If you are struggling to meet your basic needs for food and nutrition, there is help for you. Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (PHOTO) provides food aid to eligible low-income families. If you want to know if you qualify for food stamp benefits in Pennsylvania, this article will provide Pennsylvania Food Stamp eligibility guidelines for the 2022 tax year.
This article will cover:
- Pennsylvania Food Stamp Eligibility Requirements
- The gross and net income limit for the PA meal stamp
- How to calculate gross and net income for food stamps
- How much can you get in PA Food Stamps
- Pennsylvania SNAP job requirements
- How to Apply for Pennsylvania Food Stamps
food stamps in pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income families struggling to meet their nutritional needs. PA food stamps are intended to supplement other household incomes and can only be used to purchase food. If you meet the program's eligibility guidelines, you will receive a special payment card called an EBT card.The PA EBT card is loaded monthly with the money your family qualifies for. You can use your PA EBT ACCESS card to buy food in supermarkets and other approved stores.
The amount of food stamps a family gets depends on three things:
- Household income from all sources (earned and unearned), such as money you receive from a job, Social Security, SSI, or interest
- How many people live in your house
- Where do you live
If you wantapply for pennsylvania food stamps, you need to make sure you qualify and are qualified. There are strict eligibility requirements that you must follow to apply for food assistance. In this article, we will discuss Pennsylvania food stamp eligibility guidelines.
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Eligibility Guidelines
To qualify for the Pennsylvania food stamp program, you must meeteligibility requirementsestablished by the USDA.
To apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you must first meet certain criteria.
Am I eligible for Pennsylvania Food Stamps?
To qualify for Pennsylvania food stamp and EBT card benefits, you must:
- Being a US citizen or legal non-citizen
- Lives in the state of Pennsylvania
- Know the SNAP income limit
In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, your family must also meetthree tests of income and means.
Income is the most important requirement when it comes to qualifying for Pennsylvania food stamps.
The three tests include your family's monthly gross income, net income and assets.
gross monthly income— is your total household income before any deductions. This includes money earned from work and other assistance such as unemployment, social security and child support.
floating result— is your family's total income after all allowable deductions.
Active— is the total resources in your household considered available for buying food, such as bank accounts and cash.
To learn more about each of the three SNAP eligibility tests, including how to calculate them for your family, continue reading below.
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Requirements for 2022
To help determine if you are eligible for Food Stamps in Pennsylvania, we have detailed each of the three SNAP eligibility tests below.
Test 1 - Gross income test
The first test you need to take is the monthly gross income test. This is a family's income before any allowable deductions apply.
The USDA requires household income to be at or below 130% of the poverty line.
In the financial year 2022poverty linevalue for an individual is $1,073. So for food stamp application, 130% of that level is $1,396. Therefore, a person applying for food stamps must have a gross monthly income of $1,396 or less to qualify.
For a family of three, the poverty line is $1,830 a month. So 130% of that is $2,379 a month, or about $28,550 a year. The poverty level is higher for larger families and lower for smaller families.
How to calculate gross profit
Use the example below to help you calculate your family's monthly gross income.
|How to calculate gross income for food stamps|
|Gross income calculation:||Example:|
|Determine the size of the family. . .||4 people without elderly or disabled members.|
|Add monthly gross income. . .||$1,500 income + $550 Social Security = $2,050 gross income.|
|If the monthly gross income is less than the family size threshold, the net income must be determined.||$2050 is less than the $2871 allowed for a family of 4, so determine the net income.|
PA SNAP gross income limit for 2022
After calculating your family's gross income, use the table below to determine if your family meets the income threshold for Pennsylvania food stamp benefits.
|Pennsylvania SNAP income eligibility standards for the 2022 tax year|
|Valid from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022|
|family size||Monthly Gross Income (130% of the Federal Poverty Level)|
|Each additional family member:||+$492|
Test 2 - Net income test
Net income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line for your family size.
To find out how to calculate your net income with allowable deductions, continue reading below.
PA food stamp deductions allowed
Some deductions may be made from the gross income to arrive at the net income figure.
to followdeductions are allowedfor all families, depending on living situation and expenses:
- Deduction of 20% of earned income to account for work-related expenses and payroll taxes.
- A standard deduction based on family size (see below) to cover basic unavoidable costs.
- Dependent allowance for out-of-pocket childcare or when it is necessary for work, training or education.
- Child support deduction for any statutory child support paid by a family member.
