benefits will be reduced or terminated can request a hearing within 30 days of the date on the notice.  If a hearing is requested within 10 days of the notice of benefit reduction or termination, benefits can continue until a hearing decision is reached.  If the household loses the hearing, benefits must be repaid. RI Legal Services (1-800-662-5034) may provide assistance to households who denied or terminated from SNAP.

For more information on applying for SNAP benefits contact the RI Food Stamp Outreach Project at 1-866-306-0270.

Income Guidelines, SNAP

(as of October 2016 – September 2017)

Family Size Gross Income Limit (Monthly) Maximum SNAP Benefits (per month)*
1 $1,832 $194
2 $2,470 $357
3 $3,108 $511
4 $3,747 $649

*The amount of SNAP benefit is based on household income.  The higher the income, the lower the benefit.  The minimum benefit for a household is $16.