How To Apply For District of Columbia SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in District of Columbia. 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 District of Columbia SNAP hotline at 202-724-5506. The department that handles this program is called the District of Columbia Department of Human Services.

The District of Columbia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. The Districts SNAP program helps income eligible residents and families buy the food they need for good health.

You can apply for benefits by completing a State application form. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores and some farmers markets. Most households do not have a resource limit. Some households that include a person who is disabled or who is age 60 or older may have only up to $3,250 in resources. Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot. Also, the resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program are not countable.

Who Can Receive District of Columbia food stamps?

Individuals, families, seniors, persons experiencing homelessness, persons with a disability, many legal immigrants, and citizen children of undocumented immigrants can all receive SNAP if the eligibility requirements are met. Household size and income determine eligibility.

How Do I Apply for food stamps?

Complete the application: Applications are available at each of the Economic Security Administration (ESA) offices, or online at Fill out the application as best as you can.

Turn in your application: Take your application to your assigned ESA office. To find your assigned office call:
202-698-3900. If possible, have enough time to wait for an interview with a caseworker. If not, turn in your
application, and be prepared to come back for an interview.

Meet with a caseworker: The caseworker will help you complete the application process. They will inform you of
any missing documentation and other programs you might be eligible for. Be sure to ask your caseworker any
questions you may have or if you have problems collecting your documentation.

What documents are needed when I apply?

The following documents are needed when you apply for the District of Columbia SNAP program:

  • Photo ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of D.C. residency
  • Proof of income such as a pay stub, social security benefitor unemployment benefit
  • Proof of expenses such as rent or mortgage receipt, utility bills, childcare/child support payments or medical bills (if over 60, or disabled)

Apply for food stamp benefits

To complete the application, you may either:

After you complete, sign and date your application, mail or take your application to an ESA service center. To find a Service Center nearest you, click here. You will still need to be interviewed for all programs except Medicaid. They recommend taking all required documents along with you to the interview. If you are in need of an accommodation, you may request a waiver form.

District of Columbia SNAP eligibility

Households have to meet income standards unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or in some places general assistance. Most District households will qualify for expanded categorical eligibility. These households must meet the maximum gross monthly income standard for expanded categorically eligible households. Households who qualify for expanded categorical eligibility do not need to meet the regular maximum gross monthly income eligibility standard nor the maximum net monthly income eligibility standard.

A household with an elderly person or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments does not need to meet either of the gross income standards, and will not need to meet the net income standard when their income is below the gross income standards. Households, except those noted, that have income over the amounts listed below cannot get SNAP benefits.

Household Size Maximum Gross Monthly Income
Eligibility Standard for Expanded Categorically Eligible Households 200% FPL
Maximum Gross Monthly Income
Eligibility Standard 130% FPL
Maximum Net Monthly Income
Eligibility Standard 100% FPL
Maximum Allotment
1 $1,962 $1,276 $981 $194
2 $2,656 $1,726 $1,328 $357
3 $3,350 $2,177 $1,675 $511
4 $4,042 $2,628 $2,021 $649
5 $4,736 $3,078 $2,368 $771
6 $5,430 $3,529 $2,715 $925
7 $6,122 $3,980 $3,061 $1,022
8 $6,816 $4,430 $3,408 $1,169
Each Additional Member +$694 +$451 +$347 +$146

Gross income means a household's total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made.

Find Your Gross Income Example
Determine your houshold size 4 people with no elderly or disabled members
Add gross monthly income $1,500 earned income
+ $550 social security
= $2,050 gross income
If gross monthly income is less than the limit for household size (from table above), determine net income $2,050 is less than the $2,628 allowed for a 4-person household, so determine net income

Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions. To find your Net Income, take your Gross Income and subtract any of the deductions below that apply. Compare your results to the table above using the Net Income column.

Allowed Deductions
Deductions are allowed as follows:

  • A 20% deduction from earned income
  • A standard deduction of $155 for households sizes of 1 to 3 people and $168 for a household size of 4
  • A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education
  • Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else
  • Legally owed child support payments
  • Excess shelter costs that are more than half of the household's income after the other deductions. Allowable costs include the cost of fuel to heat and cook with, electricity, water, the basic fee for one telephone, rent or mortgage payments and taxes on the home. The amount of the shelter deduction cannot be more than $504 unless one person in the household is elderly or disabled

Resource Requirements
Resources are things like bank accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, and stock and bonds. Most District households fall under expanded categorical eligibility rules and do not have a limit on resources. Some households with disabled or elderly members do not qualify for SNAP under expanded categorical eligibility. In this situation, the household must meet different income rules and it cannot have more than $3,250 in resources. Even when there is a resource limit, some things never count, such as the value of the home.