SNAP Help for Seniors
In Minnesota, there are over 50,000 seniors enrolled in SNAP. SNAP is a program that helps you buy the food you need for nutritious meals. For seniors living on a fixed income, SNAP can mean no longer choosing between buying groceries and paying for prescriptions.
Qualifying for SNAP depends on how many people live with you and the monthly income of your household. Generally, your total income must be below:
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This guideline is strict, but if you are over the age of 60, you may still qualify for SNAP even if your income is above the set income guideline. There are deductions for living expenses like utilities, rent or mortgage, and monthly medical expenses. These are subtracted from the total income, so you could still qualify even if your income is above the limit.
SNAP only takes into account the income you receive. If you own your own home or have money in a savings account you can still qualify.
Applying as a Senior
Most SNAP families must complete a 12-page application packet, but for adults over the age of 60 there is a 2-page shortened application. This application removes extensive questions that do not apply to households with older adults.
Applications can be filled out online or mailed into the county. Pre-enrollment interviews can be done over the phone, so there isn’t a need to make a bunch of trips to the county office. Seniors on SNAP can receive 2 years of benefits before they re-certify, so they can make less frequent trips to their county offices.
Using your Benefits
SNAP allows you to buy grocery items from most grocery and convenience stores and even some farmers markets. You cannot use SNAP to buy hot ready-to-eat foods or non-food items. For homebound seniors, Meals on Wheels accepts EBT as payment for delivered meals. A few grocery delivery programs like Schwans also accept SNAP.
For more information on SNAP or to see if you qualify under the senior eligibility guidelines, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 888-711-1151.