How To Apply For Virginia SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Virginia. 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 Virginia SNAP hotline at 800-642-8589. The department that handles this program is called the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can be used like cash to buy eligibile food items from authorized retailers. Authorized retailers will display either the Quest logo or a picture of a Virginia EBT card. A SNAP account is established for eligible households and automatic deposits are made into the account each month. To access the account, they will also receive an EBT Card, which will debit the account each time eligible food items are purchased. A secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to use the card.

Virginia SNAP eligibility requirements

To be eligible for most programs, you must:

  • Live in Virginia
  • Be a US citizen or meet certain requirements if you are an immigrant
  • Apply at the agency that serves the city or county where you live
  • Meet specific requirements of each program for which you are applying
  • Apply for other benefits that you may be entitled to receive, such as Social Security, Worker's or Unemployment Compensation

Before we can determine if you are eligible, some of the information you give must be verified. See the verification section below or more information. Depending on the program, eligibility and the amount of benefits may be based on:

  • Your income
  • The number of people in the family
  • Resources and Certain household expenses

As soon as a decision about your application is made, they will send you a written notice. This notice will tell you if you are eligible and the amount of benefits you will receive.

Virginia SNAP benefits verification

Each program has its own verification requirements. You must provide any information requested to establish your eligibility. Your worker will tell you what you need to provide and the deadline to provide it. Please ask for assistance if you need help. Examples of items the agency may need to verify and some suggested ways you may verify the items include:

Identity, Residence

  • Driver's license, alien registration card, voter registration card, work or school ID, library card, and birth certificates
  • Social Security Numbers for everyone for whom you are requesting assistance


  • Lease or mortgage agreement, rent receipts
  • Most recent utility and phone bills
  • Bills for the care of children, or elderly or disabled adults
  • Bills for medical expenses
  • Child support paid by a member of the household


  • Most recent statements for bank accounts such as checking and savings accounts
  • Proof of stocks and bonds
  • Information about burial trusts, burial arrangements, and burial plots
  • Registration or title for all motor vehicles
  • Medical insurance policies or medical cards
  • Life insurance policies that may be cashed


  • Pay stubs for this month and last month for everyone working
  • Records of tips, bonuses, or commissions
  • Divorce decrees or support orders
  • Award letters or notices

Applying for Virginia food stamps

Before applying, you can use their pre-screening tool to and see if you qualify for the Viriginia SNAP program. To apply online you can use their site CommonHelp. Another option would be to bypass the eligibility screening and submit an application manually. Download an application (English version - Spanish version), then fill out the Virgnia food stamp application and return it to your local department of social services.

Do note, a manual application cannot be processed and is not considered complete until it is signed and received by your local department. An interview will be required unless you meet the conditions for a waiver. Proof of identity (driver's license or picture ID), residence, income, resource and shelter expenses will be required. Applications for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or General Relief, are considered an application for SNAP, unless you request otherwise. If all members have applied for or get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may also apply for Virginia SNAP at the local Social Security office.

A face-to-face interview is required unless the local agency agrees to conduct the interview by telephone or a prearranged home visit. Waiver of the face-to-face interview is determined on a case by case basis depending on the household's circumstances that include but are not limited to: illness, prolonged severe weather, transportation difficulties, or work hours during normal agency office hours.

Virginia SNAP expedited services

Your household may qualify for Expedited Service and receive SNAP benefits within 7 days if you are eligible and if your gross monthly income is less than $150 and liquid resources are $100 or less. Or your monthly shelter bills are higher than your household's gross monthly income plus your liquid resources. Or if someone in your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker with little or no income and resources.

Virginia food stamp eligibility income limits

Household Size Gross Income Maximum Net Income Maximum
1 $1,287 $990
2 $1,736 $1,335
3 $2,184 $1,680
4 $2,633 $2,025
5 $3,081 $2,370
6 $3,530 $2,715
7 $3,980 $3,061
8 $4,430 $3,408
Each additional member +$451 +$347

Designating a representative to act on your behalf

A spouse, adult member of your household, trusted friend, relative or neighbor can be designated representative. This person may:

  • Apply for SNAP for your household
  • Receive a Virginia EBT Card that can access your SNAP account
  • Use your SNAP benefits for you at the grocery store
  • Receive copies of your SNAP notices and correspondence

If you want to designate an authorized representative you may do so your application or by writing a note for that person to take to the local social services department. The note will need to include:

  • The name, address and phone number of the person you designating
  • The duties you want that person to perform on your behalf
  • Your signature and the date

Selecting head of household

You may select any adult member as the head of your household. If you select either an adult parent of a child any age or an adult who acts as a guardian for a child under age 18, all the adults in the household must agree with your choice for head of household or the agency will choose the head of your household.

If you select any other adult or you do not select a head of household, and someone in your household does not cooperate with an employment and training program or reduces the hours worked or quits a job without good cause, the agency will choose the head of household to be the person who earned the most money from working during the previous two months.

If the person selected as head of household does not cooperate as required with an employment program or reduces the hours worked or quits a job without good cause, your household may not be able to get SNAP for up to 6 months.

You may select the head of your household every time you apply for Virginia SNAP. If there is a parent-child combination, you may change your selection whenever someone joins or leaves your household. Tell your worker if you want to change your selection.

Virginia SNAP work requirements

If you are age 18 to 50 and able to work, you may be subject to a work requirement in order to receive SNAP. This requirement would limit the number of months for which you could receive SNAP to three months in a 36 month period. After you receive SNAP for three months, you may be able to receive three additional months if you complete certain work related requirements. You may be exempt from this work requirement if you are currently working or participating in an approved work program, responsible for the care of a child, pregnant, medically certified as unable to work, meet one of several work registration exemption reasons, or live in an exempt locality.