We know readers have various questions regarding New York SNAP (Food Stamps). We decided to set up this New York Food Stamps FAQs page to address the most common questions we get regarding how to apply for SNAP, what you need to apply, how much you will get if approved, the income limit, how to keep your SNAP benefits, and how long the increase in New York food stamps will last.

More questions will be added as we receive reader feedback.

See the most frequently asked questions about New York SNAP EBT below.

"New York Food Stamps FAQs"

Table of Contents:

  • Quick Facts about New York Food Stamps
  • Who is Eligible for New York SNAP?
  • Can I get New York SNAP right away or within a few days of applying?
  • How much will I get in Food Stamps in New York?
  • What is the Income Limit for New York SNAP?
  • Are college students eligible to apply for New York SNAP?
  • What Documents Do I Need to Apply for New York SNAP?
  • How do I apply for New York SNAP?
  • How Soon Will I Recieve SNAP After I Apply?
  • What Happens After I submit my SNAP Application?
  • Do I have to be interviewed in person for SNAP?
  • How Do I keep my New York SNAP Benefits?
  • What if I am denied New York SNAP benefits?
  • Can Someone Apply For SNAP Benefits For Me?
  • Am I taking SNAP Benefits Away from Someone by Applying?
  • How long will SNAP Increase Last?

Quick Facts about New York Food Stamps

New York SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled, and others feed their families.

Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size, income, and other factors.

Here’s what you need to know about New York SNAP:

  • SNAP, is a state-administered federal nutrition assistance program.
  • Federal law sets forth the factors for eligibility and amount of benefits, while each state screens applicants, determines eligibility, and is responsible for record-keeping.
  • SNAP is an entitlement program, meaning everyone who meets the eligibility criteria will get benefits.
  • If you are approved for SNAP, your monthly benefit amount is credited to an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT Card).
  • This card is used as a debit card at participating grocery stores.
  • Individuals between the ages of 18 and 50 who are able-bodied adults without dependent children must be engaged in work or work-related activities for at least 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month to be eligible for more than three months of food stamps.

New York Food Stamps FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the New York Food Stamps program:

Who is Eligible for New York SNAP?

You may be able to get New York Food Stamp Benefits if you:

  • Work and get low wages
  • Have little or no income
  • Are elderly or disabled
  • Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance
  • Are homeless (even if you are staying with someone
    temporarily or you are staying at a shelter temporarily)

Also, even if you own a home and a car you may still be able to get Food Stamp Benefits. See instructions for how to apply below.

Can I get New York SNAP right away or within a few days of applying?

If your household has little or no money and needs help right away, you may qualify for “expedited” SNAP.

To be eligible for “expedited” SNAP, you and members of your household must meet one of the following categories:

  1. Your household has $100 or less in liquid resources and less than $150 in gross monthly income.

Liquid resources are money that is available to you, such as:

  • Cash on hand
  • Bank accounts
  • Savings certificates
  • Lump-sum payments (tax refunds, retroactive lump-sum Social Security, SSI, or Public Assistance payments)
  1. You are a migrant or seasonal farmworker without money or resources.

  2. Together, your monthly income and liquid resources are less than the total of your monthly rent or mortgage and heating costs and utilities (electricity, telephone, and water).

If you do qualify, you must receive your initial SNAP benefit within 5 days.

However, you will still have to complete the New York SNAP eligibility process and supply the requested documentation at a later date.

How much will I get in Food Stamps in New York?

If you are approved for SNAP benefits, how much you will receive depends on your household size and net income.

The table below provides the maximum monthly benefit and the estimated average monthly benefit based on household size.

The amount you receive may differ from these amounts due to your income and other factors.

A SNAP budget must be calculated for your household in order to determine your SNAP eligibility and benefit amount.

Household Size Maximum SNAP Benefit Estimated Average Monthly Benefit
1 $250 $175
2 $459 $334
3 $658 $520
4 $835 $638
5 $992 $748
6 $1,190 $869
7 $1,316 $941
8 $1,504 $1,137
Each additional member (+$188)

What is the Income Limit for New York SNAP?

Generally, all households must meet Gross Income limits in order to be eligible for SNAP in New York.

However, some households must also meet Net Income limits to be eligible.

Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made, such as taxes or other withholdings.

The gross income limit is based on a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

In New York, there are three Gross Income categories based on a household’s circumstances:

1. Gross Income Guidelines for Households without Earned Income

Households with no elderly or disabled member and with no earned income must have a Gross Income of less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Line in order to be eligible for New York SNAP.

