Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline


Food assistance in 180 languages

Hotline Hours





Yellow Stars


Learn more about SNAP from answers to these frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

All types of people receive SNAP benefits — single adults, families, seniors, and working people. Many people who do not have children are eligible for SNAP benefits.

Eligibility is based primarily on household income and certain expenses. Most applicants will not be asked for proof of money in the bank or other resources. Learn more and see if you are eligible by calling Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

Expedited benefits mean that you may receive benefits within seven days. We suggest you go in person to your local DTA office to apply.
To be eligible for expedited benefits, you must meet one of these three criteria: 1) Income and money in the bank add up to less than the monthly housing expenses; 2) Monthly income is less than $150, and money in the bank is less than $100; 3) The applicant is a migrant worker, and money in the bank is less than $100.

If you believe you are eligible for expedited benefits but don't get them, you have a right to a conference with a DTA supervisor.
No. Certain SNAP recipients may have to enroll in a job search program a few months after their benefits begin; however, many SNAP applicants do not.
No. In fact, the costs associated with owning your home are used as deductions in determining your eligibility. The home you live in is not considered an asset.

Yes. Many non-citizens are eligible for SNAP. Receiving SNAP will have no impact on your application for citizenship and/or a green card. If you do not have documented immigration status, you will not be able to apply for yourself, but you may be able to apply for other eligible household members. Children born in the US may receive benefits even if their parents do not have documentation. Learn more about SNAP benefits for immigrants.

Yes. A permanent address is not required to apply for SNAP. You can get benefits whether you live on the street, are staying in a shelter, or are living with family or friends on a temporary basis. Homeless individuals and families who do not have regular shelter expenses can claim an automatic deduction from their income.

No. You can begin an application over the phone by calling Project Bread's toll-free FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. You may also email or fax your application, or apply online. 

Yes. If you buy and prepare food with the people you live with, you all apply together. If you do not, you apply separately, but you would still need to put their names on your application. Some people must always apply together, including spouses and children under 22 living with a parent or step-parent.

You should first try to contact your DTA caseworker. You can also call the DTA Assistance Line at 1-877-382-2363, or you can access information on your application through DTA’s My Accounts webpage: www.mass.gov/vg/selfservice.

It can take up to 30 days to receive benefits. Some households may be eligible for expedited/emergency SNAP, which are available in seven calendar days.

When you apply for SNAP you may be given an EBT card right away, but until your application is processed, you will not have any benefits on your card.
It is also possible you may be categorically eligible for $0, meaning when your income and expense information was calculated the amount of SNAP benefits you qualified for was $0. However, you are still considered a SNAP recipient and can receive any associated benefits, such as utility discounts.

No. SNAP benefits are not considered income.
Yes. SNAP benefits are only for food. However, some people have an EBT card for their TAFDC (cash assistance) benefits. You can use TAFDC benefits to purchase food and non-food items. For information on TAFDC eligibility, contact your local DTA office.

"Let's Chat" — our counselors are available online!

Have questions or want to find out if you are eligible for SNAP? Start a chat with a Project Bread FoodSource Hotline counselor using the Live Chat feature below!