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How to apply for food stamps (SNAP benefits) and check your balance

Known previously as "food stamps," the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you pay for food if you have a low income.

Learn if you are eligible for SNAP and how to apply

Each month, SNAP benefits are added to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to use when you shop for food.

To be eligible for SNAP benefits, you must meet your state’s requirements, including income limits. States can also take other resources into account, like the money you have in your bank, to decide if you qualify for SNAP.

To apply for SNAP, contact your state or local SNAP office. Depending on your state, you may be able to apply online, in person, by mail, or by fax. You may need to be interviewed before being approved for SNAP benefits.

Find your state SNAP office

Check your SNAP balance

Every state issues SNAP benefits on an EBT card. To check how much money is left on your EBT card:

  • Check your receipt from the store where you made a purchase using your SNAP benefits. Many stores will print your balance on your receipts.
  • Find out if your state offers a mobile app you can use to manage your benefits. Many allow you to check your balance.
  • Contact your state’s SNAP office.

LAST UPDATED: December 7, 2023


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