SNAP benefits eligibility is based on resources, income and household size, tax deductions, and employment requirements. Elderly or disabled persons, as well as immigrants, may be eligible, provided they meet certain criteria.
Households can have $2,250 in countable resources, such as a bank account, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. If one person in the household is disabled or age 60 or more, they are allowed $3,250 in countable assets. Countable assets do not include a house or lot, most retirement plans, or benefits, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income. Some states count an automobile as an asset, while others do not.
Most households must meet income requirements based on gross income and household size, but those with an elderly or disabled member must only meet the net income test. Certain deductions, such as a 20 percent deduction from earned income, standard tax deductions, legally owed child support payments and dependent care, if needed for work and school, are also allowed.
Some states allow homeless persons a certain amount for shelter costs. Able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 50 with no dependents can only get SNAP benefits for three months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a training program. Most legal immigrants can get SNAP benefits if they have lived in the United States for at least five years, are receiving disability benefits or have children under the age of 18.