How To Apply For Arkansas SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Arkansas. 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 Arkansas SNAP hotline at 800-482-8988. The department that handles this program is called the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Arkansas SNAP benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items for home consumption. Farmers markets are available for SNAP benefits as well as eligible retailers. In addition to food assistance, the program provides recipients with nutrition education, employment and training, and work experience in some cases. This is designed to increase the limited food purchasing power of low-income households, which in return will help alleviate hunger and malnutrition. You may be able to receive Arkansas SNAP benefits if you are working for low wages, working part-time, currently unemployed, you are currently receiving public assistance payments, living with a disability, you are older homeless. All participants must meet financial and non-financial criteria.

When should you apply for food stamp benefits?

It is important to turn in your application right away. If your household is eligible, your first month of SNAP benefits will be paid from the day that your application was received online or the date you submit a paper application in the DHS County Office. The TEA effective date of payment is the first day of the month your application is approved. To download a copy of the food stamp application, English version - Spanish version. For faster service, you can now apply for food stamps online at When filling out your application and you need help, you can request assistance by calling customer service at 800-482-8988, or get help in person at your local DHS county office.

How long does it take to process a food stamp benefits application?

Most SNAP applications must be processed within 30 days. However, they must process your SNAP application within 7 days, expedited service, if:

  • Your household has $100 or less in cash, bank accounts, or other liquid resources and less than $150 in countable income, or
  • Your current shelter costs are more than your income and liquid resources, or
  • You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker and your household has little or no income at the time you apply

To determine if your household is qualified to use the expedited services you must complete the screening questions in the SNAP Expedited Service section located in the food stamp application you have received from your state or the application you downloaded.

Arkansas SNAP eligibility requirements

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is limited to US citizens and certain legally admitted non-citizens. A household is normally composed of individuals who live together and purchase food and prepare meals together. The following individuals may not participate in the Program:

  • Boarders
  • Ineligible students
  • Disqualified persons
  • Residents of certain institutions

All able-bodied individuals age 16 to 59 who are not otherwise exempt must register for work. Exemptions are granted for school attendance, full-time employment, disability, care of a dependent under the age of six, and care of a disabled dependent of any age. People who have quit their jobs or who intentionally reduce their working hours to less than 30 hours per week without good cause are subject to sanctions.

All able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who are not pregnant or the parent of a minor dependent child must work at least 20 hours per week or participate in a work program. Any individual who fails to comply with this requirement for at least 3 months out of a designated 36-month period will be ineligible to receive Arkansas SNAP benefits for the remainder of that period. The disqualification applies to the individual, not the entire household, and may be lifted if the individual complies with the requirement or becomes exempt from the requirement.

The value of non-exempt resources cannot exceed $3,500 for households with at least one member age 60 or older or disabled. The resource limit is $2,250 for all other households. Each household member who wishes to participate in the program is required to provide a SSN or to apply for one before they are allowed to participate. Household members who do not comply with these requirements are automatically disqualified from participation in this program. Households containing an individual with a disability member or a member age 60 or older must have a net income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. All other households must have both a gross income at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines and a net income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Arkansas gross income limits

Gross income limits apply first to households with no elderly or disabled members.

Family Size Gross Monthly Income
1 $1,307
2 $1,760
3 $2,213
4 $2,665
5 $3,118
6 $3,571
7 $4,024
8 $4,477
9 $4,930
10 $5,383

Arkansas net income limits

Net income limits apply to all regular households who meet the net income limits and to households with elderly and or disabled members.

Family Size Monthly Income Maximum Benefits
1 $1,005 $192
2 $1,354 $352
3 $1,702 $504
4 $2,050 $640
5 $2,399 $760
6 $2,747 $913
7 $3,095 $1,009
8 $3,444 $1,153
9 $3,793 $1,297
10 $4,142 $1,441

Income deductions

  • 20% of earned income
  • Standard deduction
  • Farm loss
  • Child care
  • Medical cost incurred by aged or disabled member
  • Child support payments, if legally obligated
  • Shelter cost

Resource exclusions

  • A home
  • Some non-home properties if income producing or determined to be inaccessible
  • Life insurance
  • Burial spaces, 1 per household member
  • Irrevocable burial arrangements
  • Tax Preferred retirement accounts
  • Certain Educational Savings accounts
  • One vehicle
  • Any vehicle used for transporting physically disable member
  • Income-producing vehicles
  • Vehicles used for self-employment
  • $4,650 of value of vehicle for each employed person and student attending school

Countable Resources

  • Cash on hand and in bank and credit unions, less income received that month
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Real property other than the home, unless excluded
  • Mutual funds
  • Savings certificates
  • Some vehicles