Eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) is based on financial and non-financial factors. The application process includes completing and filing an application form, being interviewed, and verifying facts crucial to determining eligibility. With certain exceptions, a household that meets the eligibility requirements is qualified to receive benefits. Legal immigrants who are children or disabled can now get SNAP benefits, as can legal immigrants who have legally resided in the United States for at least 5 years. Other legal immigrants and any undocumented immigrants are ineligible for SNAP benefits. Also, many able-bodied, childless, unemployed adults have time limits on their receipt of SNAP benefits.
A household is defined as a person or a group of people living together, but not necessarily related, who purchase and prepare food together. Households, except those with elderly or disabled members, must have gross incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line. All households must have net incomes below 100 percent of poverty to be eligible. Most households may have up to $2,000 in countable resources (e.g., checking/savings account, cash, tocks/bonds). Households with at least one member who is age 60 or older or a member living with a disability may have up to $3,250 in resources.