Your food stamps eligibility in Wyoming is based on factors such as your income, household size, citizenship and other criteria. This program, which is otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is administered by the state Department of Family Services (DFS).
If you are unsure about whether you meet the food stamp qualifications in WY but need help affording groceries, it is recommended that you apply for this benefit anyway. After you are granted benefits, you will need to renew your case in order to remain eligible. Read below to learn how to qualify for food stamps and discover which factors can affect your eligibility in the future.
Citizenship and Residency Requirements for SNAP in Wyoming
One of the most basic food stamp qualifications in Wyoming is that you must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified legal resident in order to get benefits. Moreover, only certain categories of non-citizens will be approved.
It is important to note that even if you do not qualify for assistance due to not meeting the citizenship criteria, other members of your household may be eligible. For example, children who are U.S. citizens can often qualify for SNAP even if their parents are not legal aliens.
Note: For the purposes of the SNAP program, a household is defined as any group of people who live together and share meals. As such, be mindful that you do not need to be related to one another.
Overall, you are required to count the income and financial resources of all the people in your household, even if they are not eligible for benefits themselves. For example, if someone in your home does not qualify for food stamps because of his or her citizenship, you need to count any money that this person contributes to the household. As a result, your overall eligibility may be affected by each person you reside with.
In addition to being a citizen or legal alien, you can only meet food stamps eligibility in Wyoming if you are a resident of the state. If you meet the basic requirements in Wyoming but are not a state resident, you may consider applying for help in your home state. The food stamp qualifications are similar across the U.S., but there may be local differences between certain programs.
What are the SNAP income guidelines in Wyoming?
Next, you must meet the Wyoming food stamp income guidelines in order to qualify. Generally, be mindful that the requirements are slightly different depending on your household composition. In a household with a senior or person with disabilities, you can meet the SNAP guidelines as long as your income is at or below 165 percent of the poverty level. In all other households, your income must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty level.
Overall, these requirements apply to your gross income, which is the total amount of money you earn before taxes and deductions are met. In most cases, you must also meet a net income test. By definition, net income is the money you take into your home after taxes and deductions. Under the income guidelines for food stamps, your net income must usually be at or below 100 percent of the poverty level.
The Wyoming SNAP income guidelines allow you to take certain deductions, which may vary depending on your household composition. Many households can claim a standard deduction, which is based on the number of people in the home. Deductions may also be allowed for the following things:
- A percentage of your earned income.
- Medical expenses that exceed a certain amount and are not covered by insurance.
- The cost of dependent child care, in certain situations.
- Legally-owed child support payments you make.
- Certain shelter and utility expenses.
Under the SNAP guidelines, you need to count income from nearly every source. This can include earned and unearned income you receive from a job, government programs, a pension or even unemployment insurance. Remember that you need to count the income of each household member, even those who are ineligible for benefits themselves.
In addition to meeting the income requirements for food stamps, you also need to have a limited amount of financial resources to qualify. A resource can include things such as your bank account, savings bonds, stocks, cash on hand, investments and other assets with monetary value. In most cases, your car, home and personal possessions are not deemed countable resources. Learn more about income and resource requirements by downloading our free guide.
Other Important Food Stamps Qualifications in Wyoming
In order to qualify for food stamps in Wyoming, you also must have a Social Security Number (SSN). Each member of your household who wishes to apply for benefits must have an SSN as well. If anyone in your home does not have an SSN, it is still possible for the other household members to receive assistance. The only situation when you can have food stamps eligibility without an SSN is if you have applied for one but are still waiting for it to be assigned.
In some cases, SNAP eligibility is also based on your employment status. If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents, you will generally need to register for work in order to receive benefits for an extended period of time. These requirements apply to anyone who is between 18 and 59 years of age.
Registering for work means that you agree to work a certain number of hours per week, take reasonable job offers or participate in employment training (as required). However, the exact requirements may vary based on your situation. Learn more about the work requirements and other program rules by downloading our free guide.
How do you maintain your food stamps in Wyoming?
Your SNAP eligibility may not always be the same. For example, changes to your income or household composition may affect your ability to get assistance. Some changes will only affect your benefit amount, while others can make you ineligible to get benefits at all.
While certain changes will happen no matter what, you can work on maintaining your food stamps eligibility in Wyoming by following all of the program rules. As a general rule, committing the following program violations may make you ineligible:
- Intentionally misusing your benefits by shopping at prohibited places or buying unapproved items.
- Buying, selling or trading benefits.
- Altering any of your SNAP documentation or cards.
- Providing false information on an application.