Residents who need assistance affording monthly groceries may be eligible for food stamps in New Hampshire through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The SNAP program is a federally funded benefit designed to help supplement the cost of groceries for low-income households. SNAP recipients receive a monthly budget designed to help offset some of the cost of purchasing healthy, nutritious groceries that may be prepared at home.
SNAP food stamps in NH are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but administered at the state level by the Division of Family Assistance (DFA) under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Some households who receive other forms of benefits, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), may automatically qualify for the food stamps program. The sections below go over eligibility requirements for SNAP, how to apply for the program and how to use your benefits once you receive them. To learn more about food stamps, download our free guide.
Learn About New Hampshire Food Stamps Requirements
You must meet the requirements for food stamps eligibility in New Hampshire in order to qualify for these benefits. Overall, the state takes into account your household income, expenses, size and more.
Specifically, you must be able to provide a Social Security number (SSN) in order to meet SNAP eligibility. If you are ineligible for an SSN because you are undocumented or an unqualified immigrant, you cannot receive benefits. However, this does not disqualify the rest of your household from applying.
New Hampshire sets the SNAP income guidelines on an annual basis, always in relation to the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). In general, applicants should earn less than the limit for their household size and category. Gross income is the earnings before taxes are deducted, and net income is the earnings after taxes and deductions.
Households with qualifying elderly or disabled members can earn as much as 165 percent of the FPL in gross income, while households without elderly or disabled members can only earn as much as 130 percent of the FPL in gross income. Both household types must meet the net income limits, which are 100 percent of the FPL.
However, the state deducts portions of an applicant’s income when calculating net income, which means someone who earns more than that may still be eligible. In any case, the best way to determine SNAP eligibility is to submit an application.
In addition to your monthly income, food stamp qualifications also take into account how much your household has in assets, including checking accounts, saving accounts, money market funds and more. Some trust fund and retirement fund accounts are also taken into account.
Furthermore, it is important to note that you may leave out the value of your primary home and one vehicle when calculating your assets. However, any additional properties or cars must be calculated into your total household assets. In general, your household assets should not exceed $2,750, or $4,250 if there is a person with disabilities or senior in the household.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in New Hampshire
New Hampshire residents can apply for food stamps in person, by mail, by fax or online, depending on their preferences. In general, the easiest way to submit an application is to apply for food stamps online. To apply with a paper food stamp application, residents should fill out the proper physical form. To apply online, residents need to visit the official state portal.
Regardless of how someone chooses to apply for food stamps in NH, he or she generally must provide the same information. This includes:
- The SSN of all household members
- All income sources for each household member, including benefits and payments such as child support or alimony
- The assets of all household members, including checking accounts, savings accounts, cars and properties
- All household expenses, including rent, child care, child support payments and more
- Employment history for all household members
Along with filling out the proper application form, you must also submit the required documents proving your income and expenses when you apply for SNAP. In some cases, you may be required to schedule an in-person office visit to confirm your information and provide any additional documents. When you submit your application, SNAP representatives will contact your employer and landlord, if applicable, to determine the accuracy of the information you have provided.
It can take more than a month to receive a response regarding your food stamp application. However, you should generally receive a decision within 30 days. If details change on your application, you should inform the state department as soon as possible. Changes to your expenses, income or household composition can affect your eligibility for benefits. In some cases, you may be eligible for faster processing, depending on your income and assets.
Learn About SNAP Benefits in New Hampshire
Once you are approved for SNAP benefits in New Hampshire, you will receive an electronic benefit (EBT) card that functions like a debit card. Overall, the EBT is loaded on the fifth day of each month with your total benefits. In any case, it is up to you to appropriately budget and spend your benefits in order to feed your household for the month.
You can only use your EBT card to purchase groceries that you will prepare at home. As such, you cannot use food stamp benefits for pet food, alcohol or cigarettes, as well as hot meals or foods meant to be eaten at the establishment where they were obtained. You also cannot use these funds for household supplies or paper products.
Instead, you may only use food stamps for groceries that will be prepared at home, as well as vegetable seeds to help you grow food at home. Trading your EBT card for cash can also result in your dismissal from the program.
New Hampshire offers ways to make your SNAP food benefits go further. For instance, at certain participating food markets, you can get a 2-for-1 market match. This means that for every dollar you spend on food at a participating market, you can get another dollar’s worth of food, up to $10. This is designed to encourage you to eat healthy, fresh, seasonal produce grown by nearby farmers.
Along with the SNAP food benefits, you also gain access to the SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T). This program is voluntary but can help you receive assistance in seeking a job or training to obtain one. For instance, you can get reimbursed for travel expenses related to your job search and find community services. To learn more about how to use your SNAP food benefits, download our free guide covering the SNAP program.
Name: Division of Family Assistance
Phone Number: (603) 271-9700
Address: 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301
Director: Ann Flagg
Last Updated: February 24, 2023