- Deduction for medical expenses for elderly or disabled family members who have incurred medical expenses of more than $35 per month.
- Homeless shelter deduction of $159.73.
- Deductible for shelter deductions for families with a shelter expense that exceeds half of the family's income. This deduction is unlimited for families with an elderly or disabled member. For all other households, however, this deduction is limited to $597 per month.
After deducting all eligible deductions from your household's gross income, this will give you your monthly net income.
Standard SNAP deduction
The standard deduction for food stamps varies based on your family size and location. Use the table below to find the standard deduction amount for your household.
|Standard SNAP deduction for tax year 2022|
|Valid from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022|
|family size||Standard deduction|
|48 states and D.C.||Alaska||Guam||hawaii||Virgin Islands|
How to calculate net income
Use the example below to help you calculate your family's monthly net income based on a family of 4 with a gross income of $2,050.
|How to Calculate SNAP Net Income|
|Calculation of net income:||Example for a family of 4:|
|Deduct 20% of the deduction from earned income...||$2,050 of gross income|
$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750
|Subtract the standard deduction from...||$1,750 - $184 standard deduction for a family of 4 = $1,566|
|Subtract the care deduction from...||$1,569 – $362 dependent care = $1,204|
|Subtract the child support deduction from...||$0|
|Deduct medical expenses over $35 for seniors and disabled...||$0|
|Deductible for shelter...||look downstairs|
|Determine half of the adjusted income...||$1,204 adjusted income/2 = $602|
|Determine if the cost of shelter is more than half of the adjusted income...||$700 total shelter – $602 (half income) = $98 in excess shelter costs|
|Subtract the excess, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income...||$1,204 – $98 = $1,106 of monthly net income|
|Apply the net income test...||Since $1,106 is less than the $2,209 allowance for a family of 4, this family has met the income test.|
What counts as income?
For your SNAP application, money from all sources will count toward your income limit, including:
- Labor income (before payroll tax)
- Unearned income, such as welfare, social security, unemployment insurance, and child support, count toward your income for food stamp purposes.
SNAP net income limit for 2022
Once you've calculated your household's net income, use the chart below to determine if your household qualifiesPA food stamp income limitfor 2022.
|SNAP income eligibility standards for the 2022 tax year|
|Valid from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022|
|family size||Monthly Net Income (100% of Federal Poverty Level)|
|Each additional family member:||+$379|
For more information on Pennsylvania Food Stamp income requirements, check out the full article on Pennsylvania SNAP Income Limits for 2022.
Test 3 - Asset Test
The final test to determine whether you are eligible for food stamp benefits is the asset test. This test determines whether your family's total assets fall below the acceptable limit.
Families with an elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled member must have assets orcountable resourcesof $3,750 or less.
FamiliesWhich onean elderly or disabled member, must have assets of $2,500 or less.
What counts as an asset?
For your application, resources that may be available to the family to buy food are factored into your asset limit.
- bank accounts
- Real estate other than your home
- Income you earn from assets (such as interest earned on savings and dividends you receive).
What does not count as an asset?
Certain items do not count as an asset. Usually these are resources that are not available, such as the family home, personal assets and retirement savings*.
*Please note that withdrawals from these accounts may count as income or resources depending on how often they occur.
Also, most cars don't count as an asset. However, there are special rules regarding vehicles. To learn more about this, continue reading below.
Do vehicles count as an asset for food stamp purposes?
While most vehicles do not count toward your food stamp resource limit, it varies depending on the state in which you live.
In Pennsylvania, the state is responsible for determining how vehicles count toward the household resource limit.
Licensed vehicles areNOare counted if they are:
- Used for income generating purposes (eg taxi, truck or delivery vehicle)
- Annually produces income in accordance with its fair market value
- Required for long-distance commuters to work (other than commuting)
- used as a house
- Required to transport a family member with a physical disability
- Necessary to carry most of the house's fuel or water
- If the vehicle sells for less than $1,500.
For non-excluded licensed vehicles with a fair market value over $4,650, they will count as an asset.
In addition, licensed vehicles are also subject to an equity test, which is fair market value minus any amount owed on the vehicle.
The following vehicles are excluded from the fairness test:
- One vehicle per adult family member.
- Any other vehicle used by a family member under the age of 18 to drive to work, school, job training or seeking employment.
- For vehicles with a fair market value greater than $4,650 and book value, the greater of the two values is counted as an asset.
