Myths & Facts about SNAP benefits

SNAP for Veterans Tri-Fold FAQ


August 24, 2020 - Author:



Myth: You cannot get Food Assistance if you living with someone else.
Fact: If you buy, fix and eat your food separately, you can choose to be added to someone else’s Food Assistance case or have your own card. Spouses and parents and children under age 22 must be in the same Food Assistance household.

Myth: You need a driver’s license or other form of identification in order to apply.
Fact: If you do not have a driver’s license, birth certificate or State ID card, you can have someone identify you. Shelter staff can provide this information. Other acceptable forms of identification include, but are not
limited to: State-issued identification, school issued identification, voter registration card, wage stub, identification for health benefits, documents indicating receipt of benefits under a program that requires verification of identity (SSI, RSDI, etc.).

Myth: You need to have a permanent address to receive Food Assistance.
Fact: You do not need a fixed address to receive Food Assistance. You can use the address of a friend, a church, a shelter or even a local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office when applying.

Myth: You need to have a place to cook in order to be eligible for Food Assistance.
Fact: Food Assistance benefits can be used to buy many nutritious foods that can be eaten raw or unprepared like juices, milk, fruits, vegetables, canned meats and fish, cheeses, and bread.

Myth: You cannot get Food Assistance if you stay at a shelter that provides meals.
Fact: If you stay at a shelter, you can still qualify for Food Assistance. The shelter may ask you to pay for your meals there, but you cannot be required to use your Bridge Card to pay for those meals.

Myth: If someone receives SNAP, they have to pay the money back or count it as income on their taxes.
Fact: SNAP does not have to be repaid. SNAP benefits do not have to be reported on taxes.


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Do I need a Social Security number?
Yes, you must have or apply for a Social Security number if you want SNAP benefits. People who want to apply for SNAP benefits need a Social Security number, and they do have to give financial information.

Can I get SNAP benefits if I am not working?
Yes. But if you are able to work, you must look for work, take a job, or go to training.

If I am approved, what can I expect?

You will get a Bridge Card, similar to a bank card or ATM card, to use to buy food at most grocery stores.

Are my veteran’s benefits (retirement and disability payments) counted as income for SNAP eligibility?

Yes, most earned and unearned income is counted.

Examples of countable income are:

  • Wages
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Rental income
  • Social Security benefits
  • Veterans benefits


Myth: If someone in a household is undocumented, no one in the household will qualify for SNAP.
Fact: Undocumented individuals do not qualify for SNAP, but other members of the same household may still qualify for help depending on their immigration status.

Myth: Undocumented immigrants who apply for or receive SNAP for themselves or a family member will be reported to immigration.
Fact: To apply for SNAP for yourself, you must provide proof of immigration status. However, if a household member applies for SNAP, they do not need to show other members’ status. If an undocumented immigrant has a child who is a legal resident, they may apply for SNAP on the child’s behalf. Undocumented immigrants do NOT have to show immigration status to DHHS if they are not applying for SNAP.

Myth: Immigrants who work and/or have a green card will not qualify for SNAP.
Fact: Some legal immigrants cannot get SNAP for up to 5 years, but some are eligible depending on their circumstances. If you are unsure if you may be eligible, call the Food and Other Resources helpline number.

FOR HELP, PLEASE CALL (888) 544-8773.

You can also contact MSU Extension’s SNAP Outreach for Veterans program staff at 


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