How to Get Food Supplements (Disabled Veterans)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food supplement benefits to low-income families. SNAP food supplement benefits used to be known as food stamps. Generally, you must work 20 hours each week or attend a work program 20 hours each week to get SNAP benefits. If you are not working or attending a work program, you can only get SNAP benefits for three months in any three-year period. This is called the time limit.
But, if you are a child, older than 50 years old, a parent of a minor child, or disabled you are exempt from this work requirement. This means that the time limit will not apply to you.
What is the time limit?
You can only get SNAP benefits for three months during any three-year period unless you are exempt from the time limit. You are exempt if:
- You meet the work requirements
- You are under the age of 18 or over the age of 50
- You are the parent of a minor child; or
- You are disabled
If you meet the work requirements, are under the age of 18 or over the age of 50, are the parent of a minor child or you are disabled, then you can receive SNAP benefits for more than three months in a three year period. You are exempt from the time limit. This means it does not apply you.
Is my disability eligible?
If you are receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits, or a doctor has declared you unfit for employment, you are considered disabled for SNAP benefits. The time limit will not apply to you. Temporary and permanent disability benefits include:
- VA disability
If I am rated less than 100% for VA disability, am I still eligible?
Yes! There is no requirement that you must be rated 100 percent disabled by the VA to be exempt from the time limit.
How do I apply?
What if my state says I am not eligible because I am rated less than 100%?
You should appeal the decision. There is no requirement that you must be rated 100 percent disabled by the VA to be exempt from the time limit. State agencies must grant you an exemption from the three month time limit if you receive VA disability.
Do I need a lawyer to help with my appeal?
No. You can appeal on your own. However, you may find it helpful to talk to a lawyer or an advocate. You can find more information on the time limit exemption for disabled veterans here.
If you get a notice in the mail that says you have been denied SNAP benefits because you are not rated 100 percent disabled by the VA, contact your local legal services office right away. They may be able to help you.
Reviewed January 2018