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Learn About Utah Food Stamps Requirements

Your food stamps eligibility in Utah depends mainly on whether you meet certain income requirements. In general, your income must fall below a certain level for your application to be considered. Moreover, you must meet certain additional requirements as well, which relate to asset limits and employment status.

Fortunately, our guidelines on UT food stamp qualifications will help you navigate these challenges. The eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in UT are determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as the state Department of Workforce Services (DWS). As a result, it is important to review both the federal and state requirements.

Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Utah

Determining your SNAP eligibility in Utah usually begins by reviewing the citizenship and residency guidelines. First and foremost, you must be a resident in the state in order to apply through the DWS.

In addition, only U.S. citizens and certain legal non-citizens may apply for the program. Non-citizens must meet a number of qualifications in order to apply. For instance, the following non-citizens must wait a minimum of five years before applying for benefits:

  • Legal permanent residents (LPRs) who have earned or can be credited with 40 quarters of work in the U.S.
  • Non-citizens who have been paroled for at least one year
  • Non-citizens who have been granted conditional entry

Certain other applicants must wait five years to apply as well. However, some non-citizens may qualify for food stamps and be able to apply without waiting five years. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Certain refugees
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Asylees
  • Certain applicants emigrating from Cuba or Haiti
  • LPRs who receive government assistance for a disability
  • LPRs who are also veterans, the spouses of veterans or the children of veterans

To prove your legal presence, you are required to submit your Social Security Number (SSN) and the SSNs of your household members. If a household member does not qualify for the program or does not wish to participate, you may leave his or her SSN section blank. That household member’s status will not affect your chances of receiving benefits.

What are the SNAP income guidelines in Utah?

Using a SNAP calculator may help simplify the process of determining your eligibility based on income and other factors. The Federal Nutrition Service (FNS) offers a pre-screening eligibility tool, which uses the information you submit to determine your chances of receiving benefits.

If you use this tool, you will be asked about the number of people in your household, the age of each person and whether any household members receive monetary assistance from other government programs.

You will also be asked about your gross monthly income, which is the combined monthly earnings of every household member who holds a job. In any case, keep in mind that this does not account for tax deductions or other deductions.

The SNAP income guidelines state that your gross monthly earnings must fall below an income limit. The limit that applies to you depends on the size of your household. For instance, the gross monthly income of a three-person household must not exceed $2,252 in order to qualify.

If a member of your household is a senior or has a disability, you only have to meet the net income requirements. For example, a three-person household with a senior would need to meet a net income that falls below $1,732.

According to the SNAP income guidelines for 2019 in Utah, all households are allowed a 20 percent deduction from their gross countable income. They are also allowed to take a standard deduction of a set amount. The size of the deduction depends on the size of the household. A household of two, for instance, may qualify for a standard deduction of $164. Other types of deductions include:

  • A dependent care deduction for certain household members who need to work, train or go to school.
  • A medical expenses deduction for seniors and people with disabilities, as long as their out-of-pocket medical expenses are above a certain amount.
  • Child support payments, if applicable.
  • Excess shelter costs, if the cost of living in your home is more than half of your household’s income.

The income requirements for food stamps in Utah also state that your total countable assets must be worth less than $2,250 in order to qualify. You may have a higher asset limit if you are a senior or have a disability. Countable resources include but are not limited to:

  • Cash on hand
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Certain vehicles

The rule for vehicles has several exceptions. For instance, your vehicle will not be counted toward your assets if it is worth less than $1,500, used to produce income as a taxi or delivery vehicle or helps you transport a household member with a disability. Other exceptions apply as well.

In addition, the Utah SNAP guidelines state that the following types of resources are not counted toward the asset limit:

  • Your primary home
  • The resources of any household member who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program
  • Retirement and pension savings, unless an applicant makes withdrawals from these savings

To learn more about the asset limit and income limits for SNAP, download our free guide.

Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Utah

In order to qualify for food stamps in Utah, applicants must also meet the work requirements. First, all able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) in the household must be registered for work. If an ABAWD voluntarily reduces his or her work hours or quits a job, he or she may lose benefits.

In addition, ABAWDs are required to take part in the UT Employment and Training (E&T) program. For instance, individuals who do not yet have jobs may need to register as job seekers on a state website. They may also be required to complete an online workshop to improve their interviewing and networking skills.

How do you maintain your food stamps in Utah?

To maintain your food stamps eligibility you must comply with the rules of the program. It is your responsibility to report any changes in circumstances that may result in an increase or decrease in your benefits. If you lose your job, for instance, you are required to report this to your employment center.

Furthermore, you must follow the food purchasing guidelines when using your benefits. Find out other ways to maintain your qualifications when you download our free guide.