How to: SNAP Elderly or Disabled Rules

These rules apply to anyone who is

🍎  A senior (60+) or

🍎  Disabled (any age) and getting one of these forms of disability benefits

Three Special Rules

🍎 The first rule is high rent. According to SNAP regulations, if your rent is high, your food stamps may be high. This is true for everyone, but it extra true for people on disability and seniors because there is no cap on rent.

🍎 The second rule is assets. This rule won’t be a big help to most people, but here it is: If you are on disability you are allowed to have slightly more assets (around $1,000 more and still qualify for food stamps). If you were turned down for food stamps because you had too much money or owned to much stuff, this could help.

🍎 The third rule is health and medical expenses. This is the biggie! This one can change your SNAP amount a lot. How to Follow the SNAP Health and Medical Expenses Rules

🍎 If you think you have no medical expenses, or you have already declared them all, read the link above anyway! You may discover some things are medical expenses that you had not realized.

Tips for Applying with Disabilities

Please ask your caseworker if they have applied the disabled rules for rent and medical expenses when calculating your case. Sometimes they do not apply these rules unless you ask for it! Your food stamps may go WAY up when they do this. These regulations are described above. You do not need to read the policy manual, but if you want to, it is here.

If you are already on Food Stamps, you can ask to have your amount of food stamps reassessed at any time. Contact your caseworker.

It is very possible that your caseworker will not know all the rules on this page or will not remember to apply them. It is a good idea to double check. Make your requests in writing. Call and confirm these have been applied to your case. Always talk to your caseworker, never talk to the person who answers the phone at the agency. Request a copy of your file if needed.

Next Steps

If you have a change in your income, savings, rent, utilities, medical expenses, or household, always notify your food stamps caseworker.

If you would like to request that your food stamps be reassessed based on changes, you can request this at any time.

Some of our readers report that they found it easier to report changes and communicate with their caseworker by email. This has the added advantage of creating a written record of changes you report. You can ask your caseworker if she has an email where you can reach her.

If you are asked to go to an in-person meeting and you cannot attend due to your disability, you can request an accommodation to do the meeting by phone or mail.

If you think your food stamps were not processed correctly, here’s some ideas for next steps.

There are a bunch more food stamps rules and regs it may really help you to know: How to Get Enough Food Stamps to Actually Eat

Updated March 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

9 thoughts on “How to: SNAP Elderly or Disabled Rules”

  1. I use to get $75 a month food stamps the they transferred me to Ms Bell. I’ve read everything & and put in paperwork showing homeless for over a yr, travel expenses now rent payments, etc yet this B!!! never always me more than $15 a month. They won’t let me transfer to someone else or some place else, plus she uses false reports to cancel me every other month when I complain. Can ANYONE please help me. And forget the supervisor or Senators (everything says I have no congressman after he quit).


    1. You could try contacting your local free legal aide program. See if they have anywhere who can help you request your food stamps file, so you can check if the information is correct.


      1. I had a similar issue, I talked to another worker and asked if she could not make notes on the account, also, they give you the supervisors phone number


  2. Hi, I am finally going to the ebt office tomorrow, as I just received my first official check. I am not sure what all to bring with me tomorrow. I have my reward letter and my backpay letter, my new rental agreement, my case # and bank statements. Is this enough? I am very sadden to have less in food benefits but happy to finally have SSI after a year of being sick. Also my SSI was being lower because my dad was paying $100 for rent for me. I have my new rental agreement stating I am now paying $200 a month and gave this to my lawyer to give to SSI. haven’t heard anything on that yet.


    1. Good work, Cyndy.

      It sounds like you have everything you need, the people at EBT will tell you if you need anything else. If you have medical expenses. You could also bring proof of that if you wish. Also, be sure to let them know if you are paying for utilities separately from your rent. Sometimes utilities can have a big impact on food stamps and amount.

      It would be unusual for a lawyer to handle your SSI rental agreement. Did your lawyer tell you they were planning to handle this for you?

      Normally, you would need to contact Social Security and request an appointment for an SSI redetermination. That is something that you could do in an appointment to either over the telephone or in person. I hope it goes great for you.


  3. So I had max food benefits since 2016 ($192 a month) . I recently was rewarded with ssi $670 a month, that starts in December, but my state gave me my full backpay of $2010.00 in November. when my understanding is that most states will give you this in multiple payments 6 months apart, This did not happen for me.
    I obviously can’t spend all of that in one month. Will ebt say I’m not eligible anymore? as I have to go down to the ebt office and report changes soon.


    1. In most states, Social Security backpay is excluded for a length of time. It is a special rule just for backpay. I believe it is generally six months.

      However you may already be under the limit and may not have to worry. Some states have no asset Limit. In some states it is $2000, so unless you also have other money you only need to spend $11 – I’m sure you can find a way 🙂

      Your food stamps will go down because of the monthly income however.
      Your food stamps will go down because of the monthly income however.
      Your food stamps will go down because of the monthly income however.

      It seems that something is lowering your SSI check, if you don’t know what it is you might find this link helpful:


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