Food Stamp Households

Authored By: Legal Services Alabama


The Food Stamp Program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) gives you benefits based on your household. This factsheet explains about Food Stamp Households.

What is a Food Stamp Household?

  • A food stamp household is a group of people living together who buy food and prepare meals together.
  • It can be one person buying and preparing food on his own.

Can one house have two or more food stamp households?

  • Yes. People in separate food stamp households can live together.

What is a separate food stamp household?

  • It can be one person buying and preparing food separately from others in the house.
  • It can be a group of persons who buy and prepare their food separately from others in the house.
    • They don't have to store their food separately.
    • They don't have to use a different stove or refrigerator.
  • It can also be someone over 60 years old with a disability that keeps him from buying food and preparing meals.
    • The income of the people he lives with must be less than 165% of the poverty level.
    • They do not have to buy food and prepare meals separately.
  • Someone of any age who can't buy food and prepare meals because of a disability can be a separate household from someone who lives with him and buys and prepares meals.
    • The other person must buy the food separately and prepare separate meals.

Can I be a separate household from my spouse?

  • No. Spouses living together have to be in the same food stamp household.

Can my children live with me and be a separate household?

  • Only if your children are 22 years old or older.
  • A younger child living with a parent must be in the parent's food stamp household, even if the child is married or has children.

How do I apply for food stamps separately?

  • When you fill out your application, put in only the people you want in your food stamp household.
  • Tell your food stamp worker about the other people who live with you, but explain that they buy food and prepare meals separately.

Reviewed May 2012 offers legal information, not legal advice. This website provides information on your rights and options. However, the site does not apply the law to your personal facts. For legal advice, you should call a lawyer. To apply for free legal services in Alabama, call the Legal Services Alabama office that is closest to where you live OR call toll-free 1-866-456-4995. You can also apply online HERE.

Last Review and Update: May 24, 2012
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