If you are a New York City resident and need food assistance, we can help. The New York Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – also known as the Food Stamp Program – helps low-income households by supplementing their monthly food budget. In this post, we are going to explain in detail the New York City SNAP eligibility requirements. This includes who can apply for NYC SNAP, what income qualifies, how much in food stamps you will get if approved, how to apply, and what happens after you submit your NYC SNAP application.

"New York City SNAP Eligibility"

This post will cover:

  • What is New York City SNAP?
  • New York City SNAP Eligibility Guidelines
  • New York City SNAP Income Limits – for 2021-2022
  • How much will I receive in New York City?
  • SNAP Work Requirements in New York
  • How do I apply for New York City SNAP?
  • What Happens After You Apply?

What is New York City SNAP?

The food stamps program or SNAP is a federally funded program administered by the Human Resources Administration (NYC HRA) for the United States Department of Agriculture.

The goal of the program is to provide a higher level of nutrition to income-eligible individuals and families by enhancing their ability to purchase healthy food.

Here are a few details about the SNAP program:

First, SNAP is an entitlement program, which means that anyone that meets the eligibility requirements will get benefits.

You will not be taking benefits away from anyone if you are approved for the program.

Second, you can use your SNAP benefits to purchase seeds and seedlings to grow your own food.

Additionally, you can use manufacturer’s coupons with your SNAP benefits when you shop for groceries.

Lastly, you can use your SNAP benefits at many farmer’s markets in the state of New York.

New York City SNAP Eligibility Guidelines for 2021-2022

To be eligible for the New York City SNAP Program, you have to meet the eligibility requirements established by the USDA.

Eligibility for NYC SNAP is based on household size, income, and household expenses.

Who can Apply for New York City SNAP?

Here are the categories of people who live in New York City that are eligible for SNAP:

  • Any New York City household or individual (including homeless) with low or no income
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients (Receiving SNAP does not reduce your SSI/Disability payments)
  • Caregivers who are not foster parents but are financially responsible for a child or children in their care
  • Students of higher education who meet eligibility requirements
  • Legal permanent residents and qualified immigrants

Here’s what you need to apply for New York City SNAP:

Proof of Identity

Applicants must provide proof of their identity to show that they are the person they claim to be.

Identity may be verified through a variety of documents, including but not limited to,

  • Photo I.D., Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Hospital/Doctor’s Records
  • Adoption Papers
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Voter Registration Card

Social Security Numbers

Individuals, including children, applying for SNAP benefits, must either provide a Social Security number or proof they have applied for a Social Security Number.

Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Social Security Card
  • Official correspondence from the Social Security Administration (SSA)

Household members that are not eligible for SNAP do not have to provide or apply for a Social Security Number.

Residency

The applicant must live in the state of New York and must apply as a resident of New York City

You will be required to show proof that each person who is applying for SNAP benefits resides at the address listed on the application.

Acceptable documents include:

  • Current lease
  • Current rent receipt listing name and address of the renter
  • Statement from the Landlord or Primary Tenant
  • Mortgage Records
  • School Records

Work Rules

There are special rules for able-bodied adults without dependent children.

If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents and are between the ages of 18 and 50, here’s what you need to know:

You must register for work or be working at least 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours per month to receive CalFresh benefits.

Citizenship Status

U. S. citizens are eligible for New York SNAP benefits.

If requested, the following documents may be used to prove citizenship

  • Birth Certificate
  • Hospital Records
  • U.S. Passport
  • Military Service Records
  • Naturalization Certificate

Immigration Status

Immigration status must be documented for noncitizens applying for New York City SNAP benefits.

Acceptable Documents include:

  • USCIS Documentation (for example, a green card, stamped visa)
  • Evidence of continuous residence in the U.S. since prior to 1/1/72

Eligibility for Aged and Disabled Households

There are special rules for households with seniors and people who are disabled.

If you are age 60 or over, or you are receiving Social Security Disability or Medicaid due to a disability, or a full VA pension here’s what you need to know.

You may be eligible with income over the regular limits if you pay very high rent and utilities and/or have medical expenses over $35 per month.

Income and Resources Tests

In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, your household must also meet the three income and resources tests.

Income is the most important requirement when it comes to qualifying for New York City food stamps.

The three tests include your household’s gross monthly income, net income, and assets.

Gross Monthly Income — is your household’s total income before any deductions. This includes money earned from work and other assistance such as unemployment, Social Security, and child support.

Net Income — is your household’s total income after all allowable deductions.

Assets — is your household’s total resources that are considered available to purchase food, such as bank accounts and cash.

To learn more about each of the three SNAP eligibility tests including how to calculate them for your household, continue reading below.

New York City SNAP Requirements for 2021-2022

To help determine if you are eligible for Food Stamps in New York City, we breakdown each of the three SNAP eligibility tests for you below.

Test 1 – Gross Income Test

The first test you must meet is the gross monthly income test. This is a household’s income before any allowable deductions are applied.

For most households, the USDA income guidelines require that a household’s income must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty line.

In the fiscal year 2022, the poverty line amount for an individual is $1,073.

Therefore, for food stamps application, 130 percent of that level is $1,396.

