If you are struggling to meet your basic food and nutrition needs, there is help available to you. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance to eligible low-income households in Tennessee. If you want to know if you qualify for food stamp benefits in Tennessee, this article will provide you with all the Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Qualifications.
This Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Guide will cover the requirements for fiscal year 2022.
In addition, this article will cover:
- Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Qualifications
- TN Food Stamps Eligibility Requirements for 2022
- Food Stamps Gross and Net Income Limit
- How to Calculate Gross and Net Income for TN Food Stamps
- How Much Food Stamps You Will Get in Tennessee
- Tennessee SNAP Vehicle Asset Test & Work Requirements
- How to Apply for Food Stamps Tennessee
- What Happens After you Apply for TN SNAP
Tennessee Food Stamps Program
The USDA Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income households struggling to meet their nutritional needs.
If you are struggling to afford food, then applying for Tennessee food stamp benefits could provide your household with some much-needed relief.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps provides monthly cash benefits to eligible households in Tennessee.
In Tennessee, SNAP is administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) through the Tennessee ONE DHS online benefits portal.
If you meet the Tennessee eligibility for food stamps, you will receive a special debit card, called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card.
The Tennessee EBT Card is loaded with your food benefits on the same day each month according to the TN EBT Deposit Schedule.
Monthly food stamp benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items at grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, gas stations, seafood markets, bakeries and more.
Households approved for the Tennessee food stamps could receive over $1,500 in benefits each month.
The amount of TN food stamp benefits a household gets depends on three things:
- Household income from all sources (earned and unearned) such as money you get from a job, Social Security, SSI, or child support
- How many people live in your household
- Where you live
If you want to apply for food stamps in Tennessee, you must make sure you meet the Tennessee SNAP eligibility qualifications.
There are strict eligibility guidelines that you must meet to receive Tennessee food stamp benefits.
To find out if you qualify for the Tennessee Food Stamps Program, continue reading below.
Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Guide for 2022
To be eligible for the Food Assistance Program in Tennessee, you have to meet the eligibility requirements established by the USDA.
The Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Guidelines will help you determine if you will qualify for SNAP benefits.
Who qualifies for Food Stamps in TN?
To qualify for the Tennessee Food Stamps and EBT Card benefits, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Non-Citizen
- Live in the state of Tennessee
- Meet the SNAP Income Limit
In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, your household must also meet the three income and resources tests.
Income is the most important requirement when it comes to qualifying for Tennessee food stamp benefits.
SNAP Income Test for Food Stamps
The three tests that determine your Tennessee eligibility for food stamps include your household’s gross monthly income, net income, and assets.
We’ve provided more information about each of the three tests below:
Gross Monthly Income — is your household’s total income before any deductions. This includes money earned from work and other assistance such as unemployment, Social Security and child support.
Net Income — is your household’s total income after all allowable deductions.
Assets — is your household’s total resources that are considered available to purchase food, such as bank accounts and cash.
To learn more about each of the Tennessee SNAP eligibility tests including how to calculate them for your household, continue reading below.
Tennessee Food Stamps Qualifications
To help determine if you qualify for TN Food Stamps, we’ve explained each of the three SNAP eligibility tests below.
Test #1 – Gross Income Test
The first test you must meet is the gross monthly income test. This is a household’s income before any allowable deductions are applied.
The USDA requires that a household’s income must be at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for 2022.
In fiscal year 2022, the poverty line amount for an individual is $1,073. Therefore, 130 percent of that level is $1,396.
Furthermore, an individual applying for Tennessee food stamps must have a gross monthly income of $1,396 or below to qualify.
For a family of three, the poverty line is $1,830 a month. Therefore, 130 percent of that is $2,379 a month, or about $28,550 a year.
The poverty level is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.
How to Calculate Gross Income for SNAP
Use the example provided below to help you calculate your household’s gross monthly income.
How to Calculate Gross Income for Food Stamps in Tennessee
Gross Income Calculation:
|Determine household size . . .||4 people with no elderly or disabled members.|
|Add gross monthly income . . .||$1,500 earned income + $550 social security = $2,050 gross income.|
|If gross monthly income is less than the limit for household size, determine net income.||$2,050 is less than the $2,871 allowed for a 4-person household, so determine net income.|
Tennessee SNAP Income Limit for 2022
The Tennessee Food Stamps Income Limit will help determine your household’s eligibility for SNAP EBT benefits.
To use the TN SNAP Income Limit chart, follow the instructions below:
First, calculate your household’s gross income, then use the chart below to determine if it meets the income limit for Tennessee food stamp benefits.
What is the Income Limit for Food Stamps in TN?
The Tennessee Food Stamp Income Limit Chart shows both the gross and net monthly income based on your household size.
The food stamp Tennessee income limit for 2022 is based on your household size.
Use the chart provided below to determine if your income qualifies:
Tennessee Food Stamp Income Limits for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Gross Monthly Income (130% of FPL)
Net Monthly Income (100% of FPL)
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$492||+$379|
Test 2 – Net Income Test
The Net Income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line for your household size.
To find out how to calculate your net income with the allowable deductions, continue reading below.