Additionally, the equity value of unlicensed vehicles generally counts as an asset, with some exceptions.
Who is not eligible for food stamps in Pennsylvania?
Some Pennsylvania families may not be eligible for SNAP benefits regardless of their income or assets. These people include:
- All unauthorized immigrants
- Students attending college more than part-time
- lawfully present immigrants
- individuals on strike
Unemployed adults without children in the home who do not have disabilities are limited to three months of SNAP benefits every three years in many areas of the country, and states have broad authority to extend work requirements to many other SNAP households.
For more information on this, see the PA Food Stamp job requirements below.
PA food brand job requirements
If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) - meaning you are someone aged 18-49 who does not live with a child under 18 and is able to work - then you mustmeet the job requirementsto continue receiving food stamps.
Othe state of the rulesthat ABAWDs can only receive food stamp benefits for 3 months out of 3 years unless they meet certain special job requirements or are discharged.
There is, howeverexceptionsto a limit of 3 months. If you are an ABAWD, you may be exempt from the work time limitation requirements if:
- Work an average of at least 20 hours per week each month on unsupported
- Participate 20 hours per week in an approved employment and training program; or
- Engage in community service by volunteering with a non-profit organization.
You may be exempt from meeting job requirements if you meet one of the following
- Is physically or mentally unable to work 20 hours per week.
- Receive pension, survivorship and disability insurance due to disability or blindness, or receive supplemental retirement income or government disability assistance.
- Receive or apply for daily allowance.
- Participate in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation and treatment program.
- Attend education or college at least part-time and meet the student food assistance eligibility criteria.
- Caring for a disabled person or a child under 6 years of age.
- They are pregnant.
- You are a victim of domestic violence.
- Living at home with a child under 18 years of age.
To learn more about Pennsylvania food stamp job requirements, check outUSDA jobkrav sideFor mere information.
How Much Will I Get in Pennsylvania Food Stamps?
The amount of Pennsylvania food stamp benefits you will receive depends on your income and the size of your family.
The table below shows the maximum amount you can receive depending on the number of people in your household.
|Maximum Pennsylvania SNAP benefit amounts by family size for 2022|
|Valid from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022|
|Family size:||Maximum SNAP Benefit Award:|
|Each additional family member:||+$188|
To find out exactly how much you can expect to receive in Pennsylvania food stamps each month, check out ourPA food stamp calculator.
Apply for Pennsylvania Food Stamps and EBT Card benefits
There are three ways to apply for food stamps in Pennsylvania - online, in person, and by mail or fax.
For help submitting your Pennsylvania SNAP application, please follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Application Guide
Here are the three ways you can apply for Pennsylvania food stamps:
Option 1: Online – PA KOMPAS
The first option is to apply online using the PA My Compass online portal. You can access the Pennsylvania Compass online portal atwww.compass.state.pa.us.
If this is your first time using MyCompass PA, you must first create an online account.
For step-by-step instructions, read our article onhow to create a MyCompass PA online account.
Setting up a My Compass PA online account is quick, easy and should only take a few minutes.
After you create your account, you can apply for PA food stamps online by submitting your SNAP form.
Option 2: In person at the PA DHS Center
You can also apply for benefits in person at your local county Department of Human Services (DHS) office. Click here for a complete listPA DHS office locations.
Option 3: Mail or fax
The final option is to download a printed SNAP PA application and mail or fax it.
To complete a paper-based PA SNAP application, click here todownload pennsylvania food stamp app.
Once completed, mail the form to your county's Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
For the mailing address of the PA DHS office near you, use ourPennsylvania SNAP Office Location Finder.
Additionally, you can hand deliver your completed PA SNAP application to your local DHS office or faxthis here.
To find the correct fax number for the county assistance office,click here.
Food label guides by county:
- Allegheny County SNAP-guide
- Delaware County SNAP Guide
- Montgomery County SNAP-guide
- Philadelphias SNAP-guide
Documents Required to Apply for PA Food Stamps
In order to submit your PA SNAP application, it is important to gather all the documents required to apply for food stamps in Pennsylvania.
Here is a list of information and documentation you will need to apply for Pennsylvania Food Stamps:
- Confirmation of citizenship (CPR number)
- Government-issued identification to prove identity, date of birth and state residence
- Proof of income (W-2 or pay stubs)
- Proof of expenses (electricity bills, etc.)
