How To Apply For Iowa SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Iowa. 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 Iowa SNAP hotline at 877-347-5678. The department that handles this program is called the Iowa Department of Human Services.

The Food Assistance program helps people with little or no income to buy food for a healthy diet. There is enough Food Assistance for everyone who is eligible. Food Assistance helps your local economy. The Food Assistance spent in local grocery stores helps to provide jobs for people.

Iowa food stamps eligibility

The Food Assistance Program provides Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to buy groceries at supermarkets, grocery stores and some Farmers Markets. You may qualify for Food Assistance if you:

  • Meet income guidelines
  • Be a citizen or legal immigrant
  • All children who are born in the US can apply even if their parents are not citizens.

Before you apply, please review "Before applying for Food Assistance" document. This document gives a brief overview of what they need to process your application, why certain questions are asked, citizenship/immigration information, questions that must be answered for Food Assistance and your rights and responsibilities. Food Assistance applicants have the option to only answer the questions included on Required Questions document as they are required as a condition of eligibility. If you have questions about applying for Food Assistance, please contact your local DHS office.

Iowa Food Assistance Income Guidelines

Gross monthly income is the amount before taxes or other deductions are taken out. Net monthly income is what is left of gross income after certain allowable expenses are subtracted.

Household Size Gross Monthly Limit Net Monthly Limit
1 $1,307 $1,005
2 $1,760 $1,354
3 $2,213 $1,702
4 $2,665 $2,050
5 $3,118 $2,399
6 $3,571 $2,747
7 $4,024 $3,095
8 $4,477 $3,444
Each Extra Person +$453 +$349

To be eligible, a household’s monthly income must be within the above limits for its size. Exceptions:

  • Households with an elderly (age 60 or over) or disabled person do not have to meet gross income limits
  • If everyone gets SSI or FIP, the household does not have to meet the gross or net monthly income limits
  • Some households that do not meet the above income guidelines might be eligible if monthly income is not more than the amount below (160% of the federal poverty level).

160% of Federal Poverty Level

Household Size Monthly Limit
1 $1,608
2 $2,167
3 $2,724
4 $3,280
5 $3,839
6 $4,396
7 $4,952
8 $5,511
Each Extra Person +$559

Maximum food assistance benefit amount
Households of the same size do not all get the same amount of Food Assistance. The benefit amount depends on both the household’s size and income. Only households with very little or no income get the maximum benefit amount.

Household Size Maximum Monthly Benefit
1 $192
2 $352
3 $504
4 $640
5 $760
6 $913
7 $1,009
8 $1,153
Each Extra Person +$144

When applying for Iowa Food Assistance benefits you are not required to answer any other questions appearing on their application, other than the specific questions listed below. If you are unsure of which questions you should be answering, you may always submit your application with only your name, address and signature included. In order for your Food Assistance application to be considered, the following information must be provided for each person in your household applying for Food Assistance before benefits may be approved:

  • Your name, address and signature
  • Name of everyone in your household applying for benefits and their relationship to you
  • Birth date, social security number and citizenship status of everyone in your household who wants to receive Food Assistance
  • Income of everyone in the household including:
    • Money from work before taxes (gross)
    • Self-employment or odd jobs
    • Tips
    • Social Security or SSI
    • Veterans benefits, pensions or retirement
    • Unemployment or worker's compensation
    • Child support or alimony
    • Money from friends or relatives
    • Other

The following questions must be answered for each person in the household:

  • Are you getting Food Assistance from another state?
  • Do you have an Iowa EBT card?
  • Are you age 18 or over and in college or trade school?
  • Have you been hired for a job but not paid yet?
  • Have you quit a job in the last 30 days?
  • Are you a migrant or seasonal farm worker?
  • Are you on strike?
  • Do you get help from anyone paying your bills?
  • Do you have any cars, trucks, boats, campers, motorcycles or other vehicles?
  • Do you have or own any land, buildings or houses other than the house you live in?
  • Are you fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody, or jail for a felony crime?
  • Are you violating a condition of probation or parole?
  • Are you in or expecting to go to jail or prison?
  • Are you disqualified from a food assistance program in any state for fraud or program violation?
  • Do you have a conservatorship or trust?
  • List the total money you have in:
    • Bank/credit union accounts
    • Checking/savings
    • Stocks, bonds, savings certificates, or other assets
    • Cash

The following questions must be answered for the household if you are requesting a deduction:

  • How much is your rent?
  • If you pay taxes or insurance separate from your mortgage, how much do you pay?
  • Which utilities do you pay?
  • How much are your day care expenses?
  • How much do you pay for child support?
  • Enter the medical expenses for anyone who is disabled or over age 59, not paid by insurance

What are the allowable deductions?
To determine how much you can get, they use the following deductions:

  • 20 percent of earned income
  • A standard deduction of $160 or more
  • Medical expenses over $35 a month for elderly (age 60 or over) or disabled persons
  • Certain dependent-care costs when needed for training, education, or work
  • Legally owed child support
  • A percentage of shelter costs

How to apply for Iowa food stamps

To apply for the Iowa Food Assistance program online go to the DHS Financial Support application or if you prefer, you can download the application document, English version - Spanish version. For help with completing your online application, please contact your local DHS Office.