Money to buy food

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) | NYC Human Resources Administration

1. How it Works

Get help paying for groceries with SNAP. SNAP benefits are sometimes called food stamps. They come on a debit card that you can use at many grocery stores and farmers markets.

  • If you are eligible, you will receive your benefits within 30 days
  • You must be a US citizen or have satisfactory immigration status to receive SNAP; a worker will help you determine your status when you apply
  • Requires proof of identity, where you live, and income
  • You can allow someone who knows your household situation apply for you
  • Apply online, in person, by fax, or by mail
  • You will have to complete an interview after you submit your application

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the SNAP website to learn more about this program.

Call 311

Ask for SNAP.

Call the SNAP Infoline

Call the SNAP Infoline at 718-557-1399 for more information.

Visit a SNAP Center or Community Organization

Find a SNAP center near you.

Find your local community-based organization.

2. Determine your eligibility

This program looks at several things to decide if you are eligible. They include:

  • how much money you earn
  • how much money you receive from benefits
  • how many people are in your house
  • your citizenship or immigration status

With a few questions, we can help you find out if you may be eligible.

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

3. What you need to include

It’s important to include the right documents when you apply. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.

This page can help you choose the right documents for your application.

Proof of who you are

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For each person applying, any one document:

  • Driver license or official photo ID
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal certificate or another religious certificate
  • Social Security Card for dependents
  • Social security Card or ITIN
  • Marriage records
  • Medicaid card
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Official birth records
  • Official school records
  • Adoption records
  • Other official record showing birth date

Proof of where you live

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For the household, any one document:

  • Utility bill (gas, electric, or water)
  • Copy of most recent deed
  • Correspondence from a government agency with your name and your street address (not a P.O. Box)
  • Current letter, lease, or rent receipt from your landlord with your home address. If a proprietary lease is unavailable, you must submit a copy of your stock certificate, (front and back), showing the names of all owners. If co-op owner, copy of the page(s) of your proprietary lease, which shows the names of the grantor and grantee and the number of shares in your unit., immunization card (child under the age of 6)
  • Lease signed by both landlord and tenant
  • Postmarked envelope, postcard, or magazine label with name and date (cannot use if sent to a P.O. Box)
  • Property tax records or mortgage statements
  • Rent increase documents (if you live in a rent controlled apartment)
  • Rent orders from DHCR (major capital improvement, rent reduction order, or hardship)
  • Statement from non-relative landlord
  • Written demand for rent increase from landlord

Proof of your income

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For each income source of each income earner, any one document:

Wages & Salary

  • W2
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead, signed and dated
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead, signed and dated
  • Paycheck stubs (If you are paid the same amount each week, bring your last 4 paystubs. If you are paid a different amount of money each week, bring the last 12 weeks worth of paycheck stubs.)

Self-employment

  • Records of earnings and expenses
  • Signed and dated income tax return and all schedules

Income from Rent or Room and Board

  • Canceled check
  • Ledger or rent receipt book
  • Letter from roomer, boarder, or tenant

Military Pay

  • Current award letter
  • Current check stub

Child Support or Alimony

  • Alimony check stub
  • Child support check stub
  • Letter from court
  • Letter from person providing support

Unemployment Income

  • 1099-G
  • Award letter or certificate
  • Correspondence from NYS Department of Labor

Social Security Benefits (SSI, Dependent, Disability, Survivor’s, or Retirement)

  • Correspondence from Social Security Administration
  • Current award letter or certificate
  • Current benefit check

Worker’s Compensation

  • Current award letter
  • Current check stub

Veteran’s Benefits

  • Correspondence from Veterans Administration
  • Current award letter
  • Current benefit check stub

Pensions, Annuities, or IRA

  • Statement from pension or annuity

Interest, Dividends, or Royalties

  • 1099-DIV
  • 1099-INT
  • Letter from agent
  • Statement from bank, credit union, or financial institution

Support from Family Members

  • Copies of canceled checks from family member
  • Signed statement or letter from family member

Proof of your expenses

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For each expense, any one document:

