How to Apply for SNAP in Tennessee

This information is current as of July 20, 2022.

Applying for SNAP benefits in any of the fifty states is mostly the same process, or at least highly similar. However, each state has its own forms, and you should know there are always subtle differences and requirements. 

How to apply for SNAP, EBT or Food Stamps in Tennessee

Applying for SNAP benefits in Tennessee is relatively simple. You must go to Tennessee’s Department of Human Resources and select the “Apply for SNAP Benefits Here” tab. You’ll also need to upload specific documents, or you can contact the office for more information. 

SNAP benefits are essentially a state matter, although each state receives federal grants to help support the program. So, you could consider it a state and federal program in many ways, especially since all roads lead to the US Department of Agriculture.

How to Apply for SNAP in Tennessee

You can apply for SNAP benefits in one of two ways. The first involves filling out the paperwork at your local benefits center and submitting everything there. To do it this way, you must call your county’s local courthouse for some of the necessary information.

Eventually, you will have to call them anyway, even if you use the second method, which is going through the online submission process via TDHR (Tennessee Department of Human Resources). You can also apply by mail if you want, but you will still have to access the internet to print the form.

Whether you apply in person or online, the form you must fill out and the checklist are still the same. You will also need to bring several documents and supply the TDHR with some of your personal or financial information. 

  • Social Security Number
  • State-Issued Identification 
  • Your home address information
  • All your income and financial resource information
  • Your residence costs
  • Cost of your utility bills

Not only will you have to fill out much of that information, but you will also have to provide them with documented proof of that information, such as your driver’s license, social security card, or birth certificate. 

Once you have submitted all this information and completed Tennessee’s SNAP Application Form, you will have to wait for the state of Tennessee to approve you. If approved, you will fall under one of for “SNAP Classifications.”

  • 12-month certification 
  • 24-month certification
  • Four to six-month certification
  • 10-day reporting

These various classifications help to identify how much you will receive in SNAP benefits every month and how long you will receive SNAP benefits before you have to reapply.

12-Month Certification “Simplified Reporting Classification”

Most approvals will land you under the umbrella of the 12-month certification. This is a year-long benefits program, and it mainly targets adults who have children in the home and can work. 

Of course, you’ll have to show that you’re willing to work and actively searching for a job throughout the benefits period. When your 12-month period has reached six months, you’ll have to fill out the Simplified Reporting Classification Form.

24-Month Certification “Simplified Reporting Classification”

These are for those who are over the age of 60 and/or disabled. This program lasts for two years. However, you will have to submit your Simplified Reporting Classification Form once 12 months have passed.

4 to 6-Month Certification “Simplified Reporting Classification”

You may fall under this classification if you have multiple non-disabled individuals in your family, including yourself, who are more than capable of going to work or finding a job as soon as possible.

You don’t have to submit your Simplified Reporting Classification Form halfway through this period, but it is due before your certification’s end.

10-Day Reporting

This is a SNAP benefit classification for a family that just needs very short-term assistance. Short-term assistance helps a family that needs SNAP benefits for fewer than 4 months.

This assistance certification typically includes households that have at least one self-employed individual. If there is any change in household income, you must report that change within 10 days, hence the name of this certification.

What Determines Eligibility for Tennessee SNAP Benefits? 

There are quite a few eligibility requirements to go through. However, you shouldn’t worry too much because most are standard eligibility requirements and are essentially the same from state to state. 

Tennessee does not have a specific age limit for receiving SNAP benefits, but you are still required to provide your age. If you are 21 years are older, Tennessee labels you as a household, whether you are single or have a large or medium number of family members. 

Your citizenship status and your social security number are required information. To receive SNAP benefits in the state of Tennessee, you must be an eligible US citizen with a Social Security Card. In most cases, Tennessee will accept you if you’re a dependent of an ineligible citizen. 

You also must be a non-disabled worker to receive benefits in Tennessee, except for those who are physically or mentally disabled or if you are above the age of 60. To receive benefits, you will have to participate in Tennessee’s Employment and Training Program. You cannot receive benefits if you quit your job. 

If you are already receiving benefits, they will not increase if you quit your job, altering your financial status. If you do not have dependents and you are a non-disabled worker, you have a limited time in which you will be eligible for benefits, which is usually up to three years. 

If you are a college student, you must be employed and working at least 20 hours per week or caring for dependents. If you are a felon convicted on drug charges, you will not be eligible for SNAP benefits in Tennessee. 

Asset Limitations

Part of the application process involves a resource test or evaluation. According to the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, asset limitations are $2,500 or $3,750 if you have a relative in your home who is 60 or older or disabled. 

Tennessee does not count your home, household goods, property that produces income, life insurance value, personal property, retirement accounts, or vehicles whose value is below $1,500 as assets. 

You will also have to take an income test that is distinct and separate from what Tennesee considers assets. Income is money you bring in from work or services you provide, not the value of a property you already own. 

Tennessee broadly views income, including work income (self-employed or otherwise), alimony, child support, Social Security Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, disability benefits, stipends, and interest earned on your investments. 

Final Thoughts

Applying for SNAP benefits in the state of Tennessee is simple. The hardest part is ensuring you have the proper documentation before and during the application process.

Tennessee also requires you to reapply halfway through whatever certification approval you are granted, including all four of Tennessee’s certifications.

Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service

If you qualify for SNAP, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.

Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.

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Looking to save on additional items? You may want to check out our Recommended Resources page. For example, you can learn how to save 50% on Amazon Prime membership and use your EBT card.