Learn About Minnesota Food Stamps Requirements
If you are part of a low-income household, learning about Minnesota food stamps eligibility requirements can be beneficial for you and your family. Known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food stamps in Minnesota are administered through the Department of Human Services (DHS) agency. This state program is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates the state program with federal rules.
The purpose of this program is to provide funds to individuals and families so they have access to affordable food. Thus, the primary factor of food stamps qualifications is the total income and assets of the household. However, there are more requirements than just household income. For example, if you want to receive food stamps, you must meet the citizenship requirement. If you do not meet all the requirements, then your application will be denied. If you want to learn more about eligibility for food stamps, continue reading the sections below. To learn more about SNAP requirements, download our free guide today.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Minnesota
To meet MN SNAP eligibility requirements, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen or have acceptable proof of immigration status. Proof of legal status or citizenship will be needed to continue with the application process. This will be used to verify if the applicant is eligible for food stamps. If an applicant is a citizen, he or she will be asked to provide a Social Security number (SSN). If an applicant is an eligible non-citizen, he or she needs to provide an alien registration number.
If you are a non-citizen who has legal status in the U.S. and wants to see if you qualify for food stamps, there are more qualifications to meet. In order for you to qualify, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You have been a U.S. resident within the last five years.
- You are receiving another type of government assistance because of a disability.
- You are younger than 18 years of age.
- You are a refugee or asylee.
It is also possible to be eligible to receive benefits even though the applicant does not meet the requirements above. For example, if a non-citizen has not lived in the country for five years but his or her children are U.S. citizens, then the non-citizen can meet SNAP eligibility guidelines.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Minnesota?
If you are still wondering how to qualify for food stamps, there is still more to the program guidelines. The financial qualifications for SNAP are the most important part of the eligibility process. Financial guidelines depend on the household income and deductions in the family. Income eligibility is determined by the national poverty level and the number of members within the family.
The SNAP income guidelines are used to determine eligibility, which will consider every source of earning. Aside from your paycheck, other areas of your income will be reviewed, such as:
- Short-term disability payments.
- Social Security benefits.
- Unemployment payments.
- Child support.
Any payments an applicant receives from the Veterans Affairs program will also be counted as income within the food stamp income guidelines in Minnesota. Once the income has been calculated, monthly deductions are reviewed and calculated to determine the eligibility of an applicant. Typically, the deductions include expenses paid every month, such as:
- Child care.
- Child support.
- Rent or mortgage payments.
- Medical bills.
Therefore, in order to meet income eligibility, the applicant must meet the gross income and net income requirements to receive benefits. To learn more about income requirements for food stamps, download our free guide today.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Minnesota
In addition to meeting income and citizenship requirements for SNAP eligibility, there are other requirements an applicant must have. The household must meet the USDA definition of a SNAP household. A SNAP household is defined as a group of people who live, purchase meals and prepare meals together. This can include children younger than 22 and spouses, even if these parties prepare and buy meals on separate occasions.
In Minnesota, if your household income is at or below 165 percent of the federal poverty level and you have also received the Domestic Violence Information Brochure, your assets will not be reviewed for determination of food stamp eligibility in MN. Moreover, if you are disabled or are elderly, you may receive a higher benefit amount and will be excluded from the gross income requirement.
Another way to program eligibility is to be found categorically eligible. Being categorically eligible means that your household is receiving benefits from another government assistance program that is income-based. For example, this can be from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Additionally, SNAP eligibility includes employment. Applicants must also meet work requirements to continue receiving SNAP. This is only required if you are an able-bodied person without dependents. You also must be within 18 to 50 years of age in order to continue to be eligible.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Minnesota?
Once you have met the SNAP income guidelines, you will receive your benefits, but the agency will continuously review your eligibility. This means you must continue to meet income limit requirements and work requirements. If you are disabled or elderly, you may have different SNAP renewal requirements.
If you want to find out if you still are qualified for food stamps, you can use a SNAP calculator. The USDA website has a calculator of their own where prospective applicants input their household information, financial information and other pertinent information for eligibility.
When there is a change in your income or work status, you must report these changes to your agency immediately. Remember that if your income level has changed, it will affect your benefit amount and how you qualify for food stamps. It is also important to report your changes honestly, since providing inaccurate information can prevent you from receiving further benefits and can even result in fines or incarceration.
Report your changes in a timely manner as well. When you are ready to speak with your county worker about these shifts, let them know by the 10th of the subsequent month. In addition to changes, if there are household members receiving benefits from Minnesota Family Investment program, you must notify the county worker within 10 days.