- Disability approval letter (if applicable)
- Alien or citizenship documentation
To prove citizenship, you must submit one of the following documents:
- Birth certificate
- military service records
- American passport
- Permanent resident card/Green card
After applying for PA Food Stamps
After you apply for Pennsylvania food stamps, you must complete an interview with a representative at your local county PA DHS office.
Your interview can take place over the phone or face to face. You will receive a letter in the mail with more information about the food stamp interview.
If you are elderly or physically unable to travel to a personal interview, you can apply for a waiver, which is granted on a case-by-case basis on a strict basis.
If your waiver request is granted, the face-to-face conversation will be replaced by a telephone conversation.
During the interview, you will be asked to confirm your income and expenses.
How long will it take to receive Pennsylvania Food Stamp benefits?
If your Pennsylvania SNAP application is approved, you will begin receiving benefits within 30 days of the application submission date.
Additionally, once you are approved for Pennsylvania food stamp benefits, you will receive a PA EBT ACCESS card in the mail. An EBT card, also known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, is similar to a bank debit card.
Your Pennsylvania EBT card will be used to access your monthly food stamp benefits at supermarkets and online retailers.To learn more about the Pennsylvania EBT card, check out ourPA EBT FAQ-sideher.
How long can I stay on PA Food Stamps?
There is no limit to how long you can get food stamps if you have children/dependents living in your household, or if you are under 18 or over 50.
Food you can buy with EBT in Pennsylvania
- bread and cereal
- Fruit and vegetables
- Meat, fish and poultry
- dairy products
- Seeds and plants to grow and produce food for the household to eat
What you CANNOT buy with the Pennsylvania EBT
- Beer, wine, spirits, cigarettes or tobacco
- Pet food, soap, paper products or household items
- Vitamins and other medicines
- Food that will be consumed in the store
- hot food
It is very important that you only buy foods that are allowed under the Food Stamp Program. Engaging in illegal use of the EBT card may result in you losing your benefits.
Also, once your benefits are revoked, you will never again be able to participate in the program or qualify for food stamps.
Food Assistance in Pennsylvania
If you are in a life-threatening situation and need immediate help with food, assistance is available for you. The Emergency Food Assistance Programprovides Pennsylvanians with immediate access to nutritious meals.
Immediate help is available at participating Pennsylvania food banks, food pantries, community kitchens and other dining establishments.
To learn more and find out how to get help now,find a local Pennsylvania food bank near you.
PA Food Stamps Help - Customer Service Phone Number
Contact your local County Assistance Office (PA DHS) for more help with your Pennsylvania food stamp eligibility or application.
You can also call the SNAP Pennsylvania Customer Service Center at1-877-395-8930.
If you're in Philadelphia, call1-215-560-7226.
Customer service representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If you are hard of hearing or deaf, contact TDD Services by calling PA Relay Services at 711.
pennsylvanienQuestions about eligibility for food stamps
We hope this article on 2022 Pennsylvania food stamp eligibility requirements was helpful to you!
If you have any other questions about qualifying for food stamp benefits in Pennsylvania or submitting your SNAP application, let us know in the comments section below. We are happy to help answer any additional questions you may have.
In the meantime, check out our other articles on Pennsylvania food stamps:
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Income Limit for 2022
PA Meal Stamp Calculator (2022 Guide)
PA EBT card balance and login
2022 Pennsylvania EBT Payment Schedule
Increase in Pennsylvania food stamps in 2022
Pennsylvania Food Stamp FAQ
What is the income limit for food stamps in Pennsylvania? ›
|Household Size||Maximum Gross Monthly Income for All Households||Monthly Benefit Amount|
|1||$2,266||$23 – $281|
|2||$3,052||$23 – $516|
|3||$3,840||up to $740|
|4||$4,626||up to $939|
Your net income is your gross income minus any allowable deductions. And assets are "countable resources" like cash, money in a bank account, and certain vehicles. For fiscal year 2023 (Oct. 1, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023), a two-member household with a net monthly income of $1,526 (100% of poverty) might qualify for SNAP.What documents are required for SNAP benefits in PA? ›
pay stubs for the last 30 days, unemployment letter, court order [or letter from Family Court] verifying amount of child support, income tax return for self-employed persons only, social security, disability, pension). Proof of child care expenses.Can you get food stamps in PA without a job? ›
If the work requirements apply to you, you must be working or in a training program for at least 20 hours a week. If you do not have a paying job, you can do workfare or community service. If you do not meet these requirements, you can only get food stamps for three months every three years.