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Food Stamp Benefits


The Alaska Food Stamp Program provides food benefits to low-income households. The federal government funds 100% of the Food Stamp benefit. The State pays half the costs of operating the Food Stamp Program in Alaska.

The Division of Public Assistance issues Food Stamp benefits via the Alaska Quest card. The amount a household receives each month depends on the household's countable income and size of the household. Eligible households use the Food Stamp benefits to buy food products from authorized stores statewide.

Eligible applicants must pass income and assets tests. The gross monthly income test is based on 130% of the current Alaska poverty standard.

Alaska has special rules that allow for higher Food Stamp benefits in rural areas, and the use of benefits to purchase certain hunting and fishing subsistence supplies.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY

Residency. Applicants must be living in the State of Alaska to receive Food Stamp benefits from Alaska.

Age and Relationship. There are no specific age limits to receive Food Stamp 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 U.S citizen, a U.S. National, or a qualified alien to get Food Stamp benefits. Some legal immigrants are ineligible for Food Stamp benefits; however, dependents of an ineligible immigrant are often eligible. All household members must have a social security number or proof of having applied for one.

Work. To receive Food Stamp 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.

Other Factors. Strikers must be resource and income eligible before the day of the strike. Most college students must be working half time, enrolled in work-study, caring for young dependents, or receiving Temporary Assistance. Felons convicted of drug-related offenses are not eligible for Food Stamp 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 $2,000 for most households and $3,250 for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years or older.

Assets not counted are the home and its lot, household goods, income producing property, real estate that is up for sale, cash value of life insurance, individual retirement accounts, college savings plans, personal property, 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.

Special rules apply to Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends.

Income Test. The Food Stamp Program does not count scholarships, grants and loans used for tuition and fees, reimbursements, Native dividends, heating assistance, earnings of children under age 18 who are in school, and loans.

Countable income includes wages, self-employment, public assistance benefits, unemployment benefits, worker's compensation, child support, pensions, social security, SSI, and Senior Benefits payments.

Special rules apply to Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends.

Deductions. Food Stamp Program rules allow income deductions, including a 20% deduction on earnings, a standard deduction of $256 given to households with one to five members and $268 to households with six or more members, a deduction for dependent care costs, medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled household members, and a shelter/utility deduction not to exceed $749 for most households.  There is no limit on shelter/utility deductions for households that contain an elderly or disabled individual

 

MONTHLY GROSS/NET INCOME LIMITS

(Effective 11/1/13 through 9/30/14)

Household Size

Gross Income

Net Limit

1 $1555 $1196
2 $2100 $1615
3 $2645 $2035
4 $3190 $2454
5 $3735 $2873
6 $4280 $3292
7 $4825 $3711
8 $5369 $4130
Each additional +$545 +$420

Benefits

Benefit amounts depend on a household's size, net income, and location of residence. Generally, the larger the household or the lower the net income the higher the Food Stamp benefit. Also, Food Stamp Program rules allow households in some rural areas to receive a higher benefit.

MAXIMUM MONTHLY FOOD STAMP BENEFIT

(Effective 11/1/13 through 9/30/14)

Household Size

Urban

Rural I

Rural II

1 $226 $288 $351
2 $415 $529 $644
3 $594 $758 $922
4 $755 $962 $1172
5 $896 $1143 $1391
6 $1076 $1372 $1670
7 $1189 $1516 $1845
8 $1359 $1733 $2109
Each additional $+170 $+217 $+264