Your food stamps eligibility in Nevada is determined by the state Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS). This benefit, which is also referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is available if you have a low income and meet the basic program requirements. You may use a SNAP calculator to get a better idea of whether you qualify based on these basic criteria. However, actually following the application steps is the best way to determine if you are eligible.
Your NV SNAP eligibility may change over time, so it is important to learn which factors may affect your ability to keep getting SNAP benefits in the future. Read below to learn how to qualify for food stamps in Nevada and discover important information about maintaining your eligibility.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Nevada
One of the most basic Nevada food stamps eligibility requirements is that you must be a U.S. citizen or a legally present non-citizen. However, be mindful that you may receive benefits for certain members of your household if you live among a mix of legal and non-legal residents. In such cases, the amount of assistance you get is based on how many people are U.S. citizens or legal aliens.
Note that, for this program, a household is defined as a group of people who live together and share meals. Therefore, you do not need to be related to one another.
In addition to being a U.S. citizen, you can only qualify for food stamps in Nevada if you are a resident of the state. As it is a state-based agency, the DWSS only serves residents. Keep in mind that there is a food assistance program in each state.
On the other hand, it is important to note that the general SNAP eligibility rules are similar, meaning that you can typically qualify in your home state if you meet the basic requirements in Nevada.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Nevada?
As a general rule, you must meet the food stamp income guidelines in Nevada in order to get assistance. Under the income requirements for food stamps, your income must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty level.
In some cases, you may already meet the income requirements based on your enrollment in other government programs. For example, you usually qualify for food stamps automatically if you currently receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
In most households, you must meet a net and gross income test. By definition, net income is what you earn after taxes and deductions, whereas gross income is your earnings before taxes. In a senior or disabled household, however, you usually only need to meet the net income requirements in order to qualify.
In any case, the Nevada SNAP guidelines require that you count most types of income. This can include money you receive from a job, other government benefits, a pension or unemployment compensation. However, when counting your income, you can usually qualify for certain deductions. For example, it may be possible to deduct some of the following:
- The cost of dependent child care.
- Child support payments that you legally owe.
- Certain medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.
- A portion of your earned income.
- Shelter and utility expenses that exceed a certain amount.
In order to qualify for food stamps deductions, you will usually need to provide proof of these expenses. Receipts, bills, lease agreements and other documentation may be accepted as proof. Generally, a DWSS caseworker will tell you what paperwork is required.
Moreover, in order to meet the food stamp income guidelines in Nevada, you need to have a limited amount of resources or assets. By definition, a resource is something with value, such as a checking or savings account, stocks, savings bonds or cash.
You are not typically required to consider the value of your house, car or personal possessions when counting your resources. Learn everything else you need to know about the income and resource requirements by downloading our free guide.
Note: If you live in a household with a senior or a person with disabilities, you can generally qualify for food stamps with a slightly higher amount of resources in comparison to other households.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Nevada
Your food stamps eligibility is also affected by whether or not you have a Social Security number (SSN). In order to qualify for food stamps, you and each member of your household who is applying for benefits must provide an SSN.
You may be eligible for benefits for a short period if you have recently applied for an SSN but are waiting to have your number assigned. If you are ineligible for an SSN for any reason, you also cannot receive food assistance from this program.
In order to meet SNAP eligibility in Nevada, you may also need to consider certain work requirements. Generally, you must register for work if you are between 16 and 59 years of age. Otherwise, if you are 18 years of age or older and do not meet the work requirements, you can only get benefits for three months within a three-year period.
Registering for work means that you agree to accept reasonable job offers, participate in job training or work a certain number of hours per week. If you are currently employed, you may meet the work requirements already. In most cases, the work criteria do not apply if you have a disability, are pregnant or take care of dependent children under a certain age.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Nevada?
Once you qualify for food stamps, you will receive assistance for a set amount of time known as your certification or benefit period. During this time, your qualifications must remain the same in order for you to keep getting assistance. You will also need to recertify your eligibility once this period ends.
The best way to maintain your food stamps eligibility in NV is to follow all of the program rules and not commit any violations. You may lose your benefits if you do any of the following:
- Provide false information on an application
- Intentionally misuse benefits
- Fail to report household changes to the DWSS as required
- Attempting to buy, sell or trade benefits
Keep in mind that even if you follow all of the rules, your SNAP eligibility may change or end in the future. Certain changes, such as your income, may cause your benefit amount to go up, down or end altogether. Learn more about the factors that affect your qualifications by downloading our free guide.
Last Updated: September 27, 2022