WIC/SNAP FAQs

Adapted from KidCentral TN

SNAP (Formerly Known as Food Stamps)—Eligibility Information

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families.

Residency

Applicants must be living in the state of Tennessee to receive SNAP benefits from Tennessee.

Age and Relationship

There are no specific age limits to receive SNAP benefits.

  • Parents and their children (21 years old or younger) living together are considered one household.
  • Minors who apply on their own must be living without their parents.
  • Individuals living together and who purchase and prepare food together are treated as one household.

Citizenship and Social Security Numbers

An applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. National or a qualified immigrant to get SNAP benefits. Some legal immigrants are ineligible for SNAP benefits; however, dependents of an ineligible immigrant are often eligible. To be eligible, all SNAP household members must have a Social Security number or proof of having applied for one.

Work

To receive SNAP benefits, most able-bodied people, 16–59 years old, must:

  • Register for work
  • Participate in the Employment and Training Program, if offered
  • Accept offers of employment
  • Not quit a job

Able-bodied adults without dependents aged 18–59 can receive only a limited number of benefit months in three years, unless working 80 hours per month or otherwise determined exempt from the rule.

Other Factors

  • Strikers must be resource- and income-eligible before the day of the strike.
  • Most college students must be working an average of 20 hours per week, enrolled in work-study, caring for young dependents, or receiving Families First.
  • Felons convicted of certain drug-related offenses are not eligible for SNAP benefits.
  • Individuals disqualified for fraud are ineligible for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for the third.
  • Dependents of disqualified or ineligible individuals may be eligible.

Resource Test

To be eligible, a household cannot have financial assets over a certain amount. For most households, this limit is $2,000. For households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age, the limit is $3,250.

Countable assets include:

  • Cash on hand
  • Money in checking
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Property not up for sale
  • Lump-sum payments

Assets NOT counted are:

  • The home the applicant is presently living in and its lot
  • Household goods
  • Income-producing property
  • Real estate that is up for sale
  • Cash value of life insurance
  • Personal property
  • Retirement accounts such as IRA and 401k plans
  • Vehicles with equity value under $1,500

Other vehicles not counted are those used for family transportation, for going to and from work, for producing income, for subsistence hunting and fishing, as the household’s home, for transporting a disabled household member, and for carrying the household’s primary source of heating fuel or water.

Income Tests

The SNAP program does not count:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants and loans used for tuition and fees
  • Reimbursements
  • Heating assistance
  • Earnings of children age 17 and younger who are in school
  • Most loans

Countable income includes:

  • Wages
  • Self-employment
  • Public assistance benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Child support
  • Pensions
  • Social security
  • Supplemental Security Income

Households containing an elderly or disabled member do not have to pass the gross income standards but are subject to the net income standards. To see if you might be eligible, click on the link below for the most current income limits to the program.

Income Limits/Test Your Income

Deductions

If you’re over the income limit for eligibility, you still might be able to qualify. SNAP rules allow these deductions to be made to your income total:

  • 20 percent deduction on earnings
  • Standard deduction given to all households
  • Dependent-care expenses incurred
  • Shelter/utility deduction for a nonspecial household, not to exceed $459
  • Medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled household members

For more information regarding SNAP in Memphis and Tennessee, see here

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Adapted from KidCentral TN

WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children and is also called the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program. WIC is a federal program designed to provide additional food to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children until the age of 5. The program provides a combination of nutrition education, supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals for healthcare. WIC has proved to be effective in preventing and improving nutrition-related health problems.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the WIC Program. The Tennessee Department of Health provides the services in about 140 county health department locations and hospital sites throughout the state. Participants must be residents of Tennessee, meet the income guidelines, and be determined to be at nutritional or medical risk.

Supplemental food vouchers and cash value vouchers are issued to participants and can be used to purchase approved food items at any of the 900+ participating WIC-authorized grocery stores and pharmacies.

For more information, call your local health department or call 800-DIAL-WIC (800-342-5942).

Food Package

WIC foods provide nutrients essential for growth and development. These nutrients come in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter and dry beans, and special foods such as soy beverages and tofu.

The WIC supplemental foods that are offered are in keeping with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ infant feeding guidance.

WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines 2017-2018

Income eligibility is the same across the state and is determined at the local level by the Public Health Office Assistant (PHOA) in the health department.* The participant’s household gross income must be equal to or less than these WIC income guidelines (185% of federal poverty).

Income Eligibility Guidelines: July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018

*PHOA: Do not allow hardship deductions from the above income poverty guidelines. A standard deduction has been included in all of the above income levels.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, WIC is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

SNAP (Formerly Known as Food Stamps)—Eligibility Information

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families.

