Posted on June 6, 2023

SNAP Income Guidelines: ​​Use SNAP Benefits to Receive Free Phone Services and Lifeline

Qualifying for food stamps helps you and your family buy nutritious food with support from the federal government. Eating healthy food is key to staying healthy as we age. Approximately 42 million households manage to keep food on the table because of these important benefits.

Did you know that meeting the income limit for food stamps may also provide you with opportunities to access other benefits, such as free phone service and Lifeline?

If you’re wondering whether you qualify for the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), here’s everything you need to know.

What are SNAP Benefits?

SNAP benefits are a form of federal assistance for low-income families that need extra support to pay for groceries.

You may hear the program referred to by several other names, including food stamps or EBT. Some states have developed their own administrative titles for these programs, such as CalFresh and Link.

Despite the differences in the names, the SNAP program works the same way regardless of where you live. If you qualify via the SNAP income guidelines and enroll, you will receive a benefits card resembling a debit card. You can use this card to purchase groceries at local stores, supermarkets, and farmers’ markets.

The role of the card is to enforce the purchasing of specific types of items and prohibit the purchase of others, like alcohol or tobacco. How much you receive depends on whether you meet SNAP income limits, the size of your family, and how many dependents there are in your household.

Today, nearly 86% of all SNAP benefits go to households containing at least one child, senior citizen, or disabled American.

What is the Income Limit for Food Stamps?

SNAP uses income guidelines to determine eligibility.

Approximately 70% of working-age adults receiving food stamps work full-time. You may qualify for SNAP benefits if you are working in a low-salary job, or are the only person in a large household who is currently employed.

The following list demonstrates the maximum monthly income* a household can receive and still qualify for SNAP:

  • One Person – $1,473
  • Two People – $1,984
  • Three People – $2,495
  • Four People – $3,007
  • Five People – $4,029
  • More Than Five People – $512 per person

*SNAP Monthly Income Eligibility Standards 10/1/2022 – 9/30/2023, 130% of Federal Poverty Level (not including Alaska & Hawaii). 

The income to qualify for food stamps may sound considerable, but the guidelines only indicate how much you could earn and still receive benefits. Income guidelines for SNAP  are different for Alaska and Hawaii and the federal government imposes other limits also, such as comparing your income to the federal poverty line. You may not qualify if you don’t meet this requirement. Keep in mind that the federal poverty line differs based on the size of your family.

Who Qualifies for Food Stamps?

Deciphering eligibility is where so many people struggle with federal benefits. The income to qualify for food stamps is only one part of the equation, so how do you qualify for food stamps?

Anyone aged 16 to 59 must adhere to special work requirements to get these benefits. Work rules require any claimant within this category to be part of an approved work program or actively seeking a job.

If you already have employment, you are prohibited from quitting without a good reason, although you can switch jobs without a significant gap between employers.

With this in mind, federal rules dictate that a household’s income and resources meet three tests:

  • Gross Monthly Income – Your household income is factored into your assessment before any program deductions. The federal government says an applicant’s household must be at or below 130% of the current federal poverty line.
  • Net Income – Your household’s income after deductions have been applied. Net income must be at or fall below the federal poverty line.
  • Assets – Your assets must fall below certain limits. Any household without a disabled American or someone aged 60 or older cannot have assets of more than $2,750. With such a dependent, your assets must be $4,250 or less.

To determine eligibility, the SNAP program uses income as a determining factor. To qualify, you must report cash income from all sources, including earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted). You must also submit unearned income, like Social Security, child support, or unemployment insurance.

Assets also count toward your application. These are the accessible resources that you could use to purchase food, such as money in your bank account. For SNAP purposes, inaccessible income, including automobiles, homes, and retirement accounts, are not counted.

States also can loosen asset limits, and the majority have elected to do so in recent years. 

How Can SNAP Benefits Help You Get a Phone and Lifeline Plan?

Most Americans aren’t aware that meeting the SNAP income guidelines may qualify them automatically for a free government smartphone and a free data plan under the Lifeline plan. With your SNAP benefits, you can stay connected with friends, family, doctors, teachers, employers, and other important people in your life through government assistance.

Contact Assist Wireless now to learn more about your eligibility for free cell phone service.


What is the Maximum Income to Qualify for Food Stamps?

It depends entirely on the size of your household. For the fiscal year of 2023, a two-member household may qualify for SNAP if their net monthly income is $1,984, which would be 130% of the poverty line.

However, some deductions may apply, including medical expenses, meaning your real income could be higher without affecting your benefits.

What are the Requirements for Food Stamps?

As a general rule, your household income must be 130% of the federal poverty line or less. Your material assets that could be used to pay for food must also fall below a certain level, but individual states will determine these factors.

What do Food Stamps Cover?

Food stamps are designed to provide resources for nutritious food for you and your family. If you qualify, you will receive a card that functions like a debit card so you can purchase healthy food for your household.

Use SNAP Income Guidelines to Qualify for Free Phone Services with Assist Wireless

Are you ready to take advantage of America’s number one Lifeline provider?

Assist Wireless will help you determine whether you meet Lifeline and SNAP income guidelines. If you qualify, our friendly team will get you started immediately.

Launch the process by visiting one of our 30+ retail locations in Oklahoma or get started online. Affordable or free cell phone service could be available to you now.

Visit for more information.

Lifeline Program

Due to sharing many of the same eligibility requirements those currently enrolled in the lifeline program may qualify for The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) also.

Medicaid / Medi-Cal

Program Approval Letter, Benefit Statement, or Verification of Coverage Letter, should contain the following basic information:

  • Name of the program or state equivalent,
  • Name of the beneficiary,
  • Address of the beneficiary, and
  • Date of the award


Eligibility Screenshot or printout from an online portal or website tool, should contain the following basic information:

  • Name of the program or state equivalent,
  • Name of the beneficiary
  • Medical Identification number, OR
  • Case number,
  • Eligibility dates, OR
  • Current participation status

Federal Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans & Survivors Pension Benefit

Pension Grant Letter, should contain the following basic information:

  • Participant’s name
  • Address
  • A decision about the participant’s monthly entitlement amount
  • Payment start date

Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

FPHA award letter, should contain the following basic information:

  • Name of the program,
  • Date of the award,
  • Name of the beneficiary, and
  • Award amount.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Approval Letter or Benefit Statement issued by the SSA, or on SSA letterhead.

  • Consumer’s name
  • Date
  • Eligibility Date
  • Claim number OR Other consumer identification number
  • Payment amount

SNAP / Food Stamps / CalFresh

Program Approval Letter, Benefit Statement, or Verification of Coverage Letter, should contain the following basic information:

  • Name of the program,
  • Name of the beneficiary,
  • Eligibility dates, OR
  • Current participation status


Eligibility Screenshot or printout from an online portal or website tool, should contain the following basic information:

  • Name of the program or state equivalent,
  • Name of the beneficiary,
  • Case number,
  • Eligibility dates, OR
  • Current participation status