Do you think you may qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, but aren't sure where you can begin the application process? Well, you're not alone. There are plenty of Americans out there who qualify for food assistance but aren't aware of it or don't know where they can begin the application process. I hope that this brief article will wash those worries away and help you find the right resources to help you apply for SNAP benefits.
The first thing you need to know is that you will apply for your SNAP benefits through the state that you live in. There is no Federal SNAP benefit application and they will not be able to process your application if you reach out to them. Everything is handled at the state and local level. However, there is an online Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool that you can fill out to see if you may be eligible for SNAP benefits.
There are three main ways that you can apply for SNAP benefits--online, toll-free, or at your local office. I'll break down each three and provide you the information you will need to get in touch with your state or local agency.
If you have an internet connection and are somewhat tech savvy then this may be the easiest way for you to apply because you can complete the application from the comfort of your residence.
It's important to make sure you go to the appropriate website, so I encourage you to start your search by going to the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's main page and click on your state to get started. Once you click on your state then you will be taken to the application page for the state you live in.
Most states will ask you to create a username before you can get started on the application and some will ask for further documentation or other information before you can receive any benefits. Each state has their own rules for who does and doesn't qualify for food assistance, so please be sure to get in touch with your local SNAP office if you have any further questions.
Every state has its own SNAP Hotline Number that allows you to apply for SNAP benefits over the telephone. You can find your states number by clicking on the link I provided. Once you find your states number then you can give it a call and begin the application process that way.
And, just like with the online application, you will likely be required to visit your local SNAP office before your application can be approved. The telephone application only allows you to get the application process started.
At Your Local SNAP Office
Many people like to apply for benefits in person and you have the right to do so. Every state has at least one office and most major cities will have at least one office for you to go fill out a paper application.
*Note* Many states have temporarily closed their Department of Human Services offices to help stem the tide of the Coronavirus pandemic. Call your nearest office before showing up in person.