SNAPThe Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that helps low-income people buy food. It's the largest federal nutrition assistance program and was previously known as the Food Stamp Program. This assistance program has helped millions of Americans to buy the food they need to stay healthy. However, there are too many eligible Veterans with low incomes who are facing food insecurity and are eligible for SNAP but are not claiming their benefits.

If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits, but you must meet specific eligibility guidelines based on household size, resources, and income, which are compared to federal poverty guidelines that are set and managed by the state where you live. For example, in Nebraska, a family with four people cannot have an annual income exceeding $39,000 before taxes. To determine the income and resource limits in your state contact your local SNAP agency. (Click here for a nationwide directory of state SNAP agencies.) SNAP benefits can only be used to buy food. 

The program also has special eligibility rules for older adults and people with disabilities, regardless of their age. If you are a Veteran over the age of 60 or if you have a disability, you can qualify for SNAP if you meet these requirements:

  • Your net monthly income must be equal to or below 100% of the federal poverty line. (For single individuals in 2024 the federal poverty line is $1,255 a month in the contiguous 48 states and it is a bit higher in Hawaii and Alaska.)
  • Your assets must amount to $4,250 or less.

Your net income is your gross income minus any allowable deductions. And assets are "countable resources" like cash, money in a bank account, and certain vehicles. If you’re a combat Veteran, any combat pay, hostile fire pay, or imminent danger pay does not count as income when applying for SNAP. It is possible to receive SNAP food assistance even if you also collect other benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. If you live in a household where every member receives SSI benefits, you may “categorically” qualify for SNAP and won’t have to meet the net income test.

Since each state manages its own SNAP program each state also develops its own SNAP application process, so your first step is to check with your local SNAP office. Most states have online applications, but not all do, so you may have to apply by phone or mail.



Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska