Adults and Snap Benefits: Busting 6 Myths

MCOA ASSEMBLED THIS FACT SHEET USING MATERIALS FROM THE MASS LAW REFORM INSTITUTE, THE FOOD BANK OF WESTERN MA, DTA, AND THE NO. ATTLEBORO COA

MYTH #1

SNAP is only for families with children.

FACT

SNAP is for everyone who qualifies including seniors. The basic SNAP eligibility rules for adults are simple:

ASSETS:  There is no asset test for most adult households.

INCOME:  Gross monthly income must be below $1,980 for a single adult and below $2,670/month for 2 people (below 200% of FPL). Then, a person must meet certain Net Income rules, after deductions for shelter, medical costs, adult or child dependent care, and child support payments.

AGE or DISABILITY:  Be an elder age 60 and above, or, be a person receiving a disability based benefits such as SSI or SSDI, EAEDC, or be enrolled in MassHealth as a disabled person.

MYTH #2

A person only gets $16/month so it’s not worth applying.

FACT

The average monthly benefit for SNAP for a senior living alone is $119/month.

If you are over 60 years old or disabled, SNAP rules give you the right to claim many medical expenses and lower your countable income. Verified unreimbursed medical costs over $35 will be deducted from your income so you may get more SNAP benefits! If your regular medical costs are between $35.01 and $190/month, you may get a “standard medical deduction” that could add up to $30/month more to your SNAP benefit. If your medical expenses are over $190/month (insurance premiums, medical deductibles, transportation costs for medical appointments, out of pocket copayments, and others too) then you may get an even higher increase in your monthly SNAP benefit.  Ask DTA about how to claim your medical expenses.

MYTH #3

Other people need SNAP more than I do.

FACT

If you apply, you are not taking benefits away from others. Everyone in need who is eligible for SNAP will get help.

MYTH #4

No stores near me accept SNAP for payment.

FACT

All across the country, over 250,000 grocery stores, small local markets, and farmers markets accept SNAP payment.  The COA can quickly print a list of stores in your town and neighboring area from www.benefitscheckup.org/mcoa via the SNAP Map and Fact Sheet.

MYTH #5

It’s hard to apply for SNAP in Massachusetts.

FACT

The application is short and easy to complete. You can apply via mail, online, or in person, whatever suits you. A phone interview follows; you don’t have to travel to a DTA office to apply.  And, your COA staff or housing development staff can help prepare the application with you.

MYTH #6

I can’t use SNAP because I cannot get to the store myself

FACT

You can appoint a trusted friend or relative to get a second SNAP Card (called an EBT Card) to use at the store when they shop for you.

SEVERAL SNAP BENEFIT CALCULATORS

Project Bread:  www.gettingfoodstamps.org  Hotline: 800-445-8333 (TTY 800-372-1292)

DTA’s SNAP Calculator:  www.mass.gov/snap

Mass Legal Services:   http://www.masslegalservices.org/SNAPCalculator

 

For more information on how to get SNAP benefits, call DTA at 1-877-382-2363

Based on 2016 data

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138