Dependent Care Costs

  • Canceled checks or receipts
  • Court order
  • Statement from aide or attendant
  • Written statement from day care center or other child or adult care provider

Housing Expenses

  • Current rent receipt
  • Current lease
  • Mortgage records
  • Verification of rent amount
  • Property tax records
  • Sewer and water bills
  • Fuel bills
  • School tax records
  • Utility bills
  • Sewer and water bills
  • Telephone bills

Proof of citizenship/immigration status

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For each person applying, any one document:

  • Birth certificate showing U.S. citizenship
  • Employment Authorization Card (I-688B or I-766)
  • INS I-210 letter
  • INS form I-181
  • INS form I-220B
  • INS form I-551: Green card (copies of both sides of the card.)
  • INS form I-94
  • Letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) (formerly INS) showing status and, if necessary, your date of entry into the U.S.
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Official U.S. medical records
  • Other INS documentation, or correspondence to or from the INS, that shows that the alien is PRUCOL, that is, the alien is living in the U.S. with the knowledge and permission or acquiescence of the INS, and the INS does not contemplate enforcing the alien’s departure from the U.S.
  • U.S. baptismal certificate
  • U.S. passport

Proof of your resources

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For each resource of each resource holder, any one document:

  • Bank books
  • Bank statement
  • Copies of stocks, bonds, or securities
  • Credit union records
  • Deed or appraisal for real estate
  • Motor vehicle estimate from the dealer and its “blue book” value
  • Trust fund

Proof of your disability status

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For each disabled/incapacitated person, any one document:

  • Proof of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Statement of medical professional

Proof of school attendance

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For each student, any one document:

  • School records
  • Statement from school

Proof of having health insurance

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For each type of insurance of each person with health insurance, any one document:

  • Insurance card

Proof of paid or unpaid Medical bills

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For each bill, any one document:

  • Copy of each bill, and proof of payment if a paid bill

Proof of your non-custodial parent information

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For each dependent, any one document:

  • Survivor’s benefits
  • Veteran’s Assistance or military records

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

  1. Go to ACCESS HRA.
  2. Create an ACCESS HRA account or log in to an existing one.
  3. Fill out the SNAP application and submit it.
  4. Send your documents to HRA in one of the following ways.
    1. Scan your documents using the NYC HRA Document Upload app available for free on the iTunes Store (for iPhones) or the GooglePlay Store (for Android phones).
    2. Mail copies of your documents to: PO Box 29008, Brooklyn, NY, 11202-9816.
    3. Take your documents to your local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to submit to HRA.
  5. After you submit your application, you will be contacted to do an eligibility interview. You can do your interview over the telephone without having to come into a SNAP center.
  6. You can check the status of your application by going to ACCESS HRA.
  7. You will need to recertify for SNAP once every year. The SNAP office will mail you a recertification packet for you to complete and mail back to HRA or recertify online on ACCESS HRA. Once you submit your recertification, you will be able to set up your preferred interview date and time by calling the On Demand interview phone line at 718-SNAP-Now (718-762-7669).

Apply online

Apply by mail

  1. Print a paper application, pick one up from a SNAP Center, or call the HRA Infoline at 718-557-1399 to have a paper application mailed to you.
  2. Mail the application and copies of your documents to:
    Division of SNAP Services, Mail Application & Referral Unit (MARU),
    P.O.Box 24510
    Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Download the form

Apply by phone

You can also fax your competed application to 917-639-1111.

Apply in person

  1. Print a paper application, pick one up from a SNAP Center, or call the HRA Infoline at 718-557-1399 to have a paper application mailed to you.
  2. Gather the documents you’ll need to include with your application.
  3. Drop your completed application off at a SNAP Center near you. You can make copies of your documents at the center.
  4. You can also apply for SNAP at a community-based organization (CBO) in your neighborhood. Experts can help you submit your application, and the necessary documents.

Find a location

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the SNAP website to learn more about this program.

Call 311

Ask for SNAP.

Call the SNAP Infoline

Call the SNAP Infoline at 718-557-1399 for more information.

Visit a SNAP Center or Community Organization

Find a SNAP center near you.

Find your local community-based organization.

Updated December 6, 2017