What is SNAP EBT? A Simple Explanation
EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) is an electronic system through which SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) allows its participants to pay for food by using their SNAP benefits. Low-wage working families, people with disabilities, low-income seniors, and other households with low incomes can benefit a lot from SNAP, as it’s designed to provide vital nutritional support.
Who is eligible for SNAP?
SNAP is available to all low-income households if they meet the requirements. Eligibility rules and benefit levels of SNAP are set at a federal level, with some flexibility in certain states. In most cases, there are three criteria that a household or an individual must meet in order to be eligible for SNAP.
1. Your gross monthly income needs to be at or below 130% of the poverty line. For a three-person family, that is about $2252/month or around $27,020/year. Those who live with a disabled or elderly member do not need to meet this requirement.
2. Your net monthly income, or the income after the deduction of items such as housing costs and child care, needs to be lower than or equal to the poverty line. For a three-person family, this would be $1732/month or around $20,780/year.
3. Your assets need to fall below certain limits: for households without an elderly or disabled member, the limits are $2250, as for households who live with a disabled or an elderly member, the limits are $3500.
Some categories of people are not eligible for SNAP, no matter how low their income or assets may be. For example, most college students, strikers, and certain legal immigrants are not eligible.
SNAP EBT advantages
The fundamental purpose of SNAP is to help low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. But it also promotes some other goals, such as:
– Protecting the overall economy.
– Lessening poverty and hardship.
– Supporting healthy eating choices.
– Supporting and encouraging work.
Together with other nutrition programs, SNAP has helped make severe hunger problems in the U.S. rare. All you have to do is apply for SNAP, and if you are eligible, you can enjoy all the benefits.