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Learn About Oregon Food Stamps Requirements

In order to have food stamps eligibility in Oregon, you must meet several different requirements. First, you must be a resident of the state, as other states have varying regulations. While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is federally funded, states may have different rules regarding the submission process, how benefits are distributed and more. Therefore, it is important to understand the eligibility guidelines as described not only by the Federal Nutrition Service (FNS) but also the OR Department of Human Services (DHS).

The main food stamp qualifications have to do with your citizenship status, income, assets and employment. If you meet these requirements and receive benefits, it is important that you know how to maintain your eligibility as well. Discover more about the eligibility requirements of SNAP below.

Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Oregon

According to federal SNAP eligibility guidelines, U.S. citizens and legal non-citizens will qualify for benefits. If you are a non-citizen, you must be able to prove that you are legally present in the country. In some cases, you will be required to wait a minimum of five years before you can apply.

According to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the following non-citizen applicants may qualify after waiting five years:

  • Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been credited with 40 hours of work
  • Non-citizens who have been granted conditional entry under a specific law
  • Non-citizens who have been paroled for at least one year

Some non-citizens may qualify for food stamps even if they have not lived in the U.S. legally for five years. They include:

  • Refugees.
  • Asylees.
  • Qualified children who are 17 years of age or younger.
  • Victims of trafficking, as ordered by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
  • Certain American Indians who were born abroad.
  • LPRs who receive disability payments from a federal assistance program.
  • LPRs who are connected to the military, such as veterans, veteran spouses and veteran children.

In all of these circumstances, non-citizens must present proof of their current circumstances. Generally, the documents they provide along with their benefits applications must be issued by a U.S. court or a federal program. Learn more about the citizenship requirements of SNAP when you download our free guide.

What are the SNAP income guidelines in Oregon?

Using an Oregon SNAP calculator may help you decide whether applying for benefits is worth your time. The state offers its own pre-screener, which may predict your eligibility.

To use it, you must submit certain information about yourself, including the number of people in your household, your monthly income and whether any household members are children, disabled, pregnant or elderly. You may also use the USDA pre-screening eligibility tool to see if you qualify.

These pre-screening tools follow the SNAP income guidelines, which list maximum income limits for different household sizes. These limits are based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) of 130 percent. For instance, a household of four may qualify if it does not exceed $2,871 in gross monthly income. After allowable deductions, that household’s net income must not exceed $2,209.

If a member of your household is elderly or disabled, you only have to meet the net income test. In addition, you may be deemed categorically eligible if every member of your household receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Note: These examples are based on the SNAP income guidelines, so it is important to check the most current income limits.

When calculating your net income, you may only make deductions that apply to you and your household. If you are elderly or have a disability, for instance, you are allowed to make a deduction for medical expenses.

The amount of the deduction depends on the size of your monthly, out-of-pocket medical expenses. Keep in mind that your total medical expenses must exceed a certain amount in order for you to make a deduction.

According to the income requirements for food stamps in Oregon, other qualifying deductions include:

  • A 20 percent deduction from earned income
  • A standard deduction, the size of which will vary depending on your household size
  • Dependent care deduction
  • Excess shelter costs, if your utility bills and other qualifying expenses exceed half of your income

Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Oregon

When learning how to qualify for food stamps in Oregon, you must also take resources into consideration. In general, the countable resource limit for a household is $2,500. Countable resources include cash on hand and money in checking and savings accounts.

If a household member is a senior or has a disability, your countable resource limit will be higher. Some resources will not be counted toward your asset limit. These include:

  • Your home
  • The resources of SSI and TANF recipients
  • Most retirement and pension savings, if applicable
  • Vehicles that are used for your job, such as taxi driving
  • Vehicles that are valued at less than $1,500

Additionally, your food stamps eligibility depends on your willingness to meet work requirements. All able-bodied adults who do not care for dependents in your household must be registered to work. If a member of your household has lost his or her job and is offered a new position, he or she must take it.

In case you are a student, you must also meet student requirements. Most importantly, you must be:

  • Between 18 and 49 years of age.
  • Enrolled in a qualifying program.
  • Working, at least part-time.

Finally, you and your household members must be able to pass a background check.

How do you maintain your food stamps in Oregon?

You must continue to meet the food stamps qualifications in OR if you want to keep receiving benefits. A good way to ensure that you do not lose your SNAP privileges is to follow the rules of the program. This includes purchasing only approved items with your benefits and reporting any changes in circumstances as soon as possible. If you get a new job, for example, you must report it to the DHS. Find out other ways to maintain your SNAP qualifications by downloading our free guide.

Last Updated: September 27, 2022