Food Stamps Income Limit for 2021-2022

(Last Updated On: October 8, 2021)
To be eligible for EBT food stamps (SNAP Benefits), you have to meet the food stamps income limit. The income test is the most important criteria. In this post, we will provide the SNAP income limit requirements for 2021-2022. In addition, we will walk you through how you can calculate the gross income and net income amounts for your household.

This article, we will cover:

  • SNAP Eligibility Requirements
  • Food Stamps Income Limit for 2021-2022
  • How to Calculate Household Gross and Net Income
  • Allowable Deductions and Resource Limit for SNAP
  • How to much you will receive in Food Stamp benefits
  • Exemptions to the SNAP EBT Income Limit

To find out if your income qualifies for food stamp benefits and to see if you are eligible for SNAP, continue reading below.

"Food Stamps Income Limit"

SNAP Eligibility Requirements

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is responsible for providing households with monthly benefits that can be used to purchase nutritious food items.

You may be eligible to receive food assistance benefits if you are:

  • Living on a small or fixed income
  • Employed but have a low income
  • Unemployed and looking for a new job
  • Retired or disabled and unable to work

To be eligible for food stamp benefits, you must meet a series of eligibility requirements.

You must be a:

  • U.S. Citizen or lawfully admitted non-citizen
  • Resident of the state where you are applying for benefits
  • Household Income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line

Documents Needed to Apply for SNAP Benefits

Your eligibility for food assistance is determined during the SNAP application process. During that process, you will be asked to provide a documentation that verifies your identity, residency, income and expenses.

You may be asked to provide the following verification documentation:

  • Driver’s License or Government-issued ID
  • Mortgage or Lease Documentation
  • Current W-2 or Paystub
  • Home Utility or Heating Bill
  • Proof of Disability (if Applicable)
  • Proof of Alien or Citizenship Status*

*If you are an alien or non-citizen, find out what you need to do to apply for food stamps here.

To learn more about the Eligibility Requirements for Food Stamp benefits, read our SNAP Eligibility article here.

Food Stamps Income Limit 2021-2022

The biggest factor when determining if you are eligible for food stamp benefits is your household income. Each year, the USDA is responsible for setting the Income Eligibility Standards for SNAP. These standards are then used to perform an income test on all households that apply for food stamp benefits.

The income test is required for all households, unless your household is already receiving cash assistance benefits from the federal government or your state.

In addition, all households must meet both the gross and net income limits. With the exception of households with an elderly or disabled member. These households only have to meet the net income limit.

The Food Stamps Income Limit for 2021-2022 is based on your household’s total income and size. To see if your household’s income meets the fiscal year 2022 SNAP Eligibility Requirements, use the chart below:

SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Monthly Net Income (100% of FPL) Monthly Gross Income (130% of FPL)
1 $1,074 $1,396
2 $1,452 $1,888
3 $1,830 $2,379
4 $2,209 $2,871
5 $2,587 $3,363
6 $2,965 $3,855
7 $3,344 $4,347
8 $3,722 $4,838
Each Additional Household Member: +$379 +$492

NOTE: Food stamps gross and net income limits are higher for Alaska and Hawaii residents.

To determine if your household meets the food stamps income limit, you will need to calculate your gross and net income. For help calculating your household’s monthly gross and net income, continue reading below.

How to Calculate Household Gross and Net Income

If you are applying for food stamps, the first step is to determine if your income qualifies for benefits. To do this, you must calculate the gross and net income for your household.

For instructions on how to calculate your monthly gross income, follow the steps below.

Gross Income for SNAP Benefits

The gross income for your household is the total income earned before taxes have been taken out. To calculate your gross household income, follow these steps:

1.) Determine your Household Size

First, determine your total household size. Your household includes any person that lives with you whom you purchase and prepare food with. This includes any elderly or disabled household members.

2.) Determine your Monthly Earned Income

Earned income is any countable income you have earned within a given one-month period before taxes. For the food stamps income limit, earned income includes any of the following:

  • Wages or salaries earned from a job
  • Earnings from self-employment (after allowable business expenses)
  • Income made from renters, roommates, or boarders (after operational costs)
  • Any income from rental property (minus business expenses)
  • Social Security payments
  • Child Support payments

3.) Calculate your Gross Monthly Income

Once you have gathered all your sources of earned income for your household, add them all together. This will give you your monthly gross income.

