Michigan residents interested in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the Michigan Food Assistance Program (FAP), should check to see if they meet the state food stamp qualifications. This includes residency requirements, income requirements, household expenses and asset limits.
When individuals submit an application for food stamps, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) evaluates the application to determine SNAP eligibility. However, applicants can predict whether they will meet the requirements beforehand by examining the Michigan food stamps eligibility requirements.
You can figure out whether you qualify for food stamps by checking Michigan state requirements yourself and calculating your family’s income and expenses. This can give you an idea of what response you would receive when you apply. However, the best way to find out your eligibility is to submit an application directly to the DHHS. The sections below go over food stamp qualifications in Michigan. To learn more about how to qualify for food stamps, download our free guide.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Michigan
In order to meet the food stamp qualifications to receive FAP, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien living in Michigan. Non-Michigan residents cannot receive food stamps in Michigan, and undocumented or non-qualifying immigrants cannot receive benefits either. Qualifying immigrants include, but are not limited to:
- Refugees admitted under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Asylum seekers admitted under section 208 of the INA.
- Certain Iraqi and Afghan immigrants admitted under Section 101(a)(27) of the INA.
- Certain American Indians born outside of the United States.
- Trafficking victims admitted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
- Cuban or Haitian immigrants admitted under the Refugee Education Assistance Act.
- Lawful permanent residents receiving government payments for blindness or disability.
- Lawful permanent residents who served in the military as well as their children and spouses.
In general, someone must have or qualify for a Social Security Number to receive food stamps benefits. It is important to note that a household is not automatically disqualified from receiving benefits if one or several members do not qualify for food stamps. In such cases, the household can still receive benefits for the members that do qualify.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Michigan?
In order to receive food stamps, you should meet the MI SNAP income guidelines. In general, SNAP is only available to low-income families who cannot afford to purchase groceries independently. When you apply for the FAP, the state evaluates your total income sources. This includes but is not limited to income from:
- Job wages
- Rental property income
- Social Security benefits
- Veterans’ benefits
- Child support
You must add up all your income sources to determine if you meet the food stamp income guidelines. However, it is important to keep in mind that the DHHS will deduct certain amounts from your income when calculating whether you meet the SNAP guidelines.
Not all your income is taken into account when calculating whether you meet the SNAP income guidelines. For instance, there is a standard 20 percent deduction and an additional deduction for each member of your household. It also includes certain medical expenses, child care costs and excess housing costs. Additionally, some income sources such as a school grant are not included.
Therefore, even if your total calculated income exceeds the income requirements for food stamps in Michigan, you may still qualify for benefits. In general, a household of three people should earn no more than $27,729 a year to qualify for benefits, or $2,310.75 a month. For each additional member of your household, you can add an additional $5,746 to your total income.
You can learn more about SNAP income guidelines when you download our free guide to the program.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Michigan
When Michigan calculates your food stamp qualifications, it takes into account your total household assets. If your total assets exceed $5,000, you cannot qualify for benefits. In general, assets include:
- All household checking accounts.
- All household savings accounts.
- All household investments.
- Some household trusts.
- All household property or real estate, excluding the primary residence.
- Household vehicles, excluding the value of one vehicle.
If your household assets including all the above total more than $5,000 in value, you cannot qualify for food stamps. You can find a SNAP calculator online to help total all your assets in order to determine if you exceed the asset requirements.
In addition to the asset requirement, your SNAP eligibility also depends on your total household expenses. When SNAP calculates your eligibility, it takes into account your rental or mortgage payments, your utility payments, child support or alimony payments you must make and dependent care expenses for children or disabled adults living in your household. The state also considers certain medical expenses for disabled household members or household members who are 60 years of age and older.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Michigan?
Once the state determines that you meet the food stamps eligibility requirements, you must take the appropriate steps to maintain your benefits. This includes cooperating with child support services if there is a child in your household but one parent is absent, following work requirements and staying below the income and asset limits.
In order to maintain SNAP eligibility, you must cooperate with all state efforts to recoup child support from an absentee parent. However, exceptions can be made if you believe doing so will cause harm. For instance, in cases of rape, incest or abuse, you may not be required to obtain child support. You must tell your caseworker immediately if this is the case.
You must also meet work requirements to maintain SNAP eligibility if you are an able-bodied adult unless there are mitigating circumstances. Acceptable mitigating circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of child care or transportation
- Illness or injury
- An unplanned event that disrupts your ability to work
Finally, you must continue to meet the income limits in order to qualify for food stamps. If you accumulate more than $5,000 in assets or your income exceeds the requirements, you can be removed from the program. Hiding information about your income and assets could also result in your dismissal.