While a majority of SNAP eligibility rules apply to all households across the United States, there are a few special provisions for students who are enrolled in colleges.
Following the modifications to The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which temporarily expanded student eligibility from January 16, 2021, through the end of the pandemic, certain students who were previously not eligible for SNAP may now be eligible.
Which Students are eligible for SNAP?
Any student attending an institution of higher education (i.e., college, university, trade/technical school) for more than half-time their time are not eligible for SNAP unless they meet an exemption.
The institution they are enrolled in determines what is considered ‘half-time’ enrolment and students who meet these exemptions must also meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements.
Who counts as a student for SNAP purposes?
An individual who is enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education is considered a student. If an individual is enrolled less than half-time, then they might be SNAP-eligible if they meet all other SNAP eligibility criteria.
The number of hours required to fulfill half-time enrolment is determined by the institution of higher education.
What are student exemptions for SNAP?
Apart from being deemed a student and meeting SNAP eligibility requirements, you can also be eligible if you meet one of the following criteria:
- Be either under the age of 18 or over 50 or:
- Have either a physical or mental disability;
- Work a minimum of 20 hours a week in paid employment;
- Participate in the state or federally financed work study programs;
- Be the primary carer for a child under the age of 6;
- Be the primary carer for a child aged between six to 11 and lack the necessary child care enabling you to attend school and work 20 hours a week.
To get the full list of exemptions you can contact your local SNAP office to learn more and to determine if you meet the criteria.
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