When you apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), your food stamps eligibility in North Dakota is determined by the Department of Human Services (DHS). The DHS uses income and several other factors to help determine your eligibility for these benefits.
If you are unsure of your qualifications for the program, you may still submit an application for consideration. Using a SNAP calculator can also help you determine if you might qualify for assistance. It is also important to keep in mind that your eligibility may change over time.
As circumstances change, the DHS requires you to renew your benefits and report any new information that could affect your eligibility. Likewise, failing to follow the program rules may result in you losing your eligibility. Read on to discover how to qualify for food stamps and maintain your benefits throughout the year.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in North Dakota
Before you can qualify for food stamps in North Dakota, you must be a resident of the state. It is not possible to get benefits from the DHS if you do not live in North Dakota, even if you meet the other basic requirements.
However, you may be able to undergo the steps to apply for SNAP in your home state instead. The basic food stamp qualifications are similar in each state.
Citizenship or legal non-citizenship is also a determining factor. As such, DHS will require proof of your citizenship when you apply.
Note: It is possible for your household to receive a smaller portion of assistance if some members of your household do not meet the legal presence requirement. In such cases, your benefit amount will be based on how many people in your household are legal residents.
Overall, your food stamps eligibility is based on your whole household. Therefore, you may need to count the income and resources from every household member, even people who are not eligible for benefits.
Keep in mind that a group of applicants who live together and share their meals are considered a household under this program. This is regardless of whether all members are related or not.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in North Dakota?
The food stamp income guidelines outline how much you can earn and still qualify for assistance. In general, your income must be no more than 130 percent of the poverty level.
However, the guidelines may differ depending on your situation. For example, you may qualify with a slightly higher income if you live in an elderly or disabled household.
When determining if you meet the SNAP guidelines, you must count income from every source. This can include your job, unemployment compensation or certain other government benefits. It is also necessary to count all of your resources. A resource includes something with value, such as:
- Checking or savings accounts.
- Cash on hand.
- Stocks and bonds.
Under the income requirements for food stamps, you usually do not need to count assets such as your home, car, retirement account or personal possessions. The total value of your countable resources must fall below a certain amount in order for you to qualify for assistance. Learn more about the income and resource requirements when you download our free guide.
Note: You usually do not need to meet the guidelines if you are already receiving certain other forms of public assistance, because the income tests are the same for many programs. This means if you already receive benefits from a different program, you can qualify for food stamps automatically.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in North Dakota
Your food stamps eligibility is also based on whether or not you have a Social Security Number (SSN), because the program is only open to applicants who have an SSN. If you have applied for an SSN, but are waiting to have a number assigned, you may be able to receive SNAP benefits for a short period of time.
SSNs are required in order to eliminate duplicate benefits being issued to the same person. If some members of your household do not have an SSN, the rest of the people in your home may still get benefits.
However, your benefit amount will be based on the number of people who are eligible. Keep in mind that even if some people in your home do not qualify for SNAP, their income and resources will still be counted.
Your food stamps eligibility may also depend on whether you currently work or not. If you are between 18 and 59 years of age, you must register for work if you wish to receive benefits for an extended period of time.
The work requirements may not apply if you are pregnant, raising dependents or disabled. If they do apply to you, registering for work means that you agree to do any of the following:
- Take any reasonable job offer.
- Work a minimum number of hours per week.
- Participate in job training.
You might already meet the work requirements if you are currently employed and work enough hours. Keep in mind that you can still have ND SNAP eligibility if you are not working. However, you can only receive benefits for three months within a three-year period if you do not meet the applicable work requirements.
How do you maintain your food stamps in North Dakota?
Your North Dakota SNAP eligibility will only last for a certain designated period, known as the benefit period. Once this period ends, you must recertify or renew your benefits in order to keep receiving assistance. You can renew your benefits as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.
However, you may lose your food stamps eligibility if there are significant changes to your income, household or other factors. Your benefit amount can also change depending on your situation. In order to keep your benefits, you must follow all of the program rules and report new information to the DHS in a timely manner.
Your benefits may be affected if you fail to report changes, misuse your benefits or no longer meet the income and resource requirements. Learn more about the factors that can affect your SNAP qualifications by downloading our free guide.