How to Apply for SNAP in Arizona
In Arizona during 2018, there were 805,977 people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Family Assistance Administration Call Center (1-855-432-7587) is operating on extended hours Monday-Friday. They answer questions and assist with applications for services regarding medical assistance, cash, and nutrition.
SNAP in Arizona, as well as other food assistance programs, are provided through the Department of Economic Security (DES). They provide assistance to low-income people, seniors, and children to reduce hunger. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to apply for SNAP benefits in the state of Arizona.
SNAP in Arizona
The Arizona food stamps program is now the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The recommendation is that if you are struggling to purchase food for yourself or your family, the best course of action in order to determine eligibility is to apply. You need to provide complete, accurate information. An interview with a staff member is also required.
You have the option of using an eligibility website to determine if you qualify. The eligibility website provides links to a wide range of resources. This includes child care, financial assistance, health care, job search, clothing and diaper banks, and more.
Under the food and nutrition category, you will find links to:
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Emergency Food
- Farmers Markets
- School Lunch
- Summer Food Service Program
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Even if you work with a staff member for the completion of your application, this is a great resource for types of assistance available.
Not all COVID-19 income counts toward your eligibility for benefits. The application of such income to Medical Assistance, Nutrition Assistance, and Cash Assistance Programs follows:
- American Rescue Plan Act Stimulus Payment—Not counted for medical, nutrition, or cash assistance
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) stimulus payment—not counted for medical, nutrition, or cash assistance
- Weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)—not counted for medical, nutrition, or cash assistance
- Weekly Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—does count for medical and nutritional assistance, but not for cash assistance
- Weekly Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Assistance (PEUC)—does count for medical and nutrition assistance but not cash assistance
The Health-e-Arizona Plus website is where you will complete your application for nutrition help. This is where you review and confirm the receipt of your application. You can also fax verification documents, and renew your benefits.
(If you are short on cash and already participating in a federal benefit program, you may be eligible for Direct Express Emergency Cash.)
How to Apply for SNAP
You have the option of submitting your application online using the Health-e-Arizona Plus website. When applying or renewing you may need one or more of the following for your eligibility determination:
- Proof of citizenship
- Alien Registration Card if a non-U.S. citizen resides in your home or is applying for benefits
- Social Security Number of every household member
- Proof of relationship, such as a birth certificate for children
- Name, address, and daytime phone number of a landlord or neighbor
- A signed and dated statement by someone who is not a relative verifying everyone who lives in the home
- Proof of all money your household received in any manner for the prior and current month
- Proof of your employment ending and the last date you received wages
- Current statement from your bank and credit union for savings or checking accounts
- Proof of savings bonds, retirement plans, securities, and life insurance
- Proof of your rent or mortgage and utility bills for the most recent month
- Proof of child care expenses for the most recent month
- Proof of all medical expenses for anyone who is 60 and older or receives disability benefits
Submit the above information with your application.
AZ Income Limits
Eligibility determination uses your income after deductions for income tax, medical expenses, and shelter. Your income must be less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
The FPG for a one-person household is $1,064 per month and $1,437 per month for a two-person household. For each additional person in the home add $373 to the allowable income. The Arizona Self Help Tool helps determine whether you qualify for SNAP and/or other programs.
Student SNAP Eligibility
Due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, some students may be able to access SNAP. To be eligible, the student must attend school at least half-time. They must also have applied for financial aid, and meet the income and eligibility requirements.
The student must also have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0.00 or be eligible to participate in a federal or state-financed work-study program. The student needs to be eligible for work-study but there is no obligation for participation.
After You Apply
After receipt of your application, you may need to complete an eligibility interview over the phone. During the interview, have your citizenship verification, social security numbers, identification, and income information on hand. A review of your information during the interview will determine if you qualify for assistance.
Before the end of the interview, you will be told if additional information is necessary. You can submit additional information by mail or fax.
Once a decision is made, you will receive a letter in the mail with the determination. This will be either seven days following your application for emergency benefits or within 30 days of your application date.
If you do not agree with the determination, you may request an appeal. Appeals are available in the event you receive a denial, your benefits are stopped, or your application is not timely processed.
Once you receive approval, you must report any changes that may affect your eligibility. You will also need to undergo renewal reviews periodically.
This may happen between three months to two years following your initial application. A letter will be sent to you advising of your renewal requirements.
Following your approval, you may need to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training Program. This program provides assistance on job search, job readiness, education or training, work experience, community service, and unsubsidized paid employment.
Current SNAP recipients need to stay current on the changing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AZ SNAP Benefits Increase
Households receiving nutrition assistance will receive a 15% increase in their monthly food benefits. This increase applies to the months of January 2021 through September 2021.
Recipients who received a six-month extension after November 2020 need to renew their benefits. This applies to those who receive nutrition or cash assistance and have a benefits expiration of May 31, 2021, or later. You will receive a notice with instructions on filing for renewal if this applies to you.
To comply with federal guidelines, the work requirements to receive both cash assistance and nutrition benefits are suspended. This suspension is temporary due to COVID-19 impacting the ability to sustain employment.
In addition to SNAP, there are other programs and services that can provide you with assistance.
Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
This program assists low-income Americans by providing free emergency food and nutrition assistance. To be eligible for TEFAP the total gross income of the household must not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level.
The eligible income begins at $23,606 annually for one person and increases to $48,470 for a four-member household. For each additional person in the home, add $8,288 to the annual income.
Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP)
This program serves those who are 60 or older. The eligible person receives a package of nutritious food at no cost on a monthly basis. The packages include food such as nonfat dry milk, ultra-high-temperature milk, juice, ready-to-eat cereal, oats, pasta, rice, dry beans, canned meat, peanut butter, poultry, fish, canned fruit, and vegetables.
The program is limited and new applicants may be put on a waiting list. This is just one of the many benefits available to low-income seniors.
Congregate and Home Delivered Meals
A congregate meal is a hot meal available a minimum of once a day at a senior center, nutrition site, or other group sites. These sites may offer other services including transportation, health screening, legal assistance, social service referrals, and social activities.
When participating in the home-delivered meal program, the eligible person will receive a meal at their residence. The persons who deliver may also spend additional time with the recipient to provide them with social interaction and reduce feelings of isolation.
Double Up Food Bucks
This program allows SNAP recipients to receive extra fruits and vegetables. For every $1 of SNAP-eligible food items you purchase on EBT, you receive an additional $1 is available for fruits and vegetables grown in Arizona.
Senior Farmers Markets Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
This federal program assists senior citizens who are low income and at least 60 years old. The income must be at or below 185% of the annual poverty income guidelines. Those who are eligible receive fresh locally grown vegetables, fruit, honey, and herbs from farmer markets and roadside stands. The senior receives a booklet of six vouchers with values from $5 to $30 during eligible dates.
WIC Farmers Markets Nutrition Program (FMNP)
Recipients of WIC will receive coupons for fresh vegetables and fruits from local farmers’ markets. The vouchers are included in the regular WIC package and have a $5 to $30 value.
In addition to this program, you may want to check out a program that provides you with up to twelve free diapers per day for infants and toddlers.
Apply for SNAP in Arizona
Now that you know how to apply for SNAP in Arizona, plus additional assistance you may be eligible to receive, visit the Health-e-Arizona Plus website and complete your application.
Save Money on your Wireless Phone Service
If you qualify for SNAP in Arizona, you also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to receive access to free or heavily discounted communication services. Click to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.