The New York Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income workers, the disabled and senior citizens based predominantly on income and family size. Families with a disabled or elderly member and families with dependent-care payments are allowed a higher income to qualify for SNAP. In most cases, there's no limit on savings or resources to receive food stamps in New York.
Importance and Definition of Income
If your household income doesn't exceed the maximum for your family size and type, you can apply for benefits. Qualifying to apply doesn't necessarily mean you'll receive food stamps, because the state also considers other factors, such as housing and utility expenses.
New York counts your gross income before taxes or other deductions in deciding whether you're eligible for SNAP. In addition to income from work, the state also counts other public benefits as income, such as Social Security, disability and unemployment benefits. On the other hand, the state deducts some expenses from your income, such as support that you pay to a dependent living in another household.
Families Without Special Circumstances
For an individual who is not elderly or disabled or paying dependent support, the maximum gross income to qualify is $1,265 per month or $15,180 annually. For SNAP purposes, elderly means age 60 or older. The monthly and annual limits for larger families are $1,705 and $20,460 for families with two members; $2,144 and $25,728 with three members; and $2,584 and $31,008 with four members. After four members, each additional person increases the monthly limit by $440 and the annual limit by $5,280, as of this publication date.
For households with a disabled or elderly member, or households where a member is paying dependent support, the allowable limit starts at $1,945 per month or $23,340 annually for an individual. The limit for households of two is $2,622 monthly and $31,464 annually; with three people, $3,298 per month and $39,576 per year; and with four people, $3,975 per month and $47,700 per year. After four people, each additional person raises the threshold income by $677 per month or $8,124 per year.
There's no resource testing in New York unless a person in the household has been sanctioned or disqualified from the food stamp program in the past. For most people, the amount of savings accounts, stock, retirement accounts or other assets doesn't count when figuring eligibility. However, applicants still may have to disclose this information when they apply.
If a household member has been disqualified or sanctioned from SNAP, a household without special members or dependent support payments can have a maximum of $2,250 in countable assets and still qualify. For a household with a disabled or elderly member or child support payments, the maximum allowable amount of assets is $3,250.
What You'll Get
The amount of your SNAP benefit also depends on your expenses, but the maximum benefit for a family without disabled or elderly members or support payments is $194 per month for a household of one and $357 per month for two people.
You can use your SNAP card to pay for food items such as fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, dairy product, fish, poultry and meat. You also can use it to buy food plants and seeds to grow produce for the family.
SNAP benefits do not pay for hot foods, food to eat in the store, cleaning products, paper goods or diapers. Food stamps also exclude cigarettes, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, medicine, vitamins and pet foods.
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