Food & Nutrition
Idaho Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
12 min read

In your state, the average household that includes an older adult gets


in SNAP benefits. You could get more or less depending on your income and household size.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps many older adults and young families in Idaho pay for food.

If you're approved for SNAP benefits, the government will issue your funds through an electronic benefits card (or EBT card). An EBT card looks and works like a prepaid debit card, and can be used at grocery stores and some online retailers to buy foods that are SNAP-eligible. Some farmer's markets across Idaho also participate in SNAP, and you can use your EBT card there as another form of payment.

Frequently asked questions

How does SNAP work?

The Idaho Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people who are struggling to put food on their table. Once known as Food Stamps, this program is operated by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). It allows many older adults, people with disabilities, and others to stretch their budget further. This is because the money they would have spent on food can now be spent on other needs—such as utility bills, prescriptions, and medical bills.

Below is a snapshot of what’s covered and what’s not covered by Idaho SNAP.

Covered by Idaho SNAP benefits:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants that produce food

Not covered by Idaho SNAP benefits:

  • Beer, wine or liquor
  • Cigarettes or tobacco
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that can be eaten in-store
  • Prepared foods
  • Non-food items (pet food, soaps, paper products, and household supplies)

What is the SNAP application process like in Idaho?

While you may think applying for SNAP is too complicated or time-consuming, it isn’t as difficult as you might expect. You can even ask a trusted friend or family member to help you apply.

Generally, here are the steps to apply for Idaho SNAP:

  1. Submit an application: Applying for SNAP in Idaho be done over the phone, in person, or by mail, email, or fax. Completing the application could take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Submit proof of your situation: You will be asked to provide documents that prove your identity and income, such as your ID, paystubs, or rent receipts. 
  3. Take part in an interview: A caseworker from DHW will contact you to schedule an interview (or interview you on the spot if you’re applying via phone or in person).
  4. Wait for a decision: Most applications are processed within 30 days. If you are eligible for expedited (faster) benefits, your application will be processed sooner. DHW will send you a letter in the mail notifying you of its decision. 
  5. Receive your EBT card: If you’re approved for SNAP benefits, you’ll receive an EBT card loaded with money for groceries within 10 to 14 days of your approval letter.

How do I know if I'm eligible for SNAP?

To qualify for SNAP in Idaho:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant.
  • You must be an Idaho resident.
  • Your household income must be less than the program income limits for your household size.
  • With some exceptions, you must work or participate in an employment and training program.

 The amount of money you will get in Idaho SNAP benefits depends on:

  • How much you earn from your job or other income you receive, like Social Security
  • How many people live with you
  • Any assets you have (for example, cash in a bank account or property)

The following chart shows the maximum monthly income limits that most people or families can earn and still be eligible for SNAP in Idaho. These figures are effective for fiscal year 2024 (Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024). You can use the site you’re currently on to check your eligibility—just click on the green button that says ‘See If You May Be Eligible.’

Family size Maximum monthly income in Idaho
1 $1,580
2 $2,137
3 $2,694
4 $3,250
5 $3,807
For each additional person, add: $557


For most Idaho households, assets (resources) must be under $5,000 to qualify for SNAP.

Assets include, but are not limited to:

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Property 
  • Household and recreational vehicles

What is Expedited SNAP in Idaho?

Immediate food assistance is available for households that need it. If you are eligible, you can receive SNAP benefits within 7 days of applying.

To receive expedited SNAP benefits in Idaho, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your household will have less than $150 income and less than $100 liquid resources (cash, checking, savings) this month. 
  • Your household's income and resources are less than your monthly housing and utility costs.
  • Your household includes a migrant or seasonal farm worker.

Can't wait for Idaho SNAP benefits and need food today? Find a food pantry near you.

How do I prepare to apply?

When applying for Idaho SNAP, you’ll be asked for important information to help determine if you qualify and the amount you can receive each month.

Before you start, gather the following information to make your application process easier: 

  • The amount of income you get from jobs and other sources
  • Social Security numbers and birth dates of everyone who wants to apply
  • Costs you pay for bills, such as rent, mortgage, water, gas, electric, sewage, and phone
  • The value of items you pay for or own, such as vehicles, money in bank accounts, stocks, etc.
  • Money you get or pay for child support
  • Health insurance information

Examples of documents you may need to verify (prove) the information above include:

  • Bank statements
  • Pension statements
  • Social Security statements 
  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • Social Security card
  • Driver's license or other government-issued ID 
  • Birth certificate 
  • Proof of household expenses (such as utility and phone bills)
  • Marriage license or divorce decree

How do I apply for SNAP in Idaho?

