Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- What is SNAP?
- Is SNAP the same as Food Stamps or Food Support?
- How does SNAP work?
- If I get SNAP, how much money will I get each month on my card?
- Who can get help from SNAP?
- Does it matter how long I have lived in Minnesota to be eligible for SNAP?
- Are there any asset limits for SNAP?
- What are the exceptions to the increased income guidelines and elimination of the asset limit for SNAP effective November 1, 2010?
- How do I get an application for SNAP?
- What is the application like?
- Do I have to go in person to apply?
- What else do I have to do to apply?
- How soon will I be able to get on the program?
- What do I have to do to stay on the program?
- Is there a limit to how long I can get SNAP?
- Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get SNAP?
- Can undocumented immigrants get SNAP?
- I am an immigrant. If I get SNAP, will I be a public charge?
- If I am getting help from the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), can I still get SNAP when I leave the program?
- What if I am a student, can I receive SNAP?
- Will a lien be placed upon my home if I get SNAP?
SNAP is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services but eligibility and case management is done by county human services departments.
- Families in which at least 1 child in the household is eligible to receive Basic Sliding Fee Child Care and/or the Transition Year Child Care. The family must have applied and been found eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program but can still be on the waiting list.
- Families participating in the Diversionary Work Program (DWP).
- Families composed entirely of people who receive General Assistance (GA), Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Minnesota.
The traditional income limit of 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and asset limits of $3,000 for the elderly/disabled persons and $2,000 for other persons will still apply in the following situations:
- A household member has an intentional program violation.
- A household member receiving SNAP fails to comply with six-month or monthly reporting requirements.
- The Primary Wage Earner (PWE) fails to comply with work requirements.
- A household member receiving SNAP is convicted of a drug related felony.
The application is about 15 pages long, plus instructions. It is available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Khmer (Cambodian), Lao, Vietnamese, Arabic, Oromo, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian) and Russian. It will ask you about everyone who lives with you, how much money they make, and what they own (assets). If you want, you can use this same application to apply for cash assistance (MFIP or DWP) or a health program (Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, or GAMC). Fill it out and then bring it to the county office to apply. You can also use the Program Directory on this website to find organizations by county that will help you fill out the application.
There are no limits to how long you can get SNAP if you have children/dependents living in your household or are under age 18 or over age 50.
If you are a single, able-bodied adult without dependents in your home, you can only receive SNAP for 3 months in a 36-month period. To get SNAP for more than three months in a 36-month time period you need to meet one of the following:
- You participate in an approved employment program at least 80 hours per month
- You are receiving cash assistance
- You are certified unable to work
- You live on Bois Forte, Fond Du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Lower Sioux, Mille Lacs, Prairie Island, Red Lake, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, Upper Sioux, or White Earth Reservations
- You live in Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Norman, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Todd or Wadena counties
- You are pregnant
- You are under age 18 or older than age 50
Due to a recent federal change in the definition of public charge, which went into effect in February of 2020, accessing SNAP may put some immigrant groups at risk of receiving a public charge determination.
Not all immigrant groups are subject to a public charge test. However, if you fall into one of the following categories you WILL BE subject to a public charge determination: an immigrant applying for permanent residency or green card; seeking admission of a family member or spouse on an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa; a temporary visa holder or applicant in the United States; or a green card holder who obtained their green card within the last five years and are applying for United States citizenship. Read more.
You are NOT subject to a public charge determination, if you fall into the following immigration categories: current green card holders and lawful permanent residents; refugees;, asylees; survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, or other serious crimes; T or U visa applicants/holders; VAWA self-petitioners; and special immigrant juveniles.
When using the Bridge to Benefits screening tool, if you fall into one of the immigration categories that ARE subject to public charge determination, you may want to check with an immigration specialist before enrolling in SNAP.
If you fall into an immigration category that is NOT subject to public charge determination, you should apply for any of the programs on the Bridge to Benefits site for which you appear eligible.
For a full list of those not subject to the public charge test and for more information, see the National Immigration Law Center. If you have questions about whether or not you could be deemed a public charge for accessing any of the programs included on this site, please contact Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid at 612-334-5970.
In addition to meeting general SNAP ncome and eligibility guidelines, students must meet at least one of the following criteria: They are
- Under age 18 or over age 50,
- Physically or mentally unable to work,
- Attending a school that is not considered high-ed or they do not go to school full-time,
- Employed for at least 20 hours a week,
- Participating in work-study program,
- Caring for a child under age 6, or a child between 6 and 11 when childcare is unavailable,
- A single parent with a child under 12,
- Participating in a Workforce Investment Act
(WIA) or similar work program, or
- Participating in on-the-job training where they are paid to learn new skills by an employer