Food Stamps / SNAP
Starting in July, 2023 – Return to pre-pandemic requirements – Most SNAP households must complete a (Periodic Review Form, PRFs) at mid-point of their benefit cycle to continue benefits.
NOTE: Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) work requirements suspended for entire state though 11/30/23 – Work requirements begin again for some households in December.
NOTE: Starting in January 2023, DSS will be texting renewal reminders to recipients who need to submit their renewal forms. Texts will come from the DSS Benefits Center phone number (855-626-6632). Texts will be strictly informational. They will NOT ask for identifying or personal information. Click here for more information.
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, https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/SNAP/Supplemental-Nutrition-Assistance-Program—SNAP
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:
- Retired with no or low pension or Social Security income
- Working, but earning low wages
- On state cash assistance (TFA, SAGA, or State Supplement)
- Legal immigrants who are disabled and receiving disability benefits (SSI, or disability-related Medicaid) are eligible for SNAP without a waiting period.
- Students in post-secondary schools (college) can receive SNAP if:
- Age under 18 or 50+
- Physically or mentally disabled
- Receiving Temporary Family Assistance (TFA)
- Responsible for more than 50% of the care of a dependent family member if under age 6 or age 6-12 if adequate care is not available
- Enrolled less than half time
- Enrolled half time or more and employed a minimum of 20 hrs/wk
- Placed in higher education by the Workforce Investment Act program.
- Participating in a federally financed work study program during the regular school year
- Participating in an on-the-job training program through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program, or in a program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, or in a Food Stamp Employment and Training program, or in an employment and training program for low income households that is operated by a state or local government entity.
USDA Website on Eligibility https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program
- The gross income limit is equal to 200% of the current Federal Poverty Level and is the amount of income the household has before taxes and deductions. The gross income limit applies to most households. The gross income limit does not apply to households in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income. However, all households are subject to a monthly net income limit. The net income limit is equal to the current Federal Poverty Level and is the amount left over after certain deductions are allowed. These deductions are established by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Details can be found on their website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/SNAP/
- There is no asset limit EXCEPT for households whose gross income is more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. For those households, total assets including cash, savings accounts, stocks and bonds cannot be more than $4,250. the home the client lives in is not considered an asset, nor is a lien placed on the home. Vehicles or retirement accounts, such as IRAs, are also not included. These asset limits only apply to households whose gross income is more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Where Do People Apply?
- Apply for SNAP online at www.connectct.gov, under “Apply for Benefits” or download an application and mail it in or drop off at a local DSS Regional Office. Applicants who cannot get to an office or are unable to complete the paperwork, can do their required interview by phone and mail. For additional information on applying, visit the website: https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/SNAP/Supplemental-Nutrition-Assistance-Program—SNAP/Apply
- Note: End Hunger Connecticut can also help with SNAP eligibility screening, https://www.endhungerct.org/prescreener/
- If disabled and unable to go to a DSS office, you can request that an authorized representative apply for you.
- People who apply for or receive SSI can apply for SNAP at the Social Security office located nearest their home.
What Documents are Needed?
- Proof of citizenship or refugee status.
- Legal immigrants with permanent residence status (“green card”) should call to ask what documentation is required.
- Proof of earned and unearned income
- For elderly/disabled households whose income exceeds 185% FPL, documentation of countable assets (bank account statements, stocks, bonds, CDs, etc.
- Social Security numbers for everyone in the household.
- Verification of shelter expenses, such as rent receipt or lease, and utility bills.
- Verification of out-of-pocket child and dependent care expenses
- Verification of court ordered child support payments
- Elderly/disabled households should also verify out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)
All benefits are issued into a 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 having trouble with card, pin number, if card is lost or stolen, you must call the 24/7 Customer Service Line, 1-888-328-2666
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 by calling the Administrative 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: Office of Legal Counsel, Regulations and Administrative Hearings, Department of Social Services, 55 Farmington Avenue, 11th Floor, Hartford, CT 06105 (Fax Number – 860-424-5729).
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.
UCONN Center for Public Health and Health Policy has created a website, Snap4ct, which 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; University of Connecticut Public Health and Health Policy
PREPARED BY: 211/jm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: August2022