QUESTION-Can undocumented individuals and/or refugees apply for and receive SNAP (food stamps). If so, how would their benefits be calculated?

Answer: Eligibility is based on a number of factors, but primarily the number of people in the household and the income the household has as well as allowable deductions. ODHS will also review information for students of higher education and citizenship.

An applicant does not need to be a United States citizen to apply for SNAP benefits. Many different citizenship criteria are accepted for SNAP eligibility. If the applicant is not a US citizen, the eligibility worker will review the applicant's documents to determine if they are eligible to receive SNAP.

-Citizens and permanent residents of five years or more are eligible for SNAP.
-Undocumented immigrants do not qualify, but if they have citizen children, they can apply for SNAP on behalf of their children/dependents.
-An undocumented person will not be included in the filing group of the household applying for benefits. However, a portion of their income may be counted in calculating the benefit amount of the other eligible household members.
-DACA recipients are ineligible to receive SNAP.

Because eligibility varies among certain immigrant and refugee groups, if the applicant does not know if they are eligible, they can inquire directly with ODHS.

It is really important to note that applying for SNAP benefits does not affect a person's immigration status or their ability to become a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applying for SNAP for themselves or someone else they live with also does not make the participant a public charge.
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