Every state offers a food stamp program to help subsidize the cost of food for low-income residents. In Indiana, residents must fall below the 130 percent poverty level to qualify for food stamps. The Family & Social Services Administration examines the family's gross income, net income after certain deductions and the value of its assets to determine whether a family qualifies for food stamps.
Factors Affecting Income Limit
The Indiana Family & Social Services Administration evaluates family size, the age of family members and disability within the family when determining the maximum income limits for receiving food stamps. Family size is the most important factor; the more members a family has, the greater the income limit. Gross income limits range from $903 for a single-person family to $4,822 for a family of 10 or more. Disabled or elderly people may take deductions from their gross income to qualify for food stamps.
Deductions from Gross Income
Elderly people, defined as people over the age of 60, and disabled people (those who receive a disability check each month) may deduct monthly medical expenses from their gross income. All taxpayers may deduct the cost of child care, child support payments, rent and utilities payments and 20 percent of their earned income from their gross income to determine whether they qualify for food stamps.
Food Stamp Allotment
The FSSA uses a family's net income to determine the amount of assistance available to the family. This amount is generally different from the maximum assistance amount for a family of that size, which is based on an income level of $0. For example, as of 2010 a family of two can receive up to $367 per month in food stamps. However, the actual food stamp amount the family would receive is somewhat lower depending upon the family's monthly income.
In addition to income, the FSSA considers a family's assets when determining whether the family qualifies for food stamps. Assets include bank accounts and personal property of the family. A family cannot have more than $2,000 worth of assets to qualify, regardless of income level. If the family includes an elderly or disabled member, the family may have up to $3,000 worth of assets.