Residency

Applicants must be living in the state of Tennessee to receive SNAP benefits from Tennessee.

Age and Relationship

There are no specific age limits to receive SNAP benefits.

  • Parents and their children (21 years old or younger) living together are considered one household.
  • Minors who apply on their own must be living without their parents.
  • Individuals living together and who purchase and prepare food together are treated as one household.

Citizenship and Social Security Numbers

An applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. National or a qualified immigrant to get SNAP benefits. Some legal immigrants are ineligible for SNAP benefits; however, dependents of an ineligible immigrant are often eligible. To be eligible, all SNAP household members must have a Social Security number or proof of having applied for one.

Work

To receive SNAP benefits, most able-bodied people, 16–59 years old, must:

  • Register for work
  • Participate in the Employment and Training Program, if offered
  • Accept offers of employment
  • Not quit a job

Able-bodied adults without dependents aged 18–59 can receive only a limited number of benefit months in three years, unless working 80 hours per month or otherwise determined exempt from the rule.

Other Factors

  • Strikers must be resource- and income-eligible before the day of the strike.
  • Most college students must be working an average of 20 hours per week, enrolled in work-study, caring for young dependents, or receiving Families First.
  • Felons convicted of certain drug-related offenses are not eligible for SNAP benefits.
  • Individuals disqualified for fraud are ineligible for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for the third.
  • Dependents of disqualified or ineligible individuals may be eligible.

Resource Test

To be eligible, a household cannot have financial assets over a certain amount. For most households, this limit is $2,000. For households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age, the limit is $3,250.

Countable assets include:

  • Cash on hand
  • Money in checking
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Property not up for sale
  • Lump-sum payments

Assets NOT counted are:

  • The home the applicant is presently living in and its lot
  • Household goods
  • Income-producing property
  • Real estate that is up for sale
  • Cash value of life insurance
  • Personal property
  • Retirement accounts such as IRA and 401k plans
  • Vehicles with equity value under $1,500

Other vehicles not counted are those used for family transportation, for going to and from work, for producing income, for subsistence hunting and fishing, as the household’s home, for transporting a disabled household member, and for carrying the household’s primary source of heating fuel or water.

Income Tests

The SNAP program does not count:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants and loans used for tuition and fees
  • Reimbursements
  • Heating assistance
  • Earnings of children age 17 and younger who are in school
  • Most loans

Countable income includes:

  • Wages
  • Self-employment
  • Public assistance benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Child support
  • Pensions
  • Social security
  • Supplemental Security Income

Households containing an elderly or disabled member do not have to pass the gross income standards but are subject to the net income standards. To see if you might be eligible, click on the link below for the most current income limits to the program.

Income Limits/Test Your Income

Deductions

If you’re over the income limit for eligibility, you still might be able to qualify. SNAP rules allow these deductions to be made to your income total:

  • 20 percent deduction on earnings
  • Standard deduction given to all households
  • Dependent-care expenses incurred
  • Shelter/utility deduction for a nonspecial household, not to exceed $459
  • Medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled household members

For more information regarding SNAP in Memphis and Tennessee, see here

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Adapted from KidCentral TN

WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children and is also called the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program. WIC is a federal program designed to provide additional food to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children until the age of 5. The program provides a combination of nutrition education, supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals for healthcare. WIC has proved to be effective in preventing and improving nutrition-related health problems.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the WIC Program. The Tennessee Department of Health provides the services in about 140 county health department locations and hospital sites throughout the state. Participants must be residents of Tennessee, meet the income guidelines, and be determined to be at nutritional or medical risk.

Supplemental food vouchers and cash value vouchers are issued to participants and can be used to purchase approved food items at any of the 900+ participating WIC-authorized grocery stores and pharmacies.

For more information, call your local health department or call 800-DIAL-WIC (800-342-5942).

Food Package

WIC foods provide nutrients essential for growth and development. These nutrients come in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter and dry beans, and special foods such as soy beverages and tofu.

The WIC supplemental foods that are offered are in keeping with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ infant feeding guidance.

 

WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines 2017-2018

Income eligibility is the same across the state and is determined at the local level by the Public Health Office Assistant (PHOA) in the health department.* The participant’s household gross income must be equal to or less than these WIC income guidelines (185% of federal poverty).

Income Eligibility Guidelines: July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018

*PHOA: Do not allow hardship deductions from the above income poverty guidelines. A standard deduction has been included in all of the above income levels.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, WIC is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.