Last updated on 03/28/20
If you are applying for food assistance in Tennessee and are trying to figure out “How much will I get in food stamps in Tennessee?”, we can help. In this post, we will provide you the information you need to see if you qualify for food stamps, and if you do, how much in benefits you will receive if you are approved.
In addition, we will explain how to apply for food stamps in Tennesee, both online and in person.
This post will cover:
- How does Food Stamps Work in Tennessee?
- Tennesee Food Stamps Eligibility
- TN Food Stamps Income Limit – 2020
- How much will I get in food stamps in Tennessee?
- How to Apply for food stamps in Tennessee
- TN Food Stamps FAQs
How does Food Stamps Work in Tennessee?
The food stamps program in Tennessee, otherwise known as The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program that provides nutritional assistance benefits to individuals, children, families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families.
As you can see, the Tennesee food stamps program is also for working families who do not make enough money to buy all the food they need. For these families, food stamps help to supplement their monthly food budgets so that they can spend more of their available income toward essential living expenses.
If you are approved for benefits, your food stamps will be deposited monthly on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The Tennessee EBT card, also called the Benefit Security Card, is a debit card that is used to deliver food stamps payments and Families First benefits to those who are eligible in the state of Tennessee.
You can use your Benefit Security card to purchase food on the eligible food list from approved stores and farmers markets.
Tennesee Food Stamps Eligibility
To be eligible for food stamps in Tennessee, you have to meet the criteria below:
If you are applying for food stamps in Tennessee, you have to be a resident of the state. You will be required to show proof you live in the state.
Age and Relationship
There is no age limit to apply for food stamps.
However, if you are a minor and are applying for SNAP benefits, you must be living without your parents in order to be able to apply on your own.
Parents and their children 21 years old or younger living together are considered one household. If you live with someone and you purchase and prepare food together, you can also apply as a household. You can also choose to apply by yourself as an individual.
Citizenship and Social Security Numbers
To be eligible for food stamps in Tennessee, you have to be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. National, or a qualified alien. Even if you are a legal resident and find out that you don’t qualify for food stamps, you should check to see if your dependents are eligible.
In addition, anyone applying must have a social security number. If you don’t have a social security number, you must at least show proof that you have applied for one. If you are a legal immigrant, here are the guidelines you should know about:
Tennessee Food Stamps Work Requirements
There are strict work rules you have to follow in order to be eligible for food stamps or to continue receiving the benefit, especially if you are an Able-Bodied Adult without Dependents (ABAWD)
An ABAWD is an able-bodied person between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents in the household.
An ABAWD can only be eligible for three (3) months of food stamps benefits in a three (3) year period unless they are participating in the SNAP work requirement. The ABAWD SNAP work requirement is:
- Work or volunteer with a reputable source at least 20 hours a week (80 hours per month) or more, OR
- Participate in a qualified training program for an average of 20 hours per week (80 hours per month) or more.
However, the following Tennessee counties are exempt from the ABAWD time count: Bledsoe, Hancock, Jackson, Lake, Lauderdale, McNairy, and Scott.
One of the most important criteria you must meet to get food stamps is the resources test.
There are asset limits for households apply for SNAP benefits: $2,250 for most households and $3,250 for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age.
The following are not counted as part of your asset limit:
- The home you live in and the 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 $1,500There are other assets that are excluded but those listed above are the major ones.
Here is what is counted as part of your resources limit:
- Cash on hand
- Money in checking
- Savings accounts
- Certificates of deposit
- Property not up for sale
- Lump-sum payments
Tennessee Food Stamps Income Limit – 2020
Outside of the resource test above, the income test is perhaps the most important eligibility criteria that determines whether you will be approved for food stamps in Tennessee or not.
Countable income may include but is not limited to such things as:
- Wages from employment
- Self-employment Income
- Child support
- Disability benefits
- Social Security/SSI
- Worker’s Compensation
- Unemployment benefits
- Interest income
The food stamps income limit is determined as a percentage of the National Poverty Guidelines as issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Based on the National Poverty guidelines, the following food stamps income limit chart is calculated by the USDA.
Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.
Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made.
Households that contain an elderly or disabled member do not have to pass the gross income standards but are subject to the net income standards.
2020 Food Stamps Income Limit
Review the income chart below to see if you qualify:
|Household Size||Gross monthly income
(130 percent of poverty)
|Net monthly income
(100 percent of poverty)
|Each additional member||+$479||+$369|
There are deductions that can be taken from the income calculation, including:
- 20% deduction on earnings
- A standard deduction given to all households
- Dependent care expenses incurred
- A shelter/utility deduction for a non-special household not to exceed $552
- Medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled household members
Students & Felons
If you are a student applying for food stamps, you 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.
If you have been denied Food Stamps Due to Fraud
Did you previously apply for food stamps and were denied or disqualified for fraud? Then you will not be eligible to apply for food stamps for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for the third.
If you are a dependent of someone that has been disqualified or someone that is ineligible for food stamps, you may be eligible as a dependent, so check with the food stamps office to see if you qualify.
How much will I get in food stamps in Tennessee?
The total amount of SNAP benefits your household gets each month is called an allotment.
According to USDA guidelines, households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their own resources on food.
Therefore, your food stamps allotment is calculated by multiplying your household’s net monthly income by 0.3, and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size.
Here is how much in food stamps you will get if you are approved. It is based on the number of people in your household:
|People in Household||Maximum Monthly Allotment|
|Each additional person||+$146|
How to Apply for Tennessee Food Stamps
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Tennessee.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) by creating a DHS account (as shown in the image below). If you have an account, you can log in or create your DHS Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DHS Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Tennessee Department of Human Services office near you. Click here to locate a DHS office.
Option 3 – Download Tennessee Food Stamps Application
How much will I get in food stamps in Tennessee Summary
We hope this post on “How much will I get in food stamps in Tennessee?” was helpful to you.
If you have additional questions or need help Tennessee food stamps or EBT, leave those in the comments section below.