Eligibility for Vermont Food Stamps
Food stamps requirements in Vermont are decided and enforced by the Department for Children and Families (DCF). In addition to VT food stamps eligibility, the DCF also distributes the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or 3SquaresVT, as the state refers to it. All applicants must meet the requirements for food stamps in order to obtain financial assistance for qualified food and groceries. To qualify for food stamps benefits in Vermont, applicants must meet several requirements related to income, citizenship, residency and even work. To read more details about how to qualify for food stamps in VT prior to filing an application, review the below topics.
Vermont Income Requirements for SNAP Benefits
The VT income requirements for food stamps are important for all applicants to consider, as the program focuses on distributing food assistance benefits to low-earning individuals and families. The first step in understanding financial eligibility for SNAP in VT is to review the current Federal Poverty Level. In Vermont, to qualify for food stamp assistance, applicants must earn at or below 185 percent of the FPL, according to household size. Income limits increase as household sizes grow. For instance, to qualify for VT SNAP as an individual household of one, applicants can earn less monthly income than families of four or five. Households that have disabled or elderly family members can earn more than 185 percent of the FPL and still qualify for Vermont SNAP, but resources will also be taken into account.
The food stamps requirements related to resources state that households can only have a certain amount of assets – with a cap enforced – in order to remain financially eligible for SNAP. Resources taken into account include vehicles, cash, bank account funds and stocks and bonds. SNAP eligibility in Vermont does not calculate the value of a home or certain retirement accounts when determining monetary qualifications for food stamp assistance.
In addition, to meet the requirements for Vermont SNAP, your household is allowed to deduct certain expenses. Deductions can assist in meeting the necessary FPL according to your household size. Currently, deductions for VT eligibility for food stamps include:
- A standard household size deduction
- A 20 percent earned income deduction
- Child care and independent care costs
- Court-ordered child support payments to others outside of the household
- A percentage of shelter costs
- Certain medical expenses for household members who are elderly or disabled
To learn more about the income-based food stamp assistance eligibility factors, download our free guide.
Vermont Citizenship Requirements for SNAP Benefits
Citizenship requirements related to eligibility for food stamps are also crucial in determining if you qualify for food stamp assistance in Vermont. If you want to meet the SNAP requirements in VT, you must be a certified U.S. citizen, which means providing documentation to back up your claim – such as a birth certificate or a valid passport. If you want to qualify for food stamp assistance as a noncitizen, you must submit immigration papers and any other related foreign documentation in order to meet the eligibility requirements for SNAP in VT. In addition, qualifications for food stamps mean proving you currently reside in the state. Vermont residency can be proven through official state-issued credentials, or via supplying certain mailed items that display your current residential address.
Additional requirements for food stamp benefits in Vermont mandate all applicants to submit their Social Security Numbers (SSNs). All household members looking to qualify for VT food stamps must share their SSNs with the DCF. Those who do not have SSNs issued in their names must submit applications to the Social Security Administration office, and then send in proof of the filing upon SNAP application in VT.
Other SNAP Eligibility Requirements You Must Meet in Vermont
How to qualify for food stamps in Vermont also means meeting work requirements if you are an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) that is between 18 and 50 years of age and is fit to work. ABAWDs are required to work at least 20 hours per week to meet the food stamps qualifications in VT, but the standard definition of 'work' is flexible and can include participation in state work programs. To those who want to remain eligible for Vermont food stamps, 3SquaresVT offers participation in Jobs for Independence as an alternative, along with initiatives offered through the VT Department of Labor. You can continue meeting the work requirements for SNAP benefits by enrolling in an eligible work training program or by partaking in 'work for benefits', which includes volunteering at a nonprofit organization. The following beneficiaries do not have to meet the ABAWD requirements for food stamp assistance:
- Physically or mentally unfit persons
- Unemployment beneficiaries or applicants
- Drug or alcohol treatment participants
- Those caring for incapacitated persons
- Pregnant women
- Those living with minors in the home
- Residents of certain exempt Vermont counties
Applicants Who Are Not Eligible for Vermont SNAP Benefits
If you are still unsure of whether you qualify for food stamps benefits in Vermont, you must also review the groups of applicants who cannot receive benefits, despite meeting all other qualifications. For instance, students who attend school halftime or more cannot be eligible for VT SNAP benefits, because educational institutions likely offer food assistance programs on their behalves. In addition, workers who are on strike cannot qualify for food stamp assistance in Vermont, unless they qualified the day before the strike was initiated. Felons who are running from the law will not meet SNAP requirements, nor will those who violate or have violated probation or parole terms. Those who have committed benefits fraud cannot qualify for food stamps in Vermont, and those caught selling benefits in exchange for guns, ammunition, explosives, drugs or money will be dismissed from the VT SNAP program. To learn more about the eligibility requirements for Vermont SNAP, download our guide.