SNAP Benefits – What Are the Rules for Seniors and People With Disabilities?

SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is funded by the National Council on Aging. It is the nation’s largest federal nutrition program that benefits low-income families and individuals who may face food insecurity. You can use SNAP to buy groceries at participating stores and farmers’ markets.

To receive SNAP benefits, you must meet certain requirements. Seniors and people with disabilities follow guidelines that are different from other populations. Read below to understand the rules for seniors and people with disabilities when applying for SNAP.

SNAP Rules for seniors and people with disabilities

The requirements for receiving SNAP benefits are slightly different for seniors and people with disabilities. If you or someone you know falls into one of these groups and is interested in applying for SNAP, it’s important to know what eligibility guidelines to follow.

Seniors and people with disabilities are not held to the employment requirements of SNAP. The income and resource limits are also different.

Who is a senior?

To be eligible for the senior eligibility criteria, you must be over the age of 60. You must also fit the other areas of eligibility, including citizenship requirements. The income and resource limits are higher to help seniors age in place with independence and dignity.

Seniors over age 60 are not required to work to receive help. While they may still be working and are not yet eligible for Social Security, they may be able to enroll in SNAP. Depending on your location and eligibility, you may be eligible for other programs for people over 60.

Who is a person with a disability?

To be eligible for SNAP as a person with a disability, there are several options. Many standards are based on other programs that you may be eligible for or have already been approved for. If you qualify under one of the following requirements, you may be eligible for SNAP.

  • You receive financial benefits through SSI, social security disability, or blindness payments.
  • You are getting blindness or disability benefits through a state program that follows SSI rules.
  • You receive disability retirement benefits through a government agency as a result of a permanent disability under the definition provided by the Social Security Act.
  • You receive annuity payments as a consequence of the Railroad Retirement Act and are eligible for Medicaid according to SSI regulations.
  • You are a disabled or homebound veteran or a veteran that is in constant need of aid.
  • You are the spouse or child of a disabled veteran and receive VA benefits as a result of their permanent disability.

Many programs for people with disabilities involve strict eligibility requirements and a lot of documentation. But, once you are approved as disabled under SSI or a similar state program, you can get approved for other programs and services – including SNAP.

If you are approved for SSI or a similar state program, you will be assigned a caseworker. Your caseworker can help you find and apply for other programs that help you stay healthy at home, such as SNAP.

How to apply for SNAP

The easiest way to apply for SNAP benefits is by phone. Ohio residents can call 844-640-6446 and follow the prompts.

SNAP is administered by each county’s Department of Job and Family Services. Your call will be directed to the appropriate county’s office. Once you have followed the prompts, a caseworker will help you check eligibility and get you started on SNAP.

Need additional help getting nutritious meals? Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides healthy, home-delivered meals to seniors and people with disabilities in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties. Call today at 330-515-5605 and ask how to get affordable, dietitian-approved meals delivered right to your door.

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