How To Apply For Tennessee SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee SNAP hotline at 866-311-4287. The department that handles this program is called the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families. SNAP helps supplement monthly food budgets of families with low-income to buy the food they need to maintain good health and allow them to direct more of their available income toward essential living expenses. DHS staff determines the eligibility of applicants based on guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary goals of the program are to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and to improve nutrition and health in eligible households. DHS has a dual focus on alleviating hunger and establishing or re-establishing self-sufficiency.

Apply for Tennessee food stamps

If you are applying for Tennessee SNAP, the documents listed below may be needed to complete the application process. You may need papers that show:

  • Social Security Number
  • Your Identification (Example: driver's license, school ID with photo, Passport, Resident Alien Card, I-94 card, voter's registration card)
  • Where you live (Example: lease agreement, utility bill, phone bill, or driver's license with your address on it)
  • Income (Example: check stubs, employer statement, award letters)
  • Shelter costs (Example: mortgage payments, property tax, homeowner's insurance, rent receipt, lease agreement)
  • Costs of utilities (Example: electric bill, water bill, gas bill)

You may be asked to provide more information during your interview. Your eligibility counselor will explain what information is needed, how to get it and help you if you need assistance. If you have additional questions or issues about applying for Tennessee food stamps, you can contact them at:

Family Assistance Service Center
615-743-2000 (Nashville area)
866-311-4287 (Toll-free)

You can apply for Tennessee food stamps online using the Family Assistance website. Or if you prefer, you can download an application (English version - Spanish version), fill it out and submit it in person at your local DHS county office. Current SNAP recipients can find information on their case with CaseConnect. If you do not already have a TDHS account, you will need to create one to access services (e.g. CaseConnect).

Tennessee SNAP eligibility requirements

The following describes considerations for SNAP eligibility.

Residency: Applicants must be living in the State of Tennessee to receive SNAP benefits in the state.

Age and Relationship: There are no specific age limits to receive SNAP benefits. Parents and their children 21 years old or younger living together are considered one household. Minors who apply on their own must be living without their parents. Individuals living together and who purchase and prepare food together are treated as one household.

Citizenship and Social Security Numbers: An applicant must be a US citizen, a US National, or a qualified alien to get SNAP benefits. Some legal immigrants are ineligible for SNAP benefits; however, dependents of an ineligible immigrant are often eligible. To be eligible, all SNAP household members must have a social security number or proof of having applied for one.

Work: To receive SNAP benefits, most able-bodied people between 16 and 59 years old must register for work, participate in the Employment & Training Program if offered, accept offers of employment, and cannot quit a job. Able-bodied adults without dependents aged 18 to 49 can receive only a limited number of benefit months in 3 years, unless working 80 hours per month or otherwise determined exempt from the rule.

Other Factors: Strikers must be resource and income eligible before the day of the strike. Most college students must be working an average of 20 hours per week, enrolled in work-study, caring for young dependents, or receiving Families First. Felons convicted of certain drug-related offenses are not eligible for SNAP benefits. Individuals disqualified for fraud are ineligible for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for the third. Dependents of disqualified or ineligible individuals may be eligible.

Resource Test: The asset limit is $2,250 for most households and $3,500 for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age. Assets not counted are the home the applicant is presently living in and its lot, household goods, income producing property, real estate that is up for sale, cash value of life insurance, personal property, retirement accounts such as IRA and 401k plans, and vehicles with equity value under $1,500. Other vehicles not counted are those used for family transportation, to go to and from work, to produce income, for subsistence hunting and fishing, as the household's home, to transport a disabled household member, and to carry the household's primary source of heating fuel or water. Countable assets include cash on hand, money in checking, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, property not up for sale, and lump-sum payments.

Income Tests: The SNAP program does not count scholarships, grants and loans used for tuition and fees, reimbursements, heating assistance, earnings of children age 17 and younger who are in school and most loans. Countable income may include but is not limited to such things as: employment, self-employment, alimony, child support, disability benefits, Social Security/SSI, Worker's Compensation, Unemployment benefits, pensions, stipends, and interest income. Households which contain an elderly or disabled member do not have to pass the gross income standards but are subject to the net income standards.

Number of people in Household Gross Income Standard Maximum Net Income Maximum allotment amount
1 $1,307 $1,005 $192
2 $1,760 $1,354 $352
3 $2,213 $1,702 $504
4 $2,665 $2,050 $640
5 $3,118 $2,399 $760
6 $3,571 $2,747 $913
7 $4,024 $3,095 $1,009
8 $4,477 $3,444 $1,153
9 $4,930 $3,793 $1,297
10 $5,383 $4,142 $1,441
11 $5,836 $4,491 $1,585

165 Percent of Poverty Level

Gross Monthly Income Eligiblity Standars Where Elderly/Disbaled are a Separate Household

Number of people in Household Gross Income Standard
1 $1,659
2 $2,233
3 $2,808
4 $3,383
5 $3,958
6 $4,532
7 $5,107
8 $5,682
9 $6,257
10 $6,832
11 $7,407
12 $7,982
13 $8,557
14 $9,132
15 $9,707
16 $10,282
17 $10,857
18 $11,432
19 $12,007
20 $12,582
21 $13,157
22 $13,732
23 $14,307
24 $14,882

Food stamp rules allow income deductions, including a 20% deduction on earnings, a standard deduction given to all households, dependent care expenses incurred, a shelter/utility deduction for a non-special household not to exceed $517, and medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled household members.

What is the status of my case?

To check the status of your case, You could first try their CaseConnect app. If you do not already have a TDHS account, you will need to create one to access services (e.g. CaseConnect).