Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Lori Pace
The rules for eligibility for food stamps are complicated and change frequently. Although this page can be a great starting point, the best way to determine if you are eligible for food stamps would be to apply for Food Stamps Program in Montana.
Are You Eligible For Food Stamps in Montana?
Montana will need to know the following information in order to determine if you are eligible for food stamps:
- Household size – How many people live with you and make food.
- Income – The amount of money that your household earns. This includes earned income (the money that you earn from your job) and unearned income such as cash assistance, unemployment insurance, child support, and so on.
Who counts as a household member?
Everyone you buy/make food with is a member of your household.
- It is possible to live with others who don’t count in your household, such as tenants who rent a room or adult children (22+), who make their own food.
- Children under 22 years old count as household members even if they make or buy their own food.
- If you make/buy food for them or if you share the cost of making food, elderly (60+) and disabled persons count as household members. They do not count if they live with you, but they buy/make food for themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions about Food Stamps in Montana
Can I get food stamps if I’m unemployed?
Yes, provided you don’t quit your job or reduce your hours so you can qualify. If you don’t work or work less than 30 hours per week, you may be required to take part in an employment-training program. There are exceptions.
To learn more, visit your local office .
What if I am convicted of a drug crime?
Yes, to learn more, call your local office or Montana SNAP hotline at 1-888-706-1535.
What if I am not a citizen and I don’t qualify for food stamps?
- Non-citizens with qualified alien immigration status can apply for food stamps.
- Qualified aliens are refugees, trafficked victims, Cuban and Haitian migrants, Iraqi and Afghan immigrants with special statut, and many more.
Non-citizens are eligible without waiting period
These non-citizens can apply with no waiting period.
- Qualified children from other countries under 18 years of age
- Section 207 of the INA allows refugees to be admitted (includes victims from severe forms of trafficking).
- Victims of Trafficking Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
- Asylees in Section 208 of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Withheld deportation under 243(h), 241(b),(3) of INA
- Amerasian immigrants who are not covered by the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act (Act 584)
- Cuban and Haitian refugees as defined by 501(e), Refugee Education Assistance Act of 80
- Special immigrants for Iraqi and Afghan nationals under Section 101(a),(27) of INA
- Certain American Indians were born abroad
- Hmong and Highland Laotian tribal members legally living in the U.S. who helped the U.S. military during Vietnam, as well as their spouses or surviving spouses, and unmarried dependent kids
- Senior citizens who were born before August 22nd 1931 or earlier and who legally resided in the U.S.A on August 22nd 1996
- Lawful permanent residents in the U.S., who receive government payments for blindness or disability.
- Lawful permanent residents with a military connection (veteran or on active duty or spouse or child of a veteran, active duty service member, or vet)
After a waiting period, qualified aliens are eligible
Qualified alien is a non-citizen who has a specific immigration status as defined by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Recovery Act (PRWORA). After a waiting period, a qualified alien can apply for SNAP benefits if he or she is not a member of one of the above non-citizen groups.
- An LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) is someone who has worked 40 quarters or more.
- Are you an alien from one of these groups and have been in qualified status for five years?
- Under section 212(d),(5) of the INA, you can be paroled for at most one year
- Conditional entry granted under 203(a),(7) of the INA prior to April 1, 1980
- Petition pending under 204 (a)(1)(A), (B), or 244 (a)(3) of INA for a spouse, child, or parent.
Are food stamps available for homeless people?
Yes. To apply for food stamps, you don’t need to have a physical address or live in a house. You can still apply for food stamps if you are currently living in a shelter providing free meals.
Are there any food stamps that I can get if I am pregnant or have just become a parent?
- Your household size will grow once your child is born. You will reap the benefits of having more members in your household.
- You can’t receive more food stamps while you are pregnant, but you can apply to Women, Infants, Children (WIC) benefits.
- WIC offers food and resources to pregnant women, newborn parents, and children as young as 5 years.