Eligibility for Delaware Food Stamps
Delaware maintains strict requirements for food stamps that ensure only qualified applicants receive necessary food assistance. Food stamps requirements in Delaware center around two main factors: household income and citizenship standards. Household income limits are based on the Federal Poverty Level and increases according to household size. Since food stamps eligibility standards are established and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, no food stamps applicants may be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. The state of Delaware's Division of Social Services (DSS) handles the food stamps program, which is more commonly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Whether you want to know how to qualify for SNAP benefits or need clarification on SNAP benefits requirements, check out the sections below for more information.
Delaware Income Requirements for SNAP Benefits
The first SNAP benefits requirement in Delaware is related to household income. To qualify for food stamps benefits, you cannot exceed specific income levels based on your household size. For example, a three-person household would have a higher income threshold to meet the requirements for SNAP benefits in Delaware than a one-person household. The SNAP benefits income requirements progressively increase based on the number of people residing in your home.
All sources of income must be factored into determining your eligibility for Delaware SNAP benefits. The following earned and unearned income sources should be considered when calculating your gross income:
- Social Security and unemployment benefits
- SSI and Housing Authority Energy Assistance
- Child support and alimony
- Salary and other wages
However, you may be able to qualify for SNAP benefits by deducting specific expenses from your gross income in order to fall within the allowable limit. Deductible expenses include rent, utilities, taxes, homeowner's insurance, alimony and medical and dependent care.
Remember one of the requirements for SNAP benefits stipulates that any income changes from initial enrollment in food assistance must be reported to your SNAP benefits worker as soon as you become aware. If you do not report income changes, you could be disqualified from receiving Delaware SNAP benefits. You can also lose your SNAP benefits eligibility and be prosecuted for fraud.
If your household meets the income requirements for expedited SNAP benefits, you could be eligible to receive food stamps benefits within seven days of filing your application. To learn more about specific Delaware SNAP income requirements, download our comprehensive guide.
Delaware Citizenship Requirements for SNAP Benefits
One of the other requirements for SNAP benefits in Delaware is that you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible alien. You will not qualify for Delaware SNAP benefits if you do not meet this citizenship standard. To certify that you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien, you will need to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status on your Delaware SNAP benefits application.
The DSS may work with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to validate non-U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens must provide relevant immigration information such as date of entry, immigration status and INS Form or Alien Registration Number.
Other SNAP Eligibility Requirements You Must Meet in Delaware
In addition to the SNAP eligibility requirements outlined above, you must comply with work requirements in order to be eligible for SNAP benefits in Delaware. For example, if you are between 18 and 49 years of age and are an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD), you will only receive SNAP benefits for three months of assistance in a 36-month period unless you meet additional work/training requirements.
One of the requirements for SNAP benefits is that you must be employed or participating in an eligible work/training program for at least 20 hours per week. If you do not adhere to this Delaware SNAP benefits requirement, you can lose your SNAP benefits eligibility.
Applicants Who Are Not Eligible for Delaware SNAP Benefits
SNAP benefits eligibility is not accessible to all residents of The Diamond State. You will not qualify for food stamps benefits if you have committed certain crimes or SNAP violations. Convicted felons and parole violators are typically ineligible to receive Delaware SNAP benefits for certain amounts of time, if not permanently. You will not be eligible for food stamps benefits in Delaware if you:
- Make false statements or withhold information
- Flee to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction of a crime
- Have been convicted of distributing or selling controlled substances under any federal or state law that is a felony
- Sell or trade SNAP benefits
There are strict penalties in place for any SNAP violations. For example, you will lose your SNAP benefits eligibility for one year for your first program violation. A second violation will result in a two-year ban from qualifying for SNAP benefits. A subsequent violation will results in a permanent ban.
Additionally, you will be ruled permanently ineligible from SNAP if you use SNAP benefits in the sale of controlled substances, firearms, ammunition or explosives. You or anyone in your household who breaks SNAP rules is also subject to a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to 20 years.
Find out how to submit an SNAP application successfully by reviewing our in-depth guide here.