4.) Determine if your Gross Monthly Income is Eligible

Now that you have your gross income, you can see if your income is eligible for food stamp benefits. Use the chart below to determine if your gross income meets the limit.

To be eligible, your gross income must be at or below the number listed for your household size.

SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size
Monthly Gross Income (130% of Federal Poverty Level)
1 $1,396
2 $1,888
3 $2,379
4 $2,871
5 $3,363
6 $3,855
7 $4,347
8 $4,838
Each Additional Household Member: +$492

For help calculating your net household income, continue reading below.If you believe your gross income is eligible for SNAP benefits, the next thing you want to do is calculate your household’s total net income.

Net Income for SNAP Benefits

Net income for the food stamps income limit is your household’s gross income minus any allowable expenses. To find out what allowable expenses your household can deduct, use the list provided below.

SNAP Allowable Expenses & Deductions for 2021-2022

To calculate your net monthly income, you are asked to subtract approved household expenses from your gross income.

The expenses that can be deducted from your gross income include:

  • 20% deduction from Earned Income
  • Standard deduction of $177 for households with 1 to 3 people and $184 for households with 4 or more people (see chart below)
  • Dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education
  • A deduction for elderly or disabled members medical expenses that exceed $35 a month (if not paid by insurance or someone else)
  • Any legally owed child support payments can be deducted
  • Homeless Household’s shelter costs deduction of $159.73.
  • A deduction for excess shelter costs that exceed more than half of the household’s income (after the other deductions listed above & cannot exceed $597 unless a household member is elderly or disabled).

SNAP EBT Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022

When determining your eligibility for SNAP EBT benefits, you will be required to calculate your household’s net income. Part of that process includes a standard deduction. The standard deduction amount is based on two factors – your household size and location.

To find out how much your standard deduction will be, use the SNAP Standard Deduction Chart for fiscal year 2022 provided below:

SNAP Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Standard Deduction
48 States & D.C. Alaska Guam Hawaii Virgin Islands
1-2 $177 $303 $356 $250 $156
3 $177 $303 $356 $250 $156
4 $184 $303 $367 $250 $184
5 $215 $303 $430 $250 $215
6+ $246 $308 $493 $283 $246

How to Calculate Net Income

Now that you know what deductions you qualify for, let’s calculate your household’s net income.

To calculate your net income, follow these steps:

1.) Subtract any Allowable Expenses

The first thing you want to do is subtract all of the allowable expenses from the list above that your household qualifies for. You will subtract those (in order) from your total gross income. This will give you the total net income for your household.

For help. check out the example below:

Net Income Calculation Example for a 4-person household
Subtract 20% earned income deduction… $2,050 gross income
$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750
Subtract standard deduction… $1,750 – $184 standard deduction for a 4-person household = $1,566
Subtract dependent care deduction… $0
Subtract child support deduction… $0
Subtract medical costs over $35 for elderly and disabled… $1,566 – $300 excess medical costs = $1,266
Excess shelter deduction… See below
Determine half of adjusted income… $1,266 adjusted income/2 = $633
Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income… $700 total shelter – $633 (half of income) = $67 excess shelter cost
Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income… $1,266 – $67 = $1,199 net monthly income
Apply the net income test… Since $1,199 is less than $2,209 allowed for 4-person household, this household has met the income test.

Step 2 – Determine if your Net Monthly Income is Eligible

Once you have subtracted all your allowable expenses and have your net income, you can now determine if you are eligible for food stamp benefits.

Use the chart below to determine your eligibility for SNAP benefits. Your net income must be at or below the number listed for your household size.

SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Monthly Net Income (100% of Federal Poverty Level)
1 $1,074
2 $1,452
3 $1,830
4 $2,209
5 $2,587
6 $2,965
7 $3,344
8 $3,722
Each Additional Household Member: +$379

If your household meets both gross and net income limits, you may be eligible for food stamp benefits. To find out how many assets and how much cash you can have and still qualify for benefits, continue reading below.

Food Stamps Resources Limit

Households may have $2,250 in countable resources (such as cash or money in a bank account) or $3,500 in countable resources if at least one member of the household is age 60 or older, or is disabled.

