Can You Get Food Stamps While on Disability in Arizona?

When you have a disability, you need all the benefits that you may be entitled to. You may wonder if you can get food stamps while on disability in Arizona. Often, the answer is yes.

There is no prohibition on a disability recipient getting food stamps. Some disability recipients are eligible – some are not.

Pekas Smith: Arizona Disability Attorneys discuss if you can get food stamps while on disability. Speak to our disability lawyers in Arizona about your situation.

Can You Get Food Stamps While on Disability in Arizona?

You can get food stamps while on SSDI or SSI disability benefits in Arizona. You must meet qualification standards for food stamps, which are different from those for disability. 55.6% of households with SSI recipients receive food stamps. If you live in a household where all residents receive SSI, you automatically qualify for food stamps.

Food stamps are also commonly called Nutrition Assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Can SSDI recipients get food stamps in Arizona?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) recipients can get food stamps in Arizona if they meet income and resource limits. SSDI is paid based on work history and a qualifying disability. The recipient’s resources are not a factor. If an SSDI recipient qualifies for food stamps based on income and total personal resources, they may receive both disability pay and food stamps.

SSDI and food stamps

According to Nerdwallet, the average SSDI payment in 2023 was $1,489. That totals $17,868 per year. The figure is below the $18,954 maximum household income for a person in a single household to qualify for food stamps in Arizona.

As household size increases, the total gross income limit increases. (See, Arizona Nutrition Assistance Program, for complete household income limits by number of members.)

A person who receives SSDI benefits may or may not qualify for food stamps. In general, there is nothing that prevents an SSDI recipient from also getting food stamps. However, an SSDI payment may be too high for the recipient to meet income limits for food stamps.

In addition to income limits, there are savings and resource limits for food stamps. A household may have up to $4,250 in countable resources and still qualify for food stamps if a person is disabled. Resources include cash and bank accounts. Your home does not count as a resource.

Under SNAP rules, you’re considered a person with a disability if you receive SSDI or SSI payments.

These resource limits don’t apply to SSI recipients, but they do apply if you receive only SSDI.

The maximum personal resource limit is lower if no person in the household is disabled.

Can SSI Recipients Get Food Stamps in Arizona?

SSI recipients can get food stamps in Arizona. If all members of the household receive SSI, qualification for food stamps is automatic. Otherwise, qualification is based on household income and resources. Resources are not a factor when everyone in the household is an SSI recipient.

  • 55.6% of households with one or more SSI recipients get food stamps.
  • 80% of households receiving SSI and food stamps receive increased food stamps because of shelter expenses.
  • 12% of people on food stamps receive SSI.

Source: SSA, The Food Stamp Program.

People who receive SSI comprise a minority of people on food stamps – just 12%. However, more than half of households with someone getting SSI also rely on food stamps.

A household comprised entirely of SSI recipients is called a pure SSI household. It may include a single individual receiving SSI benefits, or a household with two or more family members where everyone has applied for or receives SSI. In these households, food stamp qualification is automatic.

Food Stamps and Income Limits for SSDI and SSI Recipients

When someone receives disability payments, net income is the only income considered for eligibility. For other applicants, both gross and net income are a factor.

Income is considered by the household, or the group of people that would typically buy food together. As the size of the household increases, the maximum income for eligibility increases.

There are allowable deductions from income including housing costs above a certain percentage of income, child support, daycare and out-of-pocket medical expenses for a household with someone with a disability. After these deductions, the amount left is net income and the basis of eligibility. For a person with a disability, this calculation method can work in their favor.

SNAP has a work requirement – What if I can’t work because I’m disabled?

SNAP indeed has work requirements. Some recipients must register for work or vocational training, and they may lose eligibility if they turn down work. However, the work rules are waived if you have a disability.

How much can you get on food stamps while you are on disability?

The amount that you can get on food stamps while on disability varies based on your income and the size of your household. There are other factors like resource limits that may impact how much you can get in food stamps while you are on disability.

Does SNAP end if you stop receiving disability?

You don’t have to be on disability to receive SNAP payments. If disability payments end, it doesn’t automatically mean that your SNAP benefits terminate. However, your eligibility may change. If your income or ability to work changes, it may change whether you qualify to continue SNAP benefits.

How do I apply for nutrition assistance in Arizona?

You can apply for nutrition assistance (food stamps) in Arizona online. You can also apply in person, by phone, mail or fax. If you are disabled and you can’t go to an office, you can ask to have an application mailed or for personal assistance.

Get Legal Help

Pekas Smith: Arizona Disability Attorneys believe that everyone who qualifies for benefits should receive them, including getting food stamps while on disability, if you qualify. Contact us online or call 602.962.2818 to talk about your situation, the benefits that you may receive and how to get and keep your benefits.

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