An individual applying for food stamps must, therefore, have a gross monthly income of $1,396 or below to qualify.

For a family of three, the poverty line is $1,830 a month.

Therefore, 130 percent of that is $2,379 a month, or about $28,550 a year. The poverty level is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.

Additionally, there are different income limits are used for SNAP households that:
• Have a person with a disability or 60 years of age or older; or
• Pay dependent care expenses

Also, If everyone in your household receives SSI, TANF, or SNA, you do not need to meet any income limit.

New York City SNAP Gross Income Limit for 2021-2022

Here’s the SNAP income limits for New York City for 2021-2022 grouped by household types.

New York City SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size The Maximum Gross Monthly Income for Households with with an Elderly or Disabled Member and Households with Dependent Care Expenses (200% of FPL) Maximum Gross Monthly Income for Households without Earned Income (no elderly or disabled member – (130% of FPL) Maximum Gross Monthly Income for Households with earned income – no elderly or disabled member (150% of FPL) Monthly Income
Elderly/Disabled
Separate/Household
(165% of FPL)
1 $2,148 $1,396 $1,610 $1,771
2 $2,904 $1,888 $2,178 $2,396
3 $3,660 $2,379 $2,745 $3,020
4 $4,418 $2,871 $3,313 $3,644
5 $5,174 $3,363 $3,880 $4,268
6 $5,930 $3,855 $4,448 $4,893
7 $6,688 $4,347 $5,015 $5,517
8 $7,444 $4,839 $5,583 $6,141
Each additional member +$758  +$492  +$568  +$625

How to Calculate Gross Income

Use the example provided below to help you calculate your household’s gross monthly income.

How to Calculate Gross Income for Food Stamps
Gross Income Calculation: Example:
Determine the household size… 4 people with no elderly or disabled members.
Add gross monthly income . . .
$1,500 earned income + $550 social security = $2,050 gross income.
If gross monthly income is less than the limit for household size, determine net income.
$2,050 is less than the $2,871 allowed for a 4-person household, so determine net income.

Test 2 – Net Income Test

The Net Income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line for your household size.

To find out how to calculate your net income with the allowable deductions, continue reading below.

Food Stamps Allowable Deductions

Certain deductions are allowable to be taken from the gross income to arrive at the net income amount.

The following deductions are allowed for all households depending on the living situation and expenses:

  • 20 percent deduction from earned income to account for work-related expenses and payroll taxes.
  • A standard deduction based on household size (see below) to account for basic unavoidable costs.
  • Dependent care deduction for out-of-pocket child care or when needed for work, training, or education.
  • Child support deduction for any legally obligated child support that a member of the household pays.
  • Medical expense deduction for elderly or disabled household members that have incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses greater than $35 a month.
  • Homeless household shelter deduction of $159.73.
  • Excess shelter deduction for households with a shelter cost that exceed more than half of the household’s income. This deduction is uncapped for households with an elderly or disabled member. However, for all other households, this deduction is capped at $597 per month.

Once you have subtracted all eligible deductions from your household gross income, this will give you your monthly net income.

SNAP Standard Deduction

The food stamps standard deduction varies based on your household size and location. Please use the chart provided below to find the standard deduction amount for your household.

SNAP Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Deduction Amount
1 $177
2 $177
3 $177
4 $184
5 $215
6+ $246

How to Calculate Net Income

Use the example provided below to help you calculate your household’s net monthly income based on a 4-person household with a $2,050 gross income.

How to Calculate SNAP Net Income
Net Income Calculation: Example for a 4-person household:
Subtract 20% earned income deduction…
$2,050 gross income
$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750
Subtract standard deduction…
$1,750 – $184 standard deduction for a 4-person household = $1,566
Subtract dependent care deduction… $1,569 – $362 dependent care = $1,204
Subtract child support deduction… $0
Subtract medical costs over $35 for elderly and disabled… $0
Excess shelter deduction… See below
Determine half of adjusted income… $1,204 adjusted income/2 = $602
Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income…
$700 total shelter – $602 (half of income) = $98 excess shelter cost
Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income… $1,204 – $98 = $1,106 net monthly income
Apply the net income test…
Since $1,106 is less than $2,209 allowed for a 4-person household, this household has met the income test.

What Counts As Income?

For your SNAP application, cash from all sources will count towards your income limit including:

  • Earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted)
  • Unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support are all counted towards your income for food stamps purposes.

New York City SNAP Net Income Limit for 2021-2022

Once you have calculated your household’s net income, use the chart below to determine if your household meets the food stamps income limit for 2021-2022.

SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Monthly Net Income (100% of Federal Poverty Level)
1 $1,074
2 $1,452
3 $1,830
4 $2,209
5 $2,587
6 $2,965
7 $3,344
8 $3,722
Each Additional Household Member: +$379

For more information on the New York City SNAP income requirements, check out our complete article on the New SNAP Income Limits for 2021-2022.

Test 3 – Assets Test 

The final test to determine if you’re eligible for food stamp benefits is the assets test. This test determines if your total household assets fall below the acceptable limit.

Households with a member who is elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled, must have assets or countable resources of $3,750 or less.