Allowable Deductions for TN Food Stamps
Certain deductions are allowable to be taken from the gross income to arrive at the net income amount.
The following deductions are allowed for all households depending on the living situation and expenses:
- 20 percent deduction from earned income to account for work-related expenses and payroll taxes.
- A standard deduction based on household size (see below) to account for basic unavoidable costs.
- Dependent care deduction for out-of-pocket child care or when needed for work, training, or education.
- Child support deduction for any legally obligated child support that a member of the household pays.
- Medical expense deduction for elderly or disabled household members that have incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses greater than $35 a month.
- Homeless household shelter deduction of $159.73.
- Excess shelter deduction for households with a shelter cost that exceed more than half of the household’s income. This deduction is uncapped for households with an elderly or disabled member. However, for all other households, this deduction is capped at $597 per month.
Once you have subtracted all eligible deductions from your household gross income, this will give you your monthly net income.
Tennessee SNAP Standard Deduction
The food stamps standard deduction varies based on your household size and location.
Use the chart provided below to get the standard deduction amount for your household.
SNAP Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
|48 States & D.C.||Alaska||Guam||Hawaii||Virgin Islands|
How to Calculate Net Income
For help calculating your household’s monthly net income, use the example provided below.
This example is based on a 4-person household with a monthly gross income of $2,050.
How to Calculate Net Income for TN Food Stamps
Net Income Calculation:
Example for a 4-person household:
|Subtract 20% earned income deduction…||$2,050 gross income
$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750
|Subtract standard deduction…||$1,750 – $184 standard deduction for a 4-person household = $1,566|
|Subtract dependent care deduction…||$1,569 – $362 dependent care = $1,204|
|Subtract child support deduction…||$0|
|Subtract medical costs over $35 for elderly and disabled…||$0|
|Excess shelter deduction…||See below|
|Determine half of adjusted income…||$1,204 adjusted income/2 = $602|
|Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income…||$700 total shelter – $602 (half of income) = $98 excess shelter cost|
|Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income…||$1,204 – $98 = $1,106 net monthly income|
|Apply the net income test…||Since $1,106 is less than $2,209 allowed for a 4-person household, this household has met the income test.|
What Counts As Income?
When it comes to your TN SNAP application, cash from all sources will count towards your income limit.
- Earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted)
- Unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support are all counted towards your income for food stamps purposes.
Tennessee SNAP Net Income Limit for 2022
Once you’ve calculated your household’s net income, use the chart below to determine if your household meets the Tennessee food stamp income limits for 2022.
SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Monthly Net Income (100% of Federal Poverty Level)
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$379|
For more information on the Tennessee Food Stamps income requirements, check out our complete article on the Tennessee Food Stamp Income Limit for 2022.
Test 3 – Assets Test
The final test to determine if you’re eligible for TN food stamp benefits is the asset test. This test determines if your total household assets fall below the acceptable limit.
Households with a member who is elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled, must have assets or countable resources of $3,750 or less.
Households without an elderly or disabled member, must have assets of $2,500 or less.
What counts as an Asset?
For your TN Food Stamps Application, any resources that could be available to the household to purchase food are counted towards your asset limit.
- Bank accounts
- Real estate other than your home
- Income you earn from assets (like interest earned on savings and dividends you receive).
What does not count as an asset?
Certain items do not count as an asset. These are typically resources that are not accessible, such as the household’s home, personal property, and retirement savings*.
*Please note that withdrawals from these accounts may count as either income or resources depending on how often they occur.
Additionally, most automobiles do not count as an asset. However, there are special rules around vehicles. To learn more about this, continue reading below.
Do vehicles count as an asset for Food Stamps?
Yes, vehicles count as a resource for food stamps and SNAP purposes. However, most vehicles do not count towards the food stamps resources limit.
Please note that this rule varies based on your state.
In this case, Tennessee is responsible for determining how vehicles may count toward household resources.
In Tennessee, the state has chosen to exclude the value of all vehicles when it comes to the SNAP Resource Limit.
Tennessee is one of thirty three states that has decided to do this.
How much food stamps will I get in Tennessee?
The amount of food stamps you will receive comes down to a few major factors – your household income, household size, expenses and resources.
Household expenses include your rent or mortgage, gas, electric, water, sewer, phone, and medical expenses.
In addition, any child support or child care payments are counted as expenses.
Household resources include cash, bank account savings, and stocks.
Additionally, your monthly household income includes money earned from work, as well as payments from Social Security, Unemployment, and SSI.
All of these factors play a role in how much you will get in Tennessee food benefits each month.
In January 2022, the average monthly SNAP EBT payment per household was approximately $246.
Use the table below to find out the maximum amount of Tennessee food stamp benefits you could receive each month.
Maximum Tennessee SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment:
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$188|
To find out exactly how much you can expect to receive in Tennessee food stamp benefits each month, check out our Tennessee Food Stamps Calculator.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Tennessee
There are four ways you can apply for food stamps in Tennessee – online, in-person, by phone or by mail.
For help completing your Tennessee Food Stamps Application, follow the instructions provided below.
