The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programis the new name for the Food Stamp program. These benefits are used to buy food and help eligible low-income households in Pennsylvania obtain more nutritious diets by increasing their food purchasing power at grocery stores and supermarkets. If you are eligible, you will receive a Pennsylvania Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card which is used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets.
How to Apply:
There are a couple of different ways to apply for SNAP, please choose the option that suits you. If you do not know if you are eligible, you may still apply.
You can apply for or renew your SNAP benefits online by using COMPASS. COMPASS is the name of the website where you can apply for the SNAP program and many other services that can help you make ends meet.
Or, you can file an application at your local county assistance office
- Download an Application for SNAP benefits from the Web and return it to your local county assistance office
Application for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance Benefits (English version)
Solicitud para recibir beneficios(Solicitud para recibir beneficios)
If you need help completing the application form or need more information about benefits, trained county assistance office staff can help you.
The following persons may apply:
- The head of the household;
- The spouse of the head of household;
- Any other responsible household member; or
- A designated authorized representative, who can be a friend, relative, neighbor, or anyone else the applicant trusts to go food shopping and use his/her SNAP benefits.
What are the minimum and maximum monthly benefit amounts?
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Minimum benefits for eligible households range from $2 to $16.
More information about the eligibility requirements for SNAP can be found in the SNAP Handbook.
How do SNAP benefits Work?
SNAP benefits are placed in an “electronic” account that only the recipient can use. This system is called Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT. The eligible household receives a plastic card, the Pennsylvania EBT ACCESS Card. This card allows withdrawals for food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets. The store simply uses the EBT ACCESS card to “electronically” subtract purchases from the SNAP account. The eligible household can only spend the amount that is in the account. This is not a credit card.
What are the income eligibility requirements?
To get SNAP benefits, your income has to be under certain limits.
SNAP households may recieve deductions from their gross income for things like housing costs, child or dependent care payments, and medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled people.
Questions Regarding SNAP Benefits
If you have questions about SNAP you may call the Department of Public Welfare Helpline toll-free at 1-800-692-7462 (1-800-451-5886 TDD number for individuals with hearing impairments) or your local county assistance office.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326 Witten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing , or have speech disabilities and wish to communicate with the Office of Civil Rights, may call the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 (English) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
General Information About SNAP