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Learn About Georgia Food Stamps Requirements

There are several food stamp qualifications you need to meet to receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Overall, Georgia food stamps eligibility is determined by the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). The DCFS evaluates factors such as your income, citizenship and household composition when processing your application.

Once you qualify for the program, you can receive monthly assistance during your designated benefit period. The length of your benefit period varies based on your situation. In addition, your eligibility will need to be reevaluated once this period ends.

If you maintain your eligibility, your benefits may continue. Below, find out more about how to qualify for food stamps in Georgia so you can make the most of your benefits.

Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Georgia

The first food stamps eligibility requirement relates to your legal presence in the United States, as only citizens and legal non-citizens may qualify. Your citizenship or legal presence will be verified when you complete the benefits application process.

However, you can still qualify for food stamps even if some members of your household do not qualify as citizens or legal non-citizens. As long as your household meets the other requirements, those who are legally present can receive this assistance.

Keep in mind that you still need to include the income and resources of each household member, regardless of citizenship status. This is because you need to include all sources of income you receive, no matter where it comes from.

Next, you must be a resident of Georgia in order to get benefits form the DFCS. Proof of Georgia residency is required with your application. Instead, you may qualify for assistance in your home state if you meet the basic food stamps qualifications.

Note: A household includes everyone who lives together, buys food together and shares meals. This means you do not need to be related to one another to count as a household.

What are the SNAP income guidelines in Georgia?

Under the food stamp income guidelines, your income usually must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty level in order to qualify. However, the specific rules may vary depending on your situation.

For example, if you are elderly or disabled, you might be able to qualify with a slightly higher amount of income and resources compared to other applicants. Using a SNAP calculator can help you determine if you are eligible for help based on your income.

When learning about the SNAP income guidelines for 2019, it also helps to understand how deductions work. A deduction may be taken for certain expenses that your household has. There are also standard deductions that may apply to your situation.

If you qualify for any deduction, it may be easier to meet the income requirements for this program. You may be eligible to take deductions for some of the following things:

  • Excess medical bills.
  • Outgoing child support payments.
  • A percentage of your income.
  • A portion of your rent or utility costs.
  • Child care expenses.

The income requirements for food stamps also outline the amount of resources you can have. A resource includes certain things with value, such as:

  • Bank accounts
  • Savings bonds
  • Investments
  • Stocks
  • Cash

You must have limited resources in order to qualify. However, under the SNAP guidelines in Georgia, things such as your house, car or personal possessions are usually not counted as resources. Learn more about the income and resource requirements by downloading our free guide here.

Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Georgia

Another basic food stamps eligibility requirement is that you and each person who wants to qualify in your household must have a Social Security Number (SSN). However, you may be able to get benefits for a short amount of time if you have applied for an SSN and are waiting for your number to be assigned.

It is also important to understand how your age, work status or disability status may affect your eligibility. The GA SNAP eligibility requirements differ for elderly or disabled households. In particular,  you may have higher income and resource limits.

You can even qualify for a form of assistance known as Senior SNAP if you meet certain requirements. In order to get Senior SNAP, you must meet the following food stamp qualifications:

  • Live in a household where everyone is 60 years of age or older.
  • Not working.
  • Meet the income requirements for regular SNAP.
  • Receive a permanent, fixed income from:
    • Social Security.
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
    • The Railroad Retirement Board.

If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents, there are other eligibility rules you need to be aware of as well. For example, you can only qualify for food stamps in Georgia for a limited amount of time if you are between 18 and 59 years of age and do not meet certain work expectations.

In order to get SNAP benefits for an extended period of time, you must register for work or already be employed for enough hours each week. Registering for work involves participating in job training, accepting reasonable job offers or meeting other expectations.

How do you maintain your food stamps in Georgia?

In order to keep your SNAP eligibility in Georgia, you must renew your benefits periodically. During a renewal, you will need to verify all of your information again.

Any change to your circumstances may affect your ability to keep getting assistance, or may alter the amount of benefits you receive. Keep in mind that you must report certain changes, as failing to do so may have consequences.

Your eligibility is also affected by your cooperation with the program rules. Violating any of the rules may affect your benefit amount or make you ineligible for assistance altogether. Learn more about keeping your Georgia SNAP qualifications by downloading our free guide now.