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Learn About Connecticut Food Stamps Requirements

Your food stamps eligibility in Connecticut is determined by the Department of Social Services (DSS) after you submit an application. This program, which is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is open to many low-income households who need help affording groceries.

Some of the food stamp qualifications vary based on your situation. However, other requirements apply to every household regardless of your circumstances. Eligibility can also change over time. For example, if your income goes up, you might not be eligible for assistance anymore.

In any case, you only qualify for benefits for a certain length of time, known as your benefit period or certification period. In order to continue receiving them, you must renew your benefits once this period is over. Learn more about how to qualify for food stamps below and discover what factors might affect your eligibility in the future.

Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Connecticut

One of the most basic food stamp qualifications is that you must live in the U.S. legally. This means you can only qualify if you are a U.S. citizen or a legally-present alien.

It is also possible for your household to get a smaller portion of assistance if you have a mix of legal and non-legal people in your home. In such cases, the amount of SNAP benefits you receive is based on the number of people who are in the U.S. legally.

Even if some members of your household are unable to qualify for food stamps, keep in mind that you must include the income and resources of every person in your household. This can affect the amount of benefits that you receive.

Note: A household includes anyone who lives together and shares meals. You do not need to be related to one another.

Regardless of your citizenship or legal presence, you will only have SNAP eligibility in Connecticut if you are a resident of the state. You cannot receive benefits from the Connecticut DSS if you live in a different state.

What are the SNAP income guidelines in Connecticut?

Your food stamps eligibility in Connecticut is based heavily on the amount of your income and resources. Income includes anything that you earn for work or other services.

In general, your income must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty level. However, in Connecticut, you may be able to qualify if your gross income is at or below 185 percent of the poverty level.

In most cases, the food stamp income guidelines apply to your gross and net income. Gross income is what you earn before taxes, while net income is the amount of money you have left over after taxes and deductions. If you live in a home with elderly or disabled members, you only need to meet the net income requirements.

In addition to meeting the income requirements for food stamps, you usually need to have a limited amount of resources. A resource is something with value, such as:

  • Checking or savings accounts.
  • Savings bonds.
  • Stocks.
  • Investments.
  • Property that you do not live on.
  • Cash on hand.

Under the SNAP guidelines in Connecticut, resources do not include things such as your car, home or retirement account. Note that the Connecticut DSS does not require that you meet the resource limit if your income is below 185 percent of the poverty level.

When considering the SNAP income guidelines, it also helps to learn about deductions that your household may qualify for. You may be able to deduct the following items:

  • A portion of rent or mortgage payments.
  • Childcare expenses.
  • Medical costs that are not covered by insurance.
  • Outgoing child support payments.
  • Utilities such as bills for heating and cooling.

The types of deductions you can take may vary based on your age or disability status. Learn more about the income and resource requirements by downloading our free guide.

Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Connecticut

In order to have food stamps eligibility in Connecticut, you must have a Social Security Number (SSN). Even if you meet all of the other requirements, you will be unable to get benefits without an SSN.

Note: It is possible to receive assistance for a short period of time if you have applied for an SSN and are waiting to have your number assigned.

If any people in your household do not meet the food stamp qualifications, such as people without SSNs, you do not need to include them on your application. However, remember that you must count the income and resources of every household member, even those who are not eligible for benefits.

There are additional food stamps eligibility requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD). If you are between 18 and 49 years of age, you can only get benefits for a few months.

In order to receive benefits for a longer period of time, you must meet certain work expectations. To meet these requirements, you might need to complete a process known as registering for work.

Registering for work means that you agree to take reasonable job offers, work a certain number of hours each week or participate in job training. You may already meet the SNAP guidelines for work requirements if you are already employed.

How do you maintain your food stamps in Connecticut?

To keep your SNAP eligibility in Connecticut, you must continue to meet the program requirements. Any changes in your household composition, income or other circumstances might affect your eligibility.

This means you are required to report income changes and other new information to the DSS. Failing to report any required information might get you disqualified from the program.

If your income or resource amount goes up, you may also receive a lower benefit amount. Once your income crosses a certain threshold, you can even lose your eligibility.

You may also forfeit your eligibility if you commit program violations. For example, intentionally misusing your benefits can result in you being disqualified from the program. Learn more about maintaining SNAP benefits when you download our free guide.