How to Apply for SNAP Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (otherwise known as SNAP) is a state-run program. Each state has its own process for applying. You can go to your local SNAP office, or some states even allow you to apply online. If you aren’t sure, you can call the SNAP toll-free information number: 1-800-221-5689.

Each state has its own list of required documentation. In general, you’ll need documentation proving your identity, household size, income, citizenship, social security number, and living expenses.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you can expect to wait about 30 days before you hear if you are eligible. During that time, you will have to complete an eligibility interview. You can usually complete this interview by phone or in person. If you are eligible, you’ll receive benefits back-dated to the date you submitted your application.

You may be able to receive benefits as early as seven days from your application date if you meet additional requirements. These requirements are a demonstration of extreme hardship. This may be the case if your household’s combined gross income, and liquid resources are less than your monthly rent, mortgage, and utilities. Contact your state agency for additional details to see if you are eligible and how to proceed.