Arizona Nutrition Assistance Eligibility

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Who is Eligible for Nutrition Assistance Benefits in Arizona?

Arizona Nutrition Assistance eligibility rules and benefit amounts, like in other States, are based on the household resources, income, household size, and are mainly determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.

The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the eligible, low‐income local population.

Arizona Nutrition Assistance eligibility rules and the entire Arizona Nutrition Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.

In general, to qualify for Arizona Nutrition Assistance Benefits you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Arizona Resident – must be U.S. Citizen or Eligible Legal Alien Resident;
  • Work Requirement – cooperation with Arizona DES Food Stamp Employment and Training Program, (unless exempted, each household member must work or be registered to work);
  • Low-Income Test –  Income limits eligibility depends on household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits, etc. See the table with Arizona food stamp income limits per household size below.

Arizona Nutrition Assistance Eligibility allows for a special categorical rule. Some Arizona residents may be automatically or so-called categorically eligible for Nutrition Assistance if they already participate in other means-tested assistance programs. Getting benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for Food Assistance categorically eligible, thus bypassing the income eligibility and asset eligibility rules. Under the federal SNAP regulations, States do have to assign a gross income limit of 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) or less in order to use any TANF-funded benefit that can make Food Assistance applicants eligible. In Arizona, to qualify automatically under Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility, all household must have a referral on their application, no asset test is required, and gross income limit for households without an elderly or disabled member is 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

If you are in Arizona, need food assistance, and currently are receiving help from programs funded by federal grants, like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or services such as Cash Assistance or child care, you may be automatically eligible for Arizona Nutrition Assistance benefits and the Department of Economic Security encourages you to apply.

Quick Eligibility Check – Arizona Nutrition Benefits

Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you might be eligible to get Arizona Nutrition Assistance Benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows interested in getting Arizona food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits. Although you will be notified if you qualify after completing the questionnaire, you still have to make an application at your Arizona local DES office. Even you are unsure whether you qualify you should still apply.

Nutrition Assistance Program | Apply | Approval | Benefits

Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA

To figure out, before applying,  if you'd qualify for food stamps benefits in your state you have to consider the following:

  1. Your Household size: How many people you live and buy food with? Count:
    • anyone you live with and buy and make food with
    • children under 22 years old and,
    • elderly 60+ and disabled that you make food for.
  2. Your Income: How much money does your household make? This includes both:
    • earned income - the money you make from jobs and
    • unearned income  - cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, child support, etc.

Who counts as a member of the household for SNAP eligibility?

In general, anyone who lives with you and you buy food with counts a member of your household.

Your children under 22 of age count as household members, even if they buy and make their own food.

But your tenant, for example, or your adult children that are over 22 of age do not count. They are not counted in the household number for the purpose of food stamp benefits qualification.

The elderly age of 60+ and disabled people count as household members if you buy and make food for them, or you buy and make food together. If they live with you, but they buy and make food separately, they do not count as household members.

See the updated table below for this fiscal year's income limits and monthly benefits (allotments).

What is the gross and net income limit that qualifies you for food stamps?

SNAP Max Income for Food Stamps
Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020 

Gross Monthly
Income Limits
(130% of poverty)
Net Monthly
Income Limits
(100% of poverty)
Max Food
Benefit Monthly
Each additional member+$479+$369+$146

 Source:  USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards

Recipients in 2018 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in Arizona

Recipients in 2017 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in Arizona

Arizona Food Assistance Benefits

Find more on what kind of food you can buy using your Arizona Nutrition Assistance benefits…

Food Assistance Program | Eligibility | Apply | Approval | Benefits