If you are a resident of Arizona (United States) and in need of assistance to afford nutritious food, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows individuals and families facing financial hardships to get some financial support with monthly payments. This is a nationwide program, which means that any American or legal resident in the need, no matter the state they live in, will be supported.
The SNAP program aims to alleviate hunger and improve nutrition by providing eligible individuals with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. This card can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers, including grocery stores and supermarkets. You can purchase fresh or packed food, and even buy supplies to grow your own food at home.
How do I know if I am eligible for SNAP benefits in Arizona?
To determine your eligibility, you will need to provide information such as your household size, income, and assets. Your household includes all the people you live and buy/make food with. Children under 22 always count as household members, while elderly (60+) and disabled people count if you buy/make food for them or buy/make food together. Make sure to have accurate and up-to-date information on hand to complete the application process.
How to apply for SNAP benefits in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) determines eligibility based on factors such as income, household size, and citizenship status. First, there’s the income criteria: Your household’s gross monthly income must fall within the income limits set by the program. The income limits consider both earned and unearned income sources.
Then, the SNAP system will take a look at your household’s size: The more people in your household, the higher the income limit allowed. Afterward, they will check your citizenship status. SNAP benefits are generally available to U.S. citizens, certain lawfully admitted non-citizens, and refugees. Eligible non-citizens must meet specific criteria to qualify.
When required, you must provide the next documentation: personal identification (e.g., driver’s license, ID card), Social Security numbers for all household members, proof of residency (e.g., utility bills, rental agreement), proof of income (e.g., pay stubs, tax returns), and expense information (e.g., rent, utility bills).
When you fill your application, they officials will call you for an interview. Be prepared to provide accurate and honest answers to ensure a smooth process. The interviewer will assess your eligibility based on the information provided.
If you have any doubts, or want to star with the application process, you better visit the official webpage for the SNAP benefits in Arizona, here. On June 19, 2023, DES announced a new process for replacing benefits due to electronic benefit theft for SNAP and TANF Cash Assistance Participants. This new process helps individuals and families affected by a nationwide trend of card skimming, card cloning and phishing scams that have impacted EBT cardholders. Find out more here about replacing stolen EBT Benefits.
Online stores that accept SNAP benefits’ EBT cards in Arizona
The following authorized SNAP retailers accept EBT payment for online transactions:
- AJ’s Fine Foods
- Bee’s Marketplace
- Cardenas Market
- Eddie’s Country Store
- Food City
- Fry’s Foods
- Los Altos Ranch Markets
- Norm’s IGA (Kearny)
- Sam’s Club
- Smith’s Food and Drug
- Whole Foods Market
What if my income changes after I receive SNAP benefits?
If your income changes after you receive SNAP benefits, it can affect the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive.
- SNAP eligibility and benefit amounts are determined based on several factors, including income. All income, both earned and unearned, is included when determining SNAP eligibility and benefit amounts, unless explicitly excluded by statute. Social Security payments are not excluded under the law, so they are counted as income
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to Social Security benefits each year to keep up with inflation. When Social Security or any household income increases, SNAP benefits may decrease. However, the decrease in SNAP benefits is generally less than the increase in Social Security benefits, resulting in a net gain for SNAP recipients.
- The COLA adjustments for SNAP benefits take effect at the start of each fiscal year for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which is in October. The impact of the COLA on SNAP benefit amounts varies by state and can occur as early as January or as late as March, depending on when states end emergency allotments.
- It is important to report any changes in income promptly to your local SNAP office. Failure to report changes may result in overpayment of SNAP benefits, and you may be required to repay the overpaid amount.
- Reporting changes in income and other relevant information to your local SNAP office is typically required within 10 days of the change.
Examples of changes that should be reported include:
Changes in the amount of income your household has, if the change is more than a certain threshold (e.g., $125 per month)
Changes in the source of income, such as starting or stopping a job
Changes in household composition, such as having a baby or a child moving in or out
Changes in your living situation, including address and rent/mortgage costs
Changes in legally obligated child support payments
Changes in assets, such as cash, stocks, bonds, or money in the bank, if the total amount exceeds certain limits
Changes in work hours for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)
Each state may have specific reporting requirements and timelines, so it’s important to check with your local SNAP office for the specific rules that apply to your situation.