However, certain resources are NOT counted when determining eligibility for SNAP:

  • A home and lot;
  • Resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Resources of people who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF; also known as welfare); and
  • Most retirement and pension plans (withdrawals from these accounts may count as either income or resources depending on how often they occur).

Vehicles

Vehicles count as a resource for SNAP purposes. States determine how vehicles may count toward household resources.

Licensed vehicles are NOT counted if they are:

  • Used for income-producing purposes (e.g., taxi, truck or delivery vehicle);
  • Annually producing income consistent with their fair market value;
  • Needed for long distance travel for work (other than daily commute);
  • Used as the home;
  • Needed to transport a physically disabled household member;
  • Needed to carry most of the household’s fuel or water; or
  • If the sale of the vehicle would result in less than $1500.

For non-excluded licensed vehicles, the fair market value over $4,650 counts as a resource.

Licensed vehicles are also subject to an equity test, which is the fair market value less any amount owed on the vehicle.  The following vehicles are excluded from the equity test:

  • One vehicle per adult household member; and
  • Any other vehicle used by a household member under 18 to drive to work, school, job training, or to look for work.

For vehicles with both a fair market value over $4,650 and an equity value, the greater of the two amounts is counted as a resource.

Additionally, the equity value of unlicensed vehicles generally counts as a resource, with some exceptions.

If you meet the requirements listed above and would like to know how much you can expect to receive in food stamp benefits, continue reading below.

Food Stamps Calculator

Now that you know the food stamps income limit, let’s find out how much you can expect to receive in SNAP EBT benefits.

How much food stamps will I get?

Here is how much you may receive in food stamps if you are approved for benefits:

Maximum SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment
48 States & D.C. Hawaii Alaska Virgin Islands Guam
Urban Rural 1 Rural 2
1 $250 $472 $322 $411 $500 $322 $369
2 $459 $865 $591 $753 $917 $590 $677
3 $658 $1,239 $846 $1,079 $1,313 $845 $969
4 $835 $1,573 $1,074 $1,370 $1,667 $1,074 $1,231
5 $992 $1,868 $1,276 $1,627 $1,980 $1,275 $1,462
6 $1,190 $2,242 $1,531 $1,952 $2,376 $1,530 $1,754
7 $1,316 $2,478 $1,692 $2,158 $2,626 $1,691 $1,939
8 $1,504 $2,832 $1,934 $2,466 $3,002 $1,933 $2,216
Each Additional Household Member: +$188 +$354 +$242 +$308 +$375 +$242 +$277

For more help on how to calculate your food stamps benefits, check out our complete article here:

Food Stamps Calculator – How Much Will I Receive?

We provide you with a formula so you can calculate exactly how much you will receive in SNAP EBT benefits each month.

Exemptions to the Food Stamps Income Limit

While all households are required to meet the food stamps income limit, there are certain circumstances where some households do not have to meet both the net and gross income limit.

For example, if all member of your household are receiving Title IV (TANF), SSI, or in some places general assistance, you do not have to meet the food stamps income test.

In addition, while most households must meet both the gross and net income tests, if you live in a household where there is an elderly person or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments, then that household will only have to meet the net income test to qualify for SNAP benefits.

Apply for Food Stamp Benefits

If you have determined that your income is eligible to receive SNAP EBT benefits in your state, you are ready to submit your application for benefits.

There are three ways to apply for food stamps – online, in-person, or by mail. To find out how to apply for food stamp benefits in your state, click here.

To apply for SNAP EBT benefits in-person at your local office or by mail, click here to find the food stamps office near you.

Please note, that when you apply for benefits, you have to visit your state specific website to submit an application. If you have questions about applying for food stamps, please let us know in the comments section below.

Food stamps Income Limit Summary

We hope this post on the Food Stamps Income Limit for 2021-2022 was helpful to you. If you have additional questions about your eligibility for food stamp benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, check out our articles on how to check your Food Stamps Eligibility, calculate how much you’ll receive in SNAP benefits, and Frequently Asked Questions for the Food Stamps Program. You may find the answer you are looking for there!

Did you know?? SNAP EBT Cardholders can save over 50% OFF Amazon Prime?! Find out how to qualify for the Amazon EBT Discount here.

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