Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible for SNAP based on citizenship status?

Are international students, here on a student visa, eligible for SNAP?

No, international students with a student visa are not eligible. If they have another visa or status, they may be eligible. See the question above on citizenship status.

Are DACA recipients eligible for SNAP?

  • People who are DACA recipients are eligible for Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP).
  • County and tribal eligibility workers have resources to understand the DACA Non-Citizen classification. Assist people who have this DACA immigration classification to apply for SNAP. The County eligibility worker will review the resources listed in the above paragraph to determine if the people on the SNAP application are eligible, and if eligible, if they are federally funded or if they are eligible for the state funded food program, MFAP.

How does Green Card status impact SNAP Eligibility?

  • A green card is also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) card I-551. 
  • Generally people are eligible for the federally funded SNAP program if they:
    • have had a green card for five years or more; 
    • a child lawfully living in the United States who is under age 18; 
    • first admitted to the United States as a refugee; 
    • previously granted asylum;
    • had deportation withheld; 
    • get disability-related benefits; 
    • veterans with an honorable discharge for a reason other than non-citizen status, and their  spouses and unmarried minor dependent children; 
    • active duty in the Armed Forces (other  than for training), and their spouses and unmarried minor dependent children; or 
    • have enough work history in the United States. 
  • So people with green cards (I-551) should apply for SNAP. County and tribal eligibility workers have resources to understand the green card status.
  • More info: DHS Brochure on SNAP for non-citizens

What immigration documents are able to verify immigration status?

  • Passport
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  • Immigrant Visa
  • Refugee Travel Document
  • Re-Entry Permit
  • Certificate of Naturalization

Does receiving SNAP benefits affect taxes?

SNAP benefits do not count as taxable income, so they don't affect your taxes.

How do students’ roommates affect household size?

  • A household is considered anyone who purchases and shares food together. 
  • If a student lives with roommates, but buys and eats their food separately, they are considered a household of 1 and do not need to apply for SNAP with their roommates and do not need to include their roommates income in their application. The application form does ask some identifying information such as their birthdates, if known. 
  • If a student lives with roommates and they share the cost of groceries and prepare most of their meals together, all roommates would be considered household members and would need to apply for SNAP together. 

Does being a dependent affect SNAP eligibility?

  • If a student does not live with family (regardless of if they are a dependent or independent) they can apply for SNAP on their own, without including their families income
  • If the student is under 22 years of age and lives at home with their parents, they must apply for SNAP benefits as a family and include all family member’s income

Can PSEO students receive SNAP?

If the PSEO student is under 22 and living with their parents, they must all apply for SNAP as a household.

What are the temporary changes to SNAP for college students and when do they end?

  • The only temporary change to eligibility for college students is $0 EFC as an eligibility criteria. Work study eligibility has now become a permanent eligibility criteria. 
  • These student exemptions are effective beginning in January 2021 and continuing until whichever is later:
    • 30 days after the federal health emergency is declared over OR
    • The student's next recertification (one year after their application date)

What is the recertification process like for SNAP benefits?

  • Certification periods can last for 6, 12, or 24 months depending on the household circumstance. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will send a recertification packet to the mailing address on file.
  • In Minnesota the SNAP recertifications are set up for 12 or 24 months after the SNAP application has been approved. The households that are certified for 24 months are those where all adults are elderly or disabled without earned income at least once every 24 months. 
  • All other SNAP households will have a 12 month recertification period. 
  • During non-COVID times an interview is required as part of the recertification process.  
  • The recertification process also includes returning the completed recertification form and mandatory verifications needed for the SNAP benefits to continue.

If a student is on a meal plan, does this impact eligibility?

Yes, if a student receives 50% or more of their meals by the institution they are not eligible for SNAP benefits. 

Do internships count toward the 20 hour per week work requirement?

  • Unpaid internships do not count as jobs.
  • If the internship is paid, then yes, it would count towards the 20 hours per week work requirements. 
  • The applicant must report reduction in work hours and certain income changes to the eligibility worker, and the eligibility worker can determine whether or not the changes will continue to meet the required work hours. 
  • SNAP households have two different reporting requirements for changes. Those who are six-month reporters have to report when their income goes about 130% for their household size. For the change reporters they need to report their earned income changes of $100. Changes must be reported by the 10th of the month following the month of the change.

Does financial aid count as income?

  • Financial aid that does not count as income includes:
    • Title IV financial aid. 
    • Title IV aid includes: Financial aid wholly or partially funded by the United States Department of Education is Title IV aid. Examples include: Pell or Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program (BEOG) grants, Presidential Access Scholarships (Super Pell), Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Minnesota State Scholarships and Grants, Stafford Loan (formerly Guaranteed Student Loan), PLUS loans, etc.
    • Tribal Development Student Assistance Revolving Loans (DSARLP) made under the Tribal Development Student Assistance Act does not count as income. 
    • Income from Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) student assistance programs, formerly known as Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) does not count as income. 
    • Non-Title IV or BIE student loans if repayment is non-deferred.
  • Financial aid  that counts as income include:
    • If Non-Title IV or BIE, student loans if repayment is deferred.
  • For student loans other than Title IV or BIE, the county/tribal eligibility worker will verify with the financial institution whether repayment of other student loans is deferred or non-deferred. For this purpose, deferred means the financial institution does not require repayment for 60 days or more from when the loan was issued. Whether or not a student is making payments does not affect whether a loan is a deferred payment loan.
    • If not Title IV or BIE, count student loans if repayment is deferred. 
    • If not Title IV or BIE, exclude student loans if repayment is non-deferred. 

Do unemployment benefits count as income and against the income limit?

Yes, unemployment benefits do count as income.