Your Free Guide to Calculating Food Stamps Benefits

Your Free Guide to Calculating Food Stamps Benefits


This helpful guide can serve as an overview toward understanding and estimating SNAP benefits. SNAP is a vital program that helps ensure access to nutritious food for those in need. 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) plays a crucial role in promoting food security and improving the overall well-being of low-income families and households. In this guide, we’ll break down the details of food stamp benefits calculation, shedding light on the factors that can influence eligibility and benefit amounts.  

What is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provide vital assistance to qualifying individuals and families facing financial hardships. This program is designed to ensure access to nutritious food, promoting better health and well-being. 

To qualify for food stamps, you generally need to meet income and resource requirements. Let’s delve into the calculation process and go over how food stamp benefit amounts are determined. Understanding these intricacies can empower you to make informed choices for yourself and your loved ones.

Contact Information by Location

LocationProgram Name in LocationContact InformationOffice DirectoryWebsite
AlabamaFood AssistanceToll-free number: 1-833-822-2202
TTY: 1-833-822-2202 / 711 or 1-800-548-2546
AlaskaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-478-7778
American SamoaAmerican Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program (ASNAP)Hotlines: 1-684-633-7720Not available
ArizonaNutrition AssistancePhone: 1-855-432-7587
TTY: 711
ArkansasSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-482-8988
CaliforniaCalFreshHotline: 1-877-847-3663
TYY: 711
ColoradoSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-816-4451 / 1-800-536-5298
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana IslandsCNMI Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP)Hotlines: 1-670 237-2800
ConnecticutSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-855-626-6632
Delaware Food Supplement ProgramHotline: 1-800-372-2022
TTY: 711
District of Columbia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-202-807-0405
TTY: 711
FloridaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-866-762-2237 / 1-850-300-4323
TTY: 711 / 1-800-955-8771
GeorgiaGeorgia Food Stamp ProgramHotline: 1-877-423-4746 
TTY: 1-800-255-0135
GuamSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-671-735-7245
HawaiiSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-855-643-1643 
TTY: 711
IdahoIdaho Food StampsHotline: 1-877-456-1233
IllinoisSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-843-6154 
TTY: 711/ 1-800-447-6404
IndianaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Toll-free phone: 1-800-403-0864
TTY: 711
IowaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-877-347-5678 / 1-800-972-2017 
TTY: 1-800-735-2942
KansasSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-888-369-4777
KentuckySupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-855-306-8959
TTY: 1-785-296-1491
LouisianaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-888-524-3578 / 211
TTY: 1-844-224-6188
MaineFood Supplement Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-442-6003 / 211
TTY: 711
MarylandFood Supplement Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-332-6347 
TTY: 1-800-735-2258
MassachusettsSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-877-382-2363
TTY: 711 / 1-800-720-3480 / 1-866-930-9252 (SPA)
MichiganFood Assistance Program (FAP)Hotline: 1-855-275-6424 / 1-517-241-3740
TTY: 711
MinnesotaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-657-3698 (toll-free)
TTY: 1-800-627-3529
MississippiFood Assistance Program (FAP)Hotline: 1-800-948-3050
General assistance: 1-601-359-4500
TTY: 711 / 1-800-735-2466
MissouriFood Stamp Program (FSP)Hotline: 1-800-392-1261
TTY: 1-800-735-2966
MontanaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-855-373-4636
TYY: 1-406-444-1421
NebraskaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-383-4278
TTY: 711 / 1-800-833-7352
NevadaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-992-0900 
TTY: 1-800-326-6888 / 1-800-992-0900 (voice) 
New HampshireSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-603-271-9700 / 1-800-852-3345 (ext. 9700)
TTY: 1-800-735-2964 / 711
New JerseySupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-792-9773 / 1-800-687-9512
TTY: 1-800-701-0720
New MexicoSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 800-432-6217
TTY: 1-877-294-4356 / 711
New YorkSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-342-3009 / 718-762-7669 (NYC only)
TTY: 711 / 1-212-504-4115 (NYC only)
North CarolinaFood and Nutrition ServicesHotline: 1-866-719-0141
TTY: 711
North DakotaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-866-614-6005 / 1-701-328-1000
TTY: 1-800-366-6888
OhioFood Assistance Program (FAP)Hotline: 1-866-244-0071 
TTY: 711
OklahomaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-866-411-1877
TTY: 711
OregonSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-723-3638 / 1-503-945-5600
TTY: 503-945-5896
PennsylvaniaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-800-692-7462 
TTY: 1-800-451-5886
Puerto RicoPrograma de Asistencia Nutricional (PAN)Hotlines: 311 / 1-787-289-7600 / 1-787-289-1199
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
Rhode IslandSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-855-697-4347
TTY: 711 / 1-800-745-6575 (Voice)
South CarolinaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-616-1309
TTY: 711 / 1-800-735-8583
South DakotaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-877-999-5612 / 1-866-854-5465
TTY: 711
TennesseeSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-866-311-4287
TTY: 711
TexasSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 211 (toll-free) / 1-877-541-7905
TTY: 711
U.S. Virgin IslandsSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-340-774-0930
UtahSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotlines: 1-866-526-3663 / 1-800-331-4341
TTY: 711 / 1-800-346-4128
Vermont3SquaresVTHotline: 1-800-479-6151 
TTY: 711 / 1-800-253-0191
VirginiaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-552-3431
TTY: 1-800-828-1120 / 711
WashingtonBasic FoodHotline: 1-877-501-2233 
TTY: 711
West VirginiaSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 1-800-642-8589 / 1-877-716-1212 
TTY: 1-866-430-1274 (TTY) or 1-800-676-3777 (Voice) / 1-800-676-4290 (SPA)
WisconsinFoodShareHotline: 1-800-362-3002
TTY: 711 / 1-800-947-3529
WyomingSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Hotline: 307-777-5846
TTY: 711 / 1-800-452-1408 (TTY/Voice)

