Food Stamps / SNAP

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Food Stamps Snap (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Program Administration: The Food Stamp program (now known as SNAP) is a federal program administered by the US Department of Agriculture and managed in Connecticut by the Department of Social Services (DSS). The following is summarized from the DSS website,

Who Can Get SNAP?

A person must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen to qualify for SNAP. U.S. citizens and certain legal immigrants who have little or no income are likely to be eligible for SNAP. This includes, but is not limited to, people who are:

NOTE: New Eligibility Time Limits for Some SNAP Participants (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents) as of January 1, 2016

Dependents from age 18 up to 50th birthday, will be required to meet special work requirements to be eligible for SNAP benefits for more than 3 months during a 36 month period, see website link for more details —

USDA Website on Eligibility

Income Restrictions

Asset Restrictions

Where Do People Apply?

What Documents are Needed?

How Long Does it Take to Get SNAP?

The DSS office must act on applications within 30 days of the date a person submits a signed application. Eligible households will have benefits in their EBT account within four days of the date that DSS grants their application. In emergency situations, person may be eligible for Expedited SNAP, which can be obtained within 7 days instead of 30 days. (See EXPEDITED SNAP, below.) The 30 day period begins the day that the signed application is received in the DSS office. Also, the first month of SNAP is prorated from the day that the application is signed, so it is very important to at least put name and address on the application, SIGN it, and submit it to the appropriate DSS office, even if the applicant needs to provide more information and/or documentation to support the application.

Expedited SNAP (also known as Emergency Food Stamps)

Some people can get SNAP benefits within seven days of the date they apply. To qualify for Expedited SNAP person must:

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

All benefits are issued into the recipient’s EBT account. If your last name starts with A-F, you will receive benefits on that 1st of the month; G-N on the 2nd, and O-Z on the 3rd. Benefits are issued on these dates even if it’s a holiday or weekend.

When granted SNAP, an EBT card is mailed to you, along with instructions on how to set up your PIN (Personal Identification Number). This number is your secret code that allows only you to access your benefits. If you give this number to someone else, they can access your benefits if they have your card. Keep your PIN number safe and do not keep it with your card. Benefits removed from your EBT account will not be replaced.

If your card is lost or stolen, you must call the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) Customer Benefits Line, 1-855-626-6632, Option 0, to receive a new card.

What is the Appeal Process if SNAP Benefits are Denied? Request for appeal of a denial must be made within 90 days of the date of the decision notice. Request a hearing by calling the Fair Hearing Unit at 860-424-5760 (within Hartford calling area) and 1-800-462-0134 (if calling from outside of the Hartford calling area), or write to: Fair Hearing Unit, Department of Social Services, 55 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105.

Advocacy For information concerning legal rights or for assistance with an appeal call Statewide Legal Services. End Hunger Connecticut provides advocacy for the food needs of low income children and adults in the State of Connecticut.

Other Resources End Hunger Connecticut has an online SNAP prescreening tool in English and Spanish at  Also, End Hunger SNAP Outreach Advocates can assist with eligibility questions, problems with applications, and other services needed for recipients, ages 50+, to receive and maintain benefits under the SNAP/Food Stamp program.  Services include pre-eligibility screening and assistance with applications, re-determinations, periodic review forms and verifications.

UConn Center for Public Health and Health Policy has created a website, Snap4ctwhich has healthy eating tips that includes recipes, health questions answered by a nutritionist, and a sign up for a Snap newsletter, and much more.

To Find Providers in Connecticut’s Community Resources Database:

Search by service name: Food Stamps/SNAP


SOURCES: Connecticut State Department of Social Services; U.S. Department of Agriculture; End Hunger Connecticut