Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Marcela's Story

Marcela lives with her husband, brother, and two children. She works part time for a local community center. Her brother was in a car accident a number of years back, and has only been able to work on and off because of his disability.

They never had trouble making ends meet until Marcela’s husband was laid off. They could still afford to pay for rent, but after that, money was tight. Marcela decided that they needed help paying for food.

Her first step was to call the SNAP hotline at 1-651-431-3600. She was happy to find out that if there was an emergency, she could get SNAP benefits within 24 hours. Luckily, things weren’t that bad.

Applying for SNAP

She applied online using MNbenefits. The application asked questions about her family’s income and living situation.

She learned that SNAP has rules to help households that have people with disabilities.When she went in for an interview, she brought along pay stubs and other proof of her family’s income. During the interview, she learned that SNAP has rules to help households that have people with disabilities, so that less of the family's earned income would be counted by the program and the family would be able to deduct most of the money that they spent on his medical expenses. These rules made it easier for the family to qualify and also meant they'd get more in SNAP each month.

Using SNAP

About three weeks after applying, Marcela got a letter saying that her family had been approved for SNAP at $700 a month. This was the maximum benefit for households of five minus the net income that Marcela had from her job. She also got her Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and instructions on how to use it.

The first time she went to the store, she was worried that people would know that she was on SNAP. She had heard stories from her clients about the dirty looks people gave them when they handed over food stamps. But the EBT card looked just like any other debit card. The other people in line had no idea that she was on SNAP.

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