The Food and Nutrition Service webpage for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, lists the eligibility for benefits for this program. When calculating eligibility, the government takes two main factors into account: household size and income level.
Generally, the more people that live in a household, the higher the maximum income threshold. The maximum income that a household can have before taxes is 130 percent of the federal poverty line. For a two-person household, for example, this is $1,705 per month beginning in October 2014. Dependents such as children and elderly parents raise the maximum allowable income. Applicants can deduct certain amounts of their incomes, such as a percentage of earned income, a standard deduction and excess shelter costs.