If you need to know how to qualify for food stamp benefits in Arkansas, the process is simple. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service establishes requirements for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). While SNAP is a federal program, each state administers the food assistance program individually. Arkansas food stamps requirements primarily include citizenship standards and income limits. Determining your food stamps eligibility can be facilitated quickly by gathering income records, utility bills and other wage and expense documents. In The Natural State, the Department of Human Services (DHS) handles all SNAP benefits matters, including applications and dissemination of benefits. Read more about the requirements for food stamps in Arkansas in the sections below.
Learn About Arkansas Income Requirements for SNAP Benefits
One of the most important SNAP benefits requirements in Arkansas deals with household income. To meet the most basic rule for food stamps eligibility, you cannot exceed specific gross and net income levels. These income levels are determined based on the Federal Poverty Level and increase based on household size.
When you apply for Arkansas SNAP benefits, your income is calculated using a multitude of earned and unearned sources. Beyond wages and salaries, countable sources of income include child support, Social Security benefits, worker’s compensation, retirement and rental income. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of income sources that are used to determine your eligibility for Arkansas SNAP benefits.
One way to lower your net income amount is by deducting certain expenses. You may be able to qualify for SNAP benefits in Arkansas by deducting some of the following expenses from your gross income:
- Rent or mortgage payment
- Taxes on home
- Home insurance
- Babysitter or day care service
- Medical costs
- Child support
To maintain your Arkansas food stamps eligibility, you must report and provide proof of any income changes to the DHS.
Arkansas residents may qualify for expedited SNAP benefits based on specific criteria, including income and expenses. These SNAP benefits are distributed within seven days. Based on your Arkansas food stamps application responses, the DHS can determine if you are eligible to receive expedited SNAP benefits.
Find out specific food stamps requirements by downloading our comprehensive guide.
Learn About Arkansas Citizenship Requirements for SNAP Benefits
Qualifying for SNAP benefits stamps in Arkansas requires you to meet citizenship standards. To qualify for Arkansas SNAP benefits, Arkansas SNAP benefits requirements mandate that you must reside within the state. Additionally, you must be a U.S. citizen or certain legally admitted non-citizen in order to meet the citizenship requirements for SNAP benefits.
Provide your Social Security Number (SSN), proof of application for an SSN or documentation of legal alien status so your Arkansas food stamps eligibility can be confirmed. Failure to provide relevant citizenship information when applying for food assistance could cause you not to qualify for food stamps benefits.
Other SNAP Requirements You Must Meet in Arkansas
Arkansas has other requirements for SNAP benefits, including a mandatory work rule. To maintain your eligibility for Arkansas SNAP benefits if you are an able-bodied individual between 16 and 59 years of age, you must register for work. Work-rule exemptions are granted for certain circumstances such as school attendance, full-time employment, having a disability and care of a disabled dependent or a dependent younger than 6 years of age. Food stamps work requirements in Arkansas mandate that all able-bodied adults between 18 and 49 years of age must work at least 20 hours per week to receive food stamps benefits. If you fail to comply with the 20-hour work rule for at least three months out of a designated 36-month period, you will no longer be eligible for SNAP benefits for the remainder of the 36-month period.
If you quit your job or intentionally reduce your weekly work hours to less than 30 without good cause, you could face sanctions and no longer qualify for food stamps benefits.
Applicants Who Are Not Qualified for Arkansas SNAP Benefits
Even if you meet the income and citizenship requirements for food stamps in Arkansas, you still may not qualify for food stamps benefits. Arkansas food stamp requirements state that the following people are ineligible to participate in SNAP:
- Any individual currently classified as a fugitive felon, parole violator or probation violator
- Any individual who was found guilty or who pled nolo contendere to a felony conviction involving the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance
There are several more serious instances where you will be ineligible to receive SNAP benefits. If you commit an internal program violation (IPV), you will lose your SNAP benefits eligibility for one year for the first violation, two years for a second violation and permanently for a third violation. Special disqualification periods also apply if you:
- Make a fraudulent statement or representation about identity or residence in order to get SNAP benefits in two locations during the same month
- Buy or sell controlled substance in exchange for SNAP benefits
- Buy or sell firearms, ammunition or explosives in exchange for SNAP benefits
- Traffic SNAP benefits in excess of $500
Please note that if a household has a mix of eligible and ineligible individuals, SNAP benefits will be distributed to eligible individuals provided they meet all other food stamps program requirements.
Discover how to apply for food assistance benefits by reviewing our in-depth guide.