How To Apply For Arizona SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Arizona. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the Arizona SNAP hotline at 800-352-8401. The department that handles this program is called the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Before you submit your Arizona food stamp application, you can use their online screening program to see if you qualify for their Nutrition Assistance program. However, they do recommend the best way to know if you are eligible is to simply submit your completed benefits application and go through the application process. If you do not qualify for the Nutrition Assistance program, or need help with food during the application process, please contact The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Persons receiving Nutrition Assistance automatically qualify for TEFAP.

What are Nutrition Assistance benefits?

Nutrition Assistance benefits help low-income families or individuals buy food for a healthier diet. If you have little or no money, you may be eligible for Emergency Nutrition Assistance benefits. Read on to see what information is needed to receive these benefits and where you can apply.

Who can use this application?

An application may be completed by you or anyone you choose who knows or can get the information needed to complete the application for you and your household members. You can use this application to apply for anyone in your household, even if they already have benefits, including health insurance. Your household includes:

  • Your spouse, if married
  • Your children under age 22 who live with you
  • Your partner who lives with you (but only if you have a child together who needs health insurance or Cash Assistance)
  • People you claim on your income tax return even if they do not live with you
  • Relatives in your care who are under the age of 19 and live with you
  • People who you live with who purchase and prepare food with you

Where can you apply for Arizona food stamps?

For a faster application process, you can apply online at Heath-E Arizona Plus. Or if you prefer, you can download an application, fill it out completely and then apply in person at one of your local Department of Economic Security/Family Assistance Administration office. To view a list of your local FAA offices, click here or call their 24 hour Interactive Voice Response system at 855-432-7587.

Information needed to apply for Arizona food stamps

If you are applying for the first time, or renewing your benefits, you most likely will need one or more of the following pieces of information in order to complete the application process.

  • Proof of citizenship and identity for everyone who is applying for benefits
  • Alien Registration Cards, if there are non-U.S. citizens applying for benefits in your household
  • Social Security numbers for everyone, or proof that a SSN has been applied for
  • Birth certificates for everyone
  • Name, address and daytime phone number of landlord or neighbor
  • A statement verifying your address and the names of everyone living with you. The statement must be made by a non-relative who doesn’t live with you. It must be signed, dated and include that person's address and telephone number
  • Proof of all money your household received from any source last month and this month
  • Proof that your employment ended and last date paid
  • Bank or credit union, checking/savings, complete statement for the most recent month
  • Proof of savings bonds, securities, retirement plans and life insurance
  • Proof of rent/mortgage and utility bills, for example electric/water/gas, for the most recent month
  • Proof of child care expenses for the most recent month
  • Proof of all medical expenses for those applying who are age 60 or older or receive disability benefits

Submit your Arizona food stamp application

To start the application process, you will need to submit your completed application and required documentation. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for benefits. The following are ways that you can apply:

Once you submit your Nutrition Assistance application

Once you submit your Arizona food stamp application, you will be contacted for an eligibility interview. During the interview your information will be reviewed in order to determine eligibility. If they are unable to contact you, you will be sent a letter with instructions on how to complete the eligibility interview using the Statewide Interview Line and the date the interview must be completed by. They highly recommend that you have income information, ID, Social Security numbers and Citizenship verification at the interview. At the end of your interview, they will let you know if any other information or proof is required to decide your case. They will then send you a letter asking for this information.

When you know if you are approved

A decision will be made by one of the following dates:

  • Within 7 days from the application date, if you qualify for expedited benefits
  • At the latest, 30 days from the application date

When a decision is made regarding your case, you will be mailed a letter with the results. You can also monitor the status of your application online at Health-e-Arizona Plus or MyFamilyBenefits. If you are approved for Nutrition Assistance:

  • You will get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. This card works like a debit card
  • You will get a pamphlet with instructions on how to use your card
  • Your benefits are put on your EBT card after approval. It can take up to 48 hours for the benefits to be
    available. You can call the Customer Service number on the back of the card to check your current balance
  • If you are eligible for Emergency Nutrition Assistance, you may get an EBT card at your local DES/FAA office
  • You can use the EBT card to buy approved food items
  • You are not allowed to use your EBT card to purchase lottery tickets.

How are benefit amounts calculated

The following is an explanation of how the Nutrition Assistance (NA) benefit amounts are determined using Thrifty Food Plan amounts. The Thrifty Food Plan amounts are established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and must be used by all States as the basis to uniformly distribute NA benefits. All other eligibility requirements must be met before DES computes a budget to determine NA benefit amounts. You can first pre-screen for benefits and determine the amount you may be eligible for. To manually calculate Arizona Nutrition Assistance benefits:

How to Calculate Sample Calculation
For a household of five with one income
1 Calculate the net monthly income. The net monthly income is the countable income before taxes less countable deductions. For a list of countable income and deductions, see the Policy Manual.

Your gross monthly income from your job is $1739.33. You qualify for the following deductions:

  • An Earned Income deduction of $347.99 which is 20% of your gross earnings
  • A Standard Deduction of $197.00
  • A Housing Cost deduction of $421.32 based on your rent and utility expenses

Your total deductions of $966.31 are subtracted from your gross income which results in a net income of $773.62.

2 Multiply the net monthly income by 30% 773.62 x 0.30 = 232.09
3 Round the product up to the next whole dollar when it ends in $0.01 through $0.99 232.09 rounded = 233
4 Using the Nutrition Assistance Program Thrifty Food Plan Amounts table below, subtract the result from the Thrifty Food Plan amount for the appropriate number of Nutrition Assistance eligible household members. The resulting amount is the Nutrition Assistance benefit amount. 771 (from table below) - 233 (from step 3) = 538 Benefit amount
5 When the Nutrition Assistance benefit amount is for a 1 or 2 participant budgetary unit and is less than $16, round up to the minimum Nutrition Assistance benefit of $16. Step does not apply to this example because the benefit amount of $538 is greater than $16.

Nutrition Assistance Program Thrifty Food Plan Amounts

NA Number of Eligible Household Members
(Budgetary Unit)
NA Thrifty Food Plan Amount
1 $194
2 $357
3 $511
4 $649
5 $771
6 $925
7 $1,022
8 $1,169
Each additional participant Add $146

If you need help when applying for Arizona food stamps

If you need assistance, please contact them. You may also contact Community Assistors for assistance in completing the Nutrition Assistance application. They will explain eligibility rules and what may be required of you to participate in the program. Once your application is submitted, the Community Assistor can assist you with submitting required documents for verification. Some Assistors will be available to guide you through the process, and others will provide you with access to computers, scanners, telephones, copy machines and/or fax machines that you can use for free. Enter your zip code to find a Community Assistor on the Get Help screen of Health-e-Arizona Plus. They ask that you call the Assistor/Partner before visiting to make sure they offer the service you need, and if necessary make an appointment.