How Are SNAP Benefits Calculated?

Calculating food stamp benefits involves assessing your household’s financial situation. A SNAP caseworker performs this calculation during your application process, and they’ll let you know your allotment amount when you’re approved for benefits. 

However, understanding how food stamp benefits are calculated empowers you to plan and budget effectively while you wait for approval. 

Here’s an overview of how the calculation works. The starting point is your household’s gross income, which includes wages, salary, and any other sources of income before taxes. 

Then, deductions are applied to gross income to determine your household’s net income. The following deductions are permitted for food stamps, regardless of the state or U.S. territory you live in: 

  • 20% automatic deduction from earned income 
  • A standard deduction based on household size and location (see Factors That Affect Food Stamp Benefits below) 
  • A dependent care deduction based on total dependent care costs, including expenses for child and disabled adult care. 
  • An excess medical expense deduction for seniors and disabled persons for expenses over $35 each month. 
  • An excess shelter expense deduction for shelter expenses that are more than half of a household’s income. Households containing an elderly or disabled person have a deduction covering all shelter costs beyond half of the household’s income. Other households have a deduction cap based on household size and location (see Factors That Affect Food Stamp Benefits below). Shelter expenses include the cost of rent or mortgage payments with interest, home taxes, electricity, water, heat, and basic telephone service. 
  • State and territory-based deductions, such as deductions for child support payments or homeless households. You can contact your state or territory SNAP provider to learn more about available state and territory-based deductions. See the “Contact Information by Location” section to find your state or territory’s SNAP contact information.

Your household’s net income is the income that remains after all deductions have been applied. Finally, the SNAP program expects households to cover about 30 percent of their own food expenses. 

To calculate your household’s food stamp allotment, you’ll need to multiply your household’s net monthly income by 0.3 and subtract that amount from your state or territory’s maximum monthly allotment for your household size. (See Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotments

It’s important to note that your food stamp allotment will be calculated and, if necessary, adjusted whenever you renew eligibility or if there is a change to your household income, size, or other determining factors. Regular reassessment ensures that benefits remain aligned with your changing circumstances.

Factors That Affect Food Stamp Benefits

Standard Deductions

Find your standard deduction for your household size for October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024 in the table below:

AreaHousehold Size
48 States and DC$198$208$244$279
Virgin Islands$174$208$244$279

Excess Shelter Expense Deduction

Find your maximum shelter deduction for October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024 in the table below: 

AreaMaximum Deduction Amount
48 States and DC$672
Virgin Islands$529

Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotments

Your maximum food stamp benefit allotment is determined by household size and your state or territory. See the tables below to find your household’s maximum allotment for October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024. 

48 States and D.C. Maximum SNAP Allotments

Household Size48 States and DC
Each Additional Person$219

Alaska Maximum SNAP Allotments

Household SizeAlaska
Each Additional Person$436

Hawaii Maximum SNAP Allotments

Household SizeHawaii 
Each Additional Person$396

Guam Maximum SNAP Allotments

Household SizeGuam
Each Additional Person$323

U.S. Virgin Islands Maximum SNAP Allotments

Household SizeU.S. Virgin Islands
Each Additional Person$282

Minimum SNAP Benefit Allotments

If you qualify for the food stamps program, your minimum SNAP benefit amount for October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024 is as follows: 

48 States and D.C.AlaskaHawaiiGuamU.S. Virgin Islands

Applying for Food Stamps in Your State or Territory

Applying for food stamps is a straightforward process that varies slightly depending on your state or territory. Depending on your state or territory, you can apply online, by mail, by phone, or in person at your local SNAP office. 

Many states offer online platforms that streamline the application, making it convenient and accessible. Whether you choose to submit your application digitally or through traditional methods, rest assured that assistance is within reach. Taking this step toward securing vital food stamp benefits is a positive stride toward improving your well-being and that of your family.

Did you find this information useful?

Thanks for your feedback!

You also may be interested in

View all

Most Read Guides

View all