Food Stamps Tennessee Application Guide
Here are the four ways you can apply for TN SNAP and food stamp benefits:
Option 1: Online at ONE DHS Online Portal
The first option is to apply online using the Tennessee online portal, ONE DHS. You can access the Tennessee website by visiting www.onedhs.tn.gov.
If this is your first time using ONE DHS, you will first have to create an online account.
Creating a ONE DHS account is quick, easy, and should only take a few minutes.
Once you have created your account, you can apply for food stamp benefits online by submitting your TN SNAP Application.
Option 2: In-Person at TN DHS Office
The next way to apply for food stamps in Tennessee is in-person at your local county Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
Click here for a full list of Tennessee DHS Office locations.
Option 3: By Phone
If you do not have access to a computer or transportation, you can also submit your TN SNAP Application by phone.
To apply for Tennessee food stamps by phone, please call 866-311-4287 or for TTY dial 7-1-1 on your phone.
You will be walked through the steps on how to apply for benefits by phone.
Option 4: By Mail
The last option for completing your Tennessee SNAP Application is by mail. In order to complete your application by mail, you must download the Tennessee SNAP Application online.
To apply for Tennessee food stamps by mail, click here to download the Tennessee Food Stamps Application.
Once completed, you can upload your Tennessee SNAP Application online or mail the completed application to the Family Assistance Department of Human Services.
Click here to upload your Tennessee SNAP Application online.
To submit your Tennessee Food Stamps Application by mail, send it to the following address:
Family Assistance Division Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 620001
Memphis, TN 38181
Be sure to include copies of any requested verification documentation with your Tennessee Food Stamps Application.
What you Need to Apply for Tennessee SNAP
Before applying for food stamp benefits in Tennessee, it’s important that you gather all the necessary documents needed to complete your application.
Here is a list of information you will need to complete your Tennessee SNAP Application:
- Social Security Number (SSN) or proof that you’ve applied for one
- Identity and Date of Birth (DOB) such as a Driver’s License or State ID
- Income information such as pay stubs, tax records, or child support notices
- Resource or asset information such bank accounts (checking, savings accounts), vehicles, homes, land or life insurance
- Housing expenses such as rent and utilities
- Any child care or dependent care costs
- Child support you pay for children not living with you
- Medical expenses (including prescriptions) for those with disabilities or 60+ years old
- Health Insurance information
Once you have gathered this information, you can now begin your Tennessee Food Stamps Application.
Please note, the DHS may verify the information you provide by contacting other people or agencies.
In addition, your local TN DHS office may ask you to provide additional documents.
If you need help getting any documents, be sure to tell your TN SNAP caseworker.
After you Apply for Tennessee Food Stamp Benefits
After you apply for food stamps in Tennessee, you must complete an interview with your assigned caseworker at your local county Tennessee DHS office.
Your interview may be over the phone or face-to-face. You will receive a letter in the mail with more information regarding your food stamps interview.
If you are elderly or physically unable to travel for a face-to-face interview, you can apply for a waiver, which is granted on a case by case basis based on hardship.
If your waiver request is granted, the face-to-face interview will be replaced with a phone interview.
During the interview, you will be required to provide verification of your income and expenses.
How long will it take to receive Tennessee Food Stamp benefits?
If your Tennessee SNAP Application is approved, you will start receiving benefits within 30 days from the date you submitted your application.
In addition, once you are approved for Tennessee food stamp benefits, you will receive a Tennessee EBT Card in the mail.
An EBT Card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card is similar to a bank debit card.
You will use the Tennessee EBT Card to access your monthly food stamp benefits. Benefits can be used at local grocery stores and select online retailers.
Your monthly benefit will be loaded onto your TN EBT Card on an assigned date between the 1st and the 20th day of the month.
Tennessee Emergency Food Help
If you are facing a life-threatening situation and need immediate help with food, there is assistance available to you.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides low income and elderly Tennessee residents with immediate access to nutritious meals at no cost.
Families with resources worth $100 or less, and monthly income less than $150 will qualify for Emergency Food Assistance in Tennessee.
To apply for Emergency SNAP benefits in Tennessee, visit a Tennessee TEFAP or DHS Office location near you.
In addition, there is immediate help available at participating Tennessee food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding sites.
To learn more and find out how to get help now find a Tennessee food bank near you.
TN Food Stamps Customer Service
For additional help completing your TN Food Stamps Application, contact your local Tennessee county assistance office.
You can also call the Tennessee SNAP Family Service Center by calling 866-311-4287.
Customer Service representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
If you are hearing impaired or deaf, please contact TTY Services by calling 711.
Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Questions
We hope our post on the Tennessee Food Stamps Eligibility Qualifications for 2022 was helpful to you!
If you need additional help determining your eligibility for food stamps in TN, please let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, we encourage you to please share it with someone using the “Share this” button below.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our other articles on Tennessee Food Stamps and TN EBT:
TN Food Stamps Income Limit for 2022
How much will I get in Tennessee Food Stamps?
Tennessee Food Stamps Calculator
Tennessee EBT Deposit Schedule – 2022
Tennessee Case Connect Login
How to Check your Tennessee EBT Card Balance