2. Gross Income Guidelines for Households with Earned Income

Households with no elderly or disabled members but with earned income must have a Gross Income of less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Line in order to be eligible for New York SNAP.

3. Gross Income Guidelines for Households with an Elderly or Disabled Member and Households with Dependent Care Expenses

Households with elderly or disabled members and Dependent Care Expenses must have a Gross Income of less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Line in order to be eligible for New York SNAP.

4. Net Income Guidelines for Households with an Elderly or Disabled Member

Households with any members who are age 60 or older and/or who receive certain disability benefits are not subject to a gross income limit.

For these households, eligibility is determined using net income, by applying all relevant exclusions and deductions to the household’s gross income.

For a detailed chart of the income limit by category, see our New York SNAP Income Limits Chart.

Are college students eligible to apply for New York SNAP?

In general, most students, ages 18 through 49, who are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education are not eligible for SNAP benefits in New York.

However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule:

Students, ages 18 through 49, who are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education, may be able to get SNAP if they:

  • Receive public assistance benefits; or
  • Receive unemployment insurance; or
  • Take part in a state or federally-financed work-study program; or
    Work on average 20 hours per week; or
  • Is a single parent enrolled full time and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12; or
  • Take care of a dependent household member under the age of 6; or
  • Take care of a dependent household member age 6 through 11 and do not have adequate child care to enable them to work a minimum of 20 hours per week;
  • Assigned to or placed in college or certain other schools as part of certain job or employment training programs; or
  • Enrolled in qualifying career and technical education programs of study.

Each institution of higher education determines what is considered ‘half-time’ enrollment.

Additionally, students who meet any of the exceptions above must also meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements in New York to receive benefits.

How About COVID-19 SNAP Exemptions for College Students?

A federal COVID-19 relief law provides federal funding to temporarily expand SNAP eligibility for college students.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 expanded student eligibility to new groups starting from January 16, 2021.

This temporary expansion will remain in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 federal public health emergency is lifted.

Beginning Jan. 16, 2021, these temporary student exemptions apply to students who:

  • Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work-study during the regular school year.
    The institution of higher education (i.e., the college or university) determines if a student is considered eligible for work-study.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year. Students receive an EFC after applying for financial aid.

How do I apply for New York SNAP?

In order to apply, you must fill out a SNAP Benefits application

There are four options available for applying for New York SNAP.

Option 1 – Online

The fastest way to apply for SNAP benefits is to apply electronically online.

For all New York state residents outside NYC, log onto the MyBenefits website and apply online.

NYC residents must log onto the ACCESS HRA site to apply online.

Option 2 – At a SNAP Office in Person

Additionally, you can also visit or contact your local Department of Social Services office to apply in person.

To locate a Department of Social Services office near you, click here.

NYC Residents, to locate a SNAP Office near you, click here.

If you live outside New York City, call toll-free 1-800-342-3009 for the address and phone number of the local DSS nearest you.

Also, if you live in New York City, you can get the address and phone number of the SNAP center nearest you by calling toll-free 1-877-472-8411 or
toll-free 1-800-342-3009 or 311.

Option 3 – Paper Application

Also, you can mail or drop off a completed SNAP Application and supporting documents at the Department of Social Services office.

Option 4 – Contact Your Local Food Bank

If you need help applying for SNAP, contact your local New York Food Bank.

Their team will connect you to an Outreach Coordinator who will assist you in applying for SNAP benefits

For New York City food banks, click here.

Upstate food banks, click here.

How Soon Will I Recieve SNAP After I Apply?

What happens after I apply? When will I receive benefits?

After you apply for New York SNAP, the local DSS office has 30 days to give you a written decision explaining whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

If you are eligible, you will generally receive benefits retroactive to the date you filed your application.

Your monthly benefits will be provided to you on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which you can use to purchase food at approved grocery stores.

If you are denied benefits and you disagree with that determination, you can file a request for a fair hearing.

The denial form that is mailed to you will give you information about how to request a fair hearing.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for New York SNAP?

To complete your SNAP application you may need to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of Identity (photo ID, birth certificate, Social Security card)
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Birth certificates for all children in the household
  • Proof of shelter expenses (rent receipt, lease, or mortgage)
  • Bank statement(s)
  • Proof of utility expenses (e.g., electricity bill)
  • Child care expenses
  • Proof of income (child support letter, SS benefits statement, pay stubs, SSI award letters, etc.)
  • Medical bills (if you are disabled and/or senior)

What Happens After I submit my SNAP Application?

After you submit your SNAP application, you will have a confidential interview with a caseworker.

