The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is open to low-income families and individuals who meet the basic requirements. While some food stamp qualifications in Delaware apply to everyone, others vary based on an applicant’s situation. For example, the exact income requirements might be different depending on an applicant’s age or disability status.
DE food stamps eligibility is determined by the Division of Social Services (DSS). If you meet all of the requirements, the DSS will determine the amount of benefits you are eligible for during your benefit period. You must recertify your eligibility once this period ends. Discover how to qualify for food stamps below, including the different factors that affect eligibility and benefit amount.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Delaware
The most basic Delaware food stamps eligibility requirement is that you must be a resident of the state to apply. You cannot complete the application process for benefits in Delaware if you live in a different state.
However, if you meet the basic program requirements, you may be eligible for assistance in your home state. Each state administers its own food assistance program, but the rules and requirements are usually similar.
Next, you need to meet citizenship or legal presence requirements. Only U.S. citizens and certain non-citizens are eligible for assistance through this program. However, even if some members of your household do not qualify for food stamps based on this requirement, those that do can still receive assistance.
Note: Even if someone in your household does not fulfill the DE food stamp qualifications based on his or her citizenship, you still need to count his or her resources and income on the application. This is because your total household income is used to determine eligibility.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Delaware?
Meeting the food stamp income guidelines is the next step in determining your eligibility for assistance. Under these guidelines, your household’s gross income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
Likewise, your net income must be at or below 100 percent of the FPL. Gross income is what you earn before taxes and deductions, while net income is what you have left over after taxes and deductions.
The income requirements for food stamps in Delaware are a little different for people who are elderly or disabled. Specifically, applicants who live in elderly or disabled households usually only need to meet the net income requirements, whereas other households must fall below the net and gross income limits.
As mentioned above, you must count the income and resources of every household member. That means you may need to count the income of people who are ineligible for assistance. Note that your household generally includes members who live together and share food.
When looking at the SNAP income guidelines for 2023, it also helps to learn about deductions you may be able to take. Under this program, you may be allowed to deduct the following expenses:
- Excess medical bills not covered by insurance.
- Child care or child support payments.
- A portion of shelter and utility costs.
In addition to meeting the food stamp income guidelines in Delaware, you usually need to have a limited amount of resources. A resource is something with value, such a bank account, savings bonds or cash.
You usually will not include your home, vehicle or personal possessions as resources. Learn more about the income and resource requirements your household may need to meet when you download our free guide.
Note: You may qualify for food stamps categorically if you already receive assistance from other government programs. For example, you may meet the SNAP income guidelines automatically if you already get cash assistance from the DSS. This is because the income requirements are the same for both programs.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Delaware
Even if you have program eligibility based on your income and legal presence, there are a few other requirements you may need to meet. First, you must have a Social Security number (SSN) in order to get food stamps benefits.
If any person in your household does not have an SSN, he or she cannot get assistance. However, it is possible to qualify for food stamps for a brief period while waiting for an SSN to be assigned.
Second, if you are between 18 and 59 years of age, you may also need to register for work in order to get assistance for an extended period of time. You will only have food stamps eligibility for a few months if you do not meet the work requirements.
When you register for work, you agree to participate in job training, accept reasonable job offers or work a minimum number of hours per week. You may already meet the work requirements if you are currently employed.
Note: The work rules may not apply if you are disabled, pregnant or raising dependents
How do you maintain your food stamps in Delaware?
Your SNAP eligibility in Delaware may change over time. For example, making more money may reduce the amount of benefits that you are able to receive.
Changes such as these must be reported to the DSS in order to keep your benefits. Once you report new information, your benefit amount may change or stop altogether.
Committing program violations, such as misusing your benefits, may also disqualify you from getting assistance in the future. It is important to follow all of the rules in order to keep your eligibility. Learn more about maintaining your food stamps by downloading our free guide now.
Last Updated: February 22, 2023