Food Stamp Income Requirements

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, is a federal program for needy households. You may be eligible for food stamps if your gross income is up to 130 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

Poverty Guidelines

As of 2009, the poverty guideline was $903 per month ($10,830 per year) for a single person, plus $312 per month ($3,740 per year) for each additional person.


In addition to a gross income of 130 percent or less of the poverty guideline, your net income (income after deductions) must be 100 percent or less of the poverty guideline.


Allowable deductions include child care, child support, medical care for the elderly and disabled, and shelter (if the shelter costs exceed 50 percent of the net income after other deductions).


Most households must meet income requirements for both net and gross income. If the household has an elderly member or a member receiving disability benefits, they must only meet the net income. The requirement is waived for households receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income).


Eligible households must also have under $2,000 in resources, such as money in bank accounts or cars. (It’s under $3,000 in resources if the household includes an elderly or disabled person.)