Bridge to Benefits - SD - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
 
  1. What is SNAP?
  2. Is SNAP the same as Food Stamps?
  3. How does SNAP work?
  4. Who can get help from SNAP?
  5. What foods are eligible for purchase with SNAP?
  6. If I get SNAP, how much money will I get each month on my card?
  7. Does it matter how long I have lived in South Dakota to get SNAP?
  8. Are there any resource limits for SNAP?
  9. What are resources?
  10. I am a self-employed farmer. Will my farm count as an asset for SNAP?
  11. How do I get an application?
  12. Do I have to apply in person?
  13. What else do I have to do to apply?
  14. How soon will I be able to get on the program?
  15. What must I report to stay on the program?
  16. Is there a limit to how long I can get SNAP?
  17. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get SNAP?
  18. Can undocumented immigrants get SNAP?
  19. I am an immigrant. If I get SNAP, will I be a public charge?
  20. Will a lien be placed upon my home if I get SNAP?

1. What is SNAP?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food needed to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence. SNAP benefits supplement the recipient’s food budget. The amount of benefits a household receives is based on its size, income and allowable expenses. 

SNAP is administered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services

2. Is SNAP the same as Food Stamps?
Yes. They are no longer called “food stamps,” because you don’t get stamps to buy food. You get a card much like a debit card.

3. How does SNAP work?
SNAP recipients are given a plastic Dakota EBT Card. The store cashier runs the debit card through a point-of-sale device to subtract the recipient's purchase amount from their allotted benefits. 

4. Who can get help from SNAP?
Lots of people, including single adults, families and seniors. For most, it depends how much money you make (your income) and how much you own (your resources). If you are an adult who is able to work, you will also have to meet certain work requirements.

To participate in SNAP households must meet eligibility requirements and provide information and verification about their household circumstances:

  • Households may have no more than $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($3,000 if at least one person in the household is disabled or age 60 or older). Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot.
  • The gross monthly income of most households must be 130 percent or less of federal poverty guidelines ($2,297 per month for a family of four in most places). Gross income includes all cash payments to the household, with a few exceptions specified in the law or the program regulations.
  • Net monthly income must be 100 percent or less of federal poverty guidelines ($1,767 per month for a family of four in most places). Net income is figured by adding all of a household's gross income, and then taking a number of approved deductions for child care, some shelter costs and other expenses. Households with an elderly or disabled member are subject only to the net income test.
  • Most able-bodied adult applicants must meet certain work requirements.
  • All household members must provide a Social Security number or apply for one, if they wish to receive benefits.
  • Federal poverty guidelines are established by the Office of Management and Budget and are updated annually by the Department of Health and Human Services.

To help determine if you are eligible for SNAP benefits, you can use an online pre-screening tool provided by USDA Food and Nutrition Service. This pre-screening tool is not an application for SNAP.

5. What foods are eligible for purchase with SNAP?
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Foods such as breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, dairy products.
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco,
  • Any nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products and household supplies,
  •  Vitamins and medicines,
  • Food that will be eaten in the store,
  • Hot foods.

In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. SNAP benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

6. If I get SNAP, how much money will I get each month on my card?
It depends on your income, expenses and the number of people who live with you. If you have more people in your family, you will get more money to buy food. 

Eligible households get monthly SNAP benefits, according to the Thrifty Food Plan, a low-cost model diet plan. The Thrifty Food Plan is based on the National Academy of Sciences’ Recommended Dietary Allowances. An individual household's SNAP benefit allotment is equal to the maximum allotment for that household's size, less 30 percent of the household's net income.

7. Does it matter how long I have lived in South Dakota to get SNAP?
No, but you must be a current South Dakota resident.

8. Are there any resource limits for SNAP?
Yes. Households may have no more than $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($3,000 if at least one person in the household is disabled or age 60 or older). Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot and most vehicles.

9. What are resources?
Resources are money or things of value that you or your family own. The county in which you live will add your assets to see if they are lower than the limit. You do not have to count the house you live in or most licensed vehicles as assets. Some assets that are counted are cash, money in a checking or savings account, property that you do not live on, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds.

10. I am a self-employed farmer. Will my farm count as an asset for SNAP?
If your farm produces income for you or your family, it is not counted as an asset. Farming equipment used to produce income is also not counted.

11. How do I get an application?
Applicants can apply for SNAP by clicking on the below link and filling out the application. In addition to completing the form, applicants must have an interview with a benefits specialist at their local office and also provide required verifications. Household circumstances discussed during the interview are confidential.

You can also get an application on this website by clicking here.

12. Do I have to apply in person?
To receive SNAP benefits, the head of your household should apply at your local Social Services office. If this is not possible, an authorized representative may apply for you or you may apply by mail. The applicant is responsible for any over-issuance resulting from false information. Household circumstances discussed during the interview are confidential.

If no family member can come to the office or send a representative, a telephone interview or home visit may be arranged. This option is available to applicants who are age 65 or older, those who are disabled, or those with a hardship preventing them from coming into the office.

13. What else do I have to do to apply?
Applicants must provide proof of identity, residency, income and rent or mortgage payments. Social Security numbers must also be provided.

More information on the items you must bring to your application interview.

14. How soon will I be able to get on the program?
Most people find out in within a month of the day you turn in your application.

15. What must I report to stay on the program?
Other than the 12 month certification process, households have to report if the household's gross monthly income exceeds the maximum allowable for their household size.  Most households are also required to submit a report form in the sixth month of their 12 month certification period.

16. Is there a limit to how long I can get SNAP?
No.

17. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get SNAP?
No. You do not have to be a citizen. Some legal immigrants can also get help if they meet certain criteriea for legal residency.  In addition, they must have a Social Security number and have income and resources below the limits to get help.

18. Can undocumented immigrants get SNAP?
Undocumented immigrants cannot get SNAP. But if some people in your family can get SNAP, and others cannot, you can apply just for those who qualify. If you are undocumented, but your children were born in the U.S., you can get SNAP for your children. The county worker cannot tell USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service - formerly INS) about you or other people living with you. You do not have to tell the worker about the immigration status of people that you are not applying for, but you have to tell how many people live with you and how much money they make.

19. I am an immigrant. If I get SNAP, will I be a public charge?
No. Getting SNAP does not mean you are a public charge. You can still become U.S. citizen if you get SNAP. It will not affect this.

20. Will a lien be placed upon my home if I get SNAP?
No.