How to Get Help with Food Costs | Treatment Care & Tips

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How to Get Help with Food Costs

You should never have to go hungry. The Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, helps you keep food on the table for you and your family.

SNAP does so much every day to help older adults, children and people with disabilities. About 1.8 million Pennsylvanians rely on SNAP to have enough to eat.


Why should I apply for SNAP?

The choices you make about food can make a big difference to your health. If you need help with food costs, SNAP can help you and your family get the food you need for good health.


Am I eligible for SNAP?
You must meet the income requirements to receive SNAP benefits. The maximum gross monthly income is 130 percent of the federal poverty level, and the maximum net monthly income is 100 percent of the federal poverty level.


For instance, the gross monthly income for a one-person household is $1,287 (net is $990). Your gross and net income limits will be based on your household size. Visit to learn more about eligibility requirements for SNAP.


How much could I receive in SNAP benefits?
The minimum benefit for all households is $16 each month, and the maximum benefit is based on the size of the household. The SNAP benefits you get each month is called an allotment.


To determine your allotment, your net monthly income will be multiplied by 30 percent. That number will then be subtracted from the maximum allotment. The remaining amount is the total allotment you will receive. This amount may change if your income or household size changes.


What can I buy with SNAP benefits?
SNAP benefits can be used to buy bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, and more. Food can be purchased at a broad range of businesses like grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores.


The SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed) program can help you stretch your food dollars, while the SNAP Recipe Finder can help you create shopping lists. Plus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides several resources to help you spend smart and eat smart.



How can I apply for SNAP?

If you do not know if you are eligible, you may still apply online or in person.


Here is what you should have on hand when you are ready to apply for SNAP:

  •     Dates of birth for all members of your household
  •     Social Security numbers
  •     Household income information
  •     Household expense information

○     Housing costs (such as rent or mortgage)

○     Medical expenses


If you need help with the application form or need more information about benefits, a trained county assistance office staff person can help.


What happens when I apply for SNAP?

In most cases, you’ll receive a notice telling you if you are eligible for SNAP benefits within 30 days. During the 30 days, you will need to complete an eligibility interview and give proof of the information you provided. The interview typically happens over the phone or in person.


If you are eligible, you will receive benefits based on the date you submitted your application.


Where can I get additional information about SNAP?

Visit the Pennsylvania SNAP website. You can also call the Department of Human Services helpline at 1-800-692-7462 (1-800-451-5886 for individuals with hearing impairments) or contact your county assistance office.




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