Usually, you must appear in person for this interview but the in-person interview requirement can be waived under certain circumstances.

See below for more details.

During the interview, the caseworker will request any additional documentation needed to establish eligibility.

Once your eligibility for SNAP is established, you will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer card (CIBC).

You can use the EBT card to purchase food at any approved grocery store throughout the state.

Do I have to be interviewed in person for SNAP?

The interview is part of the eligibility process for the Food Stamp Program.

Some households might be eligible for a waiver of a face-to-face interview.

This means that the interview will be conducted by telephone or a local department worker will go to the applicant’s home.

Many households are automatically granted a waiver of the face-to-face interview.

However, other applicants have to request a waiver of the face-to-face interview.

How do I request a waiver of the face-to-face interview?

Not all households qualify for a waiver of the face-to-face interview.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many interviews for SNAP are being conducted over the phone.

Additionally, if all the adults in the household are elderly and/or disabled, and there is no earned income in the household, the local Department of Social Services MUST waive the face-to-face interview.

If the face-to-face interview is waived, then the interview will be conducted either by telephone or a scheduled home visit.

A department worker cannot go to the applicant’s home without notice to the applicant who is to be interviewed.

Furthermore, if you do not meet the criteria for an automatic waiver, you might be able to get a waiver of the face-to-face interview by requesting a waiver due to hardship.

A hardship is generally a situation that prevents the applicant from getting to the local Department of Social Services for the interview.

This can include:

  • Transportation difficulties
  • Illness
  • Care of a household member
  • Inclement weather
  • Work hours that conflict with the local DSS business hours

However, waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis.

How Do I keep my New York SNAP Benefits?

Once you have been approved for SNAP, here’s what you have to do to maintain your eligibility for benefits.

In order to continue receiving Food Stamps, you must complete the regular application process called recertification.

This means that you will be called back for another interview and asked to submit certain documents.

If you do not follow through with recertification, your SNAP benefits will be discontinued.

How Recertification Works

Two months prior to the end of the re-certification period, you will receive a packet in the mail that includes a SNAP application and a scheduled interview appointment.

Each food stamp household is scheduled for a recertification interview at the end of the initial 12 month certification period in order to document changes in:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Household composition, or
  • Any other change in circumstances that may affect SNAP eligibility or degree of need.

SNAP recipients with earned income, however, are scheduled for a recertification interview every 6 months.

It is important to note that the ultimate responsibility rests with the SNAP household in reporting changes in a timely fashion.

Failure to comply in this regard, or intentionally withholding information, or filing a fraudulent application, may result in food stamp penalties, including a reduction in benefits, durational sanctions, or permanent disqualification.

What if I am denied New York SNAP benefits?

If you have been denied SNAP benefits in New York and you do not agree with the decision regarding your application, you may be entitled to a fair hearing.

The denial form that is mailed to you will give you information about how to request a fair hearing.

Can Someone Apply For SNAP Benefits For Me?

Yes. If you are not able to apply for benefits yourself, you can choose a relative or friend to apply for your household.

This person would be called an “Authorized Representative”.

You must print their name, address, and phone number on the application where indicated in the instruction
booklet.

Also, both you and the authorized representative must sign the application unless you reside in an institution.

Additionally, If you want, this person or someone else may also be authorized to access your Food Stamp Benefits and use them to shop for your food.

Am I taking SNAP Benefits Away from Someone by Applying?

No. SNAP is an entitlement program, which means that if you qualify, you are entitled to the benefit.

Also, you will not be taking away benefits from someone else if you get SNAP benefits.

Additionally, because it is an entitlement program, SNAP is really responsive when a crisis like a recession or pandemic happens and more people need help.

The video below from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) provides an example of how SNAP can change the situation of a family for the better.

See how SNAP has helped this single mother of two and given her hope for the future.

How long will SNAP Increase Last?

New York SNAP benefits will soon increase by more than 25% – the largest single increase in the program’s history.

The Biden administration has announced a major increase in SNAP benefits.

This is the first time since 1975 that the food stamps program has seen a boost in purchasing power.

Unlike the 15% increase in food stamps that was approved from January – September 2021, the 25% increase in food stamps for 2021 is permanent.

This means that you will receive this benefit increase indefinitely if you qualify.

For details about this increase and what you can expect, see our post  – New York Will get a 25% SNAP Increase.

New York Food Stamps FAQs Summary

We hope this post on New York Food Stamps FAQs was helpful.

Questions?

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
New York Food Stamps Income Chart
How much will I get in New York SNAP benefits?

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