Households without an elderly or disabled member, must have assets of $2,500 or less.

What counts as an Asset?

For your application, resources that could be available to the household to purchase food are counted towards your asset limit.

This includes:

  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Real estate other than your home
  • Income you earn from assets (like interest earned on savings and dividends you receive).

New York SNAP Work Requirements

All New York City SNAP recipients ages 16 to 59 are required to work, unless they meet at least one of these conditions:

  • Responsible for the care of a child under age six;
  • Unable to work due to a physical or mental health condition;
  • Needed to provide care for an incapacitated individual; or
  • Applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits; or
  • A student enrolled at least half time in school, a training program, or an institution of higher education; or
  • A regular participant in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment or rehabilitation program.
  • Employed or self-employed 30 or more hours per week or earning at least the equivalent of 30 times the
    federal minimum wage on a weekly basis.

What are the New York City SNAP work requirements?

Those subject to SNAP work requirements must:

  • Accept suitable employment when referred or offered;
  • Respond to requests from the social services district regarding employment status and availability for work;
  • Participate in work activities for up to 30 hours per week, if assigned; and
  • Not voluntarily quit a job or reduce work hours.

Additional Work Requirements for ABAWD

If you are Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) – meaning you are an individual age 18 through 49 who does not live with a child under 18 and is fit for work – then you must meet additional work requirements to continue receiving SNAP Benefits in New York City.

Federal law requires ABAWDs to meet additional work requirements to receive SNAP benefits for more than three months in a 36-month period.

They must:

  • Participate in qualifying work activities for at least 80 hours a month,
  • participating in qualifying education and training activities at least 80 hours per month, or
  • Complying with a workfare program.

You may be exempt from meeting the ABAWD work requirements if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Under 18 years of age, or 50 years of age or older.
  • An adult in a SNAP household with a child under 18 years of age.
  • A full-time caretaker of an incapacitated person.
  • A pregnant woman.
  • Physically or mentally unable to work at least 80 hours a month.
  • Determined to be unable to work due to substance abuse.
  • Recipient of Veterans Affairs disability compensation.
  • A recipient of disability benefits from a public or private source, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or NYS disability benefits.
  • Recipient or pending receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB).
  • A student enrolled in any recognized school, job skills training, or institution of higher education (at least half-time) and meeting the student eligibility criteria to receive SNAP.
  • An applicant for SNAP benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) jointly or in receipt of SSI.
  • Employed or self-employed and working at least 30 hours per week or receiving weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage times 30 (currently $217.50 per week).

How much will I receive in New York City?

The amount of New York City SNAP benefits you will receive depends on your household income and size.

The table below shows the maximum amount you could receive depending on the number of people in your household.

Maximum NYC SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for 2021-2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size: Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment:
1 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
Each Additional Household Member: +$188

Apply for New York City SNAP Benefits

If you have reviewed the New York City SNAP Eligibility Guidelines and believe you may qualify for EBT benefits, the next step is to submit your New York City SNAP application.

To apply, there are four ways you can submit your NYC SNAP Application – online, over the phone, in-person, and by mail.

See below for details:

"Apply for NYC SNAP Benefits online"

1. Apply Online

 The easiest option is to apply online. Click here for information on how to apply online through the myHRA system.

2. Apply Over the Phone

To apply for food stamps in New York City by phone, call the Human Resources Administration at (718) 557-1399. They are open Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.

3. Print Out the Application and Mail/Fax it In.

You can Download the application and fill it out.

4. Apply in Person

You can apply for food stamps in New York City in person by visiting a Human Resources Administration office near you. To locate one, click here.

What Happens After You Apply?

After you apply for New York SNAP, you must complete an interview with a representative at the Human Resources Administration (HRA).

Your interview may be over the phone or face-to-face.

You will receive a letter in the mail with more information regarding your food stamps interview.

If you are elderly or physically unable to travel for a face-to-face interview, you can apply for a waiver, which is granted on a case-by-case basis based on hardship.

If your waiver request is granted, the face-to-face interview will be replaced with a phone interview.

During the interview, and you will be required to provide verification of your income and expenses.

How long will it take to receive NYC Food Stamp benefits?

If your New York City SNAP Application is approved, you will start receiving benefits no later than 30 days from the date you submit your application.

In addition, once you are approved for New York City food stamp benefits, you will receive a New York EBT Card in the mail.

An EBT Card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card is similar to a bank debit card.

Your New York EBT Card will be used to access your monthly food stamp benefits at grocery stores and online retailers. See our post on New York EBT Card here

How Long Can I Be on Food Stamps?

There are no limits to how long you can get food stamps if you have children/dependents living in your household or are under age 18 or over age 50.

New York City SNAP Eligibility Summary

We hope this post on New York City SNAP Eligibility was helpful.

If you have further questions about New York SNAP or EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about NY SNAP and EBT, including:
New York EBT Deposit Dates for 2021
Get Free Admission with NY EBT Card
New York P-EBT Benefits for Summer 2021
P-EBT Extension for NY for School Year 2020/2021
Free Thanksgiving Dinner and Turkey Giveaways – NYC

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