Income is one of the main requirements for applicants to meet the food stamps eligibility in Hawaii. Generally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) only provides assistance to low-income individuals and families who need these benefits to afford their groceries. In Hawaii, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for administering the program and verifying the eligibility of each applicant.
In addition to income requirements, you must meet other food stamp qualifications in order to be able to receive benefits. In fact, there are many factors that determine your eligibility for this program, such as determining your residency status and evaluating the number of people in your household.
Furthermore, there are certain factors that can make a person ineligible to receive these benefits, regardless of his or her low income. This includes not meeting certain criteria related to employment. On the other hand, there are certain cases when an applicant might be exempt from certain rules. To learn more about SNAP eligibility, read the sections below.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Hawaii
In order to meet SNAP eligibility requirements, you must be a resident of Hawaii. Otherwise, you will need to apply for benefits in the state where you actually reside. Moreover, you must have a Social Security Number (SSN) to qualify for food stamps. This includes every member of your family who you would like to factor in to receive benefits.
Furthermore, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal non-citizen in order to meet food stamps eligibility. Generally, this program does not extend benefits to undocumented non-citizens. Legal residents who are not U.S. citizens must meet one of the following criteria in order to receive these benefits:
- Applicants must be younger than 18 years of age
- Applicants must receive disability-related assistance or benefits
- Applicants must have lived in the U.S. for 5 years or more
On the other hand, an applicant’s citizenship status does not affect the benefit amount that he or she can receive. Moreover, income requirements still apply to legal residents who meet the criteria listed above.
If you are still unsure about whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements, a SNAP calculator may be able to make that determination more accurately. Otherwise, you may download our free guide for more information about requirements.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Hawaii?
In order to be eligible for food stamps, you must meet the SNAP income guidelines. In Hawaii, SNAP gross and net income limits are typically higher than they are in other states.
As a general rule, these standards are adjusted at the beginning of each federal fiscal year. The gross monthly income limits are set at 130 percent of the poverty level for the household size, while net monthly income limits are set at 100 percent of the poverty level. In Hawaii, the broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) expands food stamps benefits to families whose gross incomes do not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
When looking at food stamp income guidelines, the gross income is how much you earn before taxes. On the other hand, net income is how much is left after taxes have been deducted.
While every applicant must meet both gross and net income limits in order to receive benefits, households with seniors or people with disabilities only have to meet the net income limit.
Additionally, those who already receive benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) already have an income that meets SNAP income guidelines. Therefore, these applicants are typically known as “categorically eligible.”
You may also be eligible for certain deductions when calculating whether you meet income requirements for food stamps. This can include child care and shelter costs, for example.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Hawaii
While meeting income requirements is one of the most important food stamps qualifications, there are other requirements that help determine your eligibility for the program. In Hawaii, you must meet certain work requirements if you are an able-bodied adult. This includes actively registering for work and taking a suitable job that is offered to you.
You may also need to participate in an employment and training program if you are unemployed. However, you may be exempt from these requirements if you are a pregnant woman, senior or have any physical or mental health limitations.
Those who do meet food stamps eligibility in Hawaii include unauthorized non-citizens and workers on strike. Additionally, adults who do not have dependents and are unemployed without having a disability are limited to three months of benefits every three years.
Elderly applicants are those who are 60 years of age or older. According to the SNAP eligibility requirements, an applicant is considered disabled if he or she meets one of the following criteria:
- Receives federal or state disability benefits
- Receives annuity under the Railroad Retirement Act
- Is a disabled veteran
Furthermore, there are other criteria that qualify applicants as having a disability. To learn more about requirements and guidelines for households, download our free guide.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Hawaii?
After filing an application and being accepted into the program, you must maintain your food stamps eligibility in Hawaii by continuing to meet all of the requirements mentioned in previous sections. This includes having a low enough income and maintaining your status as a legal non-citizen, for instance.
Moreover, you must continue to meet work requirements to qualify for food stamps. You cannot intentionally leave a job or reduce your hours to meet the program’s income limits. Instead, you must work a minimum number of hours per week.
You can receive SNAP benefits for as long as your certification period allows. When it comes time to recertify your eligibility, a local SNAP office will contact you on what to do next. In general, you can expect to provide proof of your income so that the office can make any adjustments to the amount of your benefits.
Over time, the amount of your benefits may increase or decrease depending on how much money you make. It can also be possible that you no longer meet SNAP eligibility. However, it is important to keep in mind that the goal of SNAP is to help your household reach a point of self-sufficiency.