There are several ways to apply for SNAP if you live in Idaho. Read below to learn more about which option might be right for you. Be sure to have your ID card handy as well as information on your household income and assets, housing costs, current monthly expenses, and immigration status (if applicable). 

You can pick up a paper application at your local field office or download and print an application on the DHW website (available in English and Spanish).

Call 1-877-456-1233 to apply for SNAP in Idaho over the phone.


You can also apply for Idaho SNAP in person, visit your local field office to fill out an application. Locate a field office near you.


Mail your completed application, along with copies of all necessary documents, to:

Self-Reliance Programs
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0026


If you have access to a fax machine, you can also send your completed SNAP application along with all necessary documents to 1-866-434-8278.


The state of Idaho also receives SNAP applications through email. Send your completed application along with digital copies of all necessary documents to

How can I get help with my application?

There are multiple options available should you need help filling out your SNAP application. 

You can:

NCOA also has a HelpLine that you can call to get free support. To get started today, call 1-855-534-1245.

What happens after I apply for SNAP in Idaho?

It can take up to 30 days for your local field office to process your SNAP application (sooner if you’re requesting expedited benefits).

An interview is required to be eligible for SNAP assistance in Idaho. You’ll be interviewed on the spot if you apply over the phone or in person at a field office. If you apply via email, mail, or fax, you will be contacted to schedule an interview after your application is received and reviewed.

What can I expect during my SNAP interview?

The goal of the interview is to make sure your application is complete, correct, and ready for approval. Your caseworker can also tell you more about the program and answer any questions you have. You MUST complete the interview to receive SNAP benefits. 

During your interview, you may have to answer questions like:

  • What is your full name and birthday?
  • What is your Social Security number?
  • Where do you live? (You can still qualify if you are houseless. But this is mainly to prove your Idaho residency.)
  • Are you a U.S. citizen? (You may still qualify if you are a noncitizen.)
  • What is your monthly income?
  • Do you pay utilities, such as an electric bill or cable TV bill?
  • What other regular bills do you have?

If your interview is scheduled ahead of time, it’s a good idea to practice answering these questions before your appointment. That way, you can respond with confidence.

Once your interview is complete and your SNAP field office has all the information it needs to make a decision, your application will be processed. You will then receive a notice from DHW regarding your eligibility.

If you are approved for SNAP, you'll either receive your EBT card that same day in the field office or receive a letter within 10 to 14 days with your EBT card. This letter will state your monthly benefits amount. Each month you are eligible, your card will be automatically loaded with your benefits. Benefits are loaded on a staggered schedule the first 10 days of the month. The date your SNAP benefits will be loaded depends on the last number of your birth year. For example, if you were born in 1964, you will receive benefits on the 4th day of the month.

If your application is denied, the DHW letter will explain why. If you don’t agree with this decision, you have the right to appeal. The letter will explain how to file an appeal.

Other important tips and information when applying for SNAP in Idaho

What are important things I should know?
  • If anything changes with your SNAP account, it will be automatically reflected in your EBT benefits. You won't need to get a new card.
  • Report any name changes or changes of address right away. Your card might not be accepted at shopping locations if your card information does not match.
  • If you've lost your EBT card, call the FIS card customer service line at 1-888-432-4328 to request a new one. Local field offices cannot issue a replacement card.
  • To check the balance on your EBT card, call the number listed on the back of your card (1-888-432-4328) or visit
How can I manage my Idaho SNAP benefits online? 

Once you are approved for SNAP assistance, you can manage your benefits online at If you're a returning website user, click ‘Sign In’ to access your account. If you are a new user, you must create an account by clicking 'Register' and following the instructions. From your account, you'll be able to see your SNAP benefits and report any changes to your household or financial situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

See What Key Benefits Programs You May Qualify For

BenefitsCheckUp can help you assess whether you can get help from programs before you apply. Answer questions anonymously to find out if you may be eligible for key benefits programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid, Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS) - Extra Help, among others. 

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