Need an update on your SNAP application status or information about your Oregon Trail (EBT) card? Visit the Oregon Department of Human Resources website.


Food Stamp Questions

Below you will find questions and answers about SNAP in Oregon. 

If you have questions about your SNAP application or an open SNAP case, check online at https://one.oregon.gov or connect with the ODHS Customer Service Center (800-699-9075 or Oregon.Benefits@dhsoha.state.or.us) or your local ODHS office

If you need additional help with the paperwork or navigating the SNAP application process, please connect with Multnomah County’s SNAP Outreach Team by calling or texting Emily (503-320-6658) or Juan (503-928-9689) or by emailing snap@multco.us. Please note we do not have access to the ODHS system to give you an update on your open case or submitted application.

Topics:

Is this page helpful?


General SNAP Information

What is SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps) is a federal nutrition assistance program that helps low-income families and individuals purchase nutritious, healthy food. Here in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) manages SNAP.

How do I purchase food?

SNAP participants will receive their benefits on an Oregon Trail Card, also known as an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. An Oregon Trail Card is like a debit card and can be used to purchase food at most places you can buy food, including grocery stores, some Farmers Markets and CSAs (more info here), and online at Walmart and Amazon

What can I purchase with my Oregon Trail Card?

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase most food products. You cannot buy hot food, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, vitamins, pet food, or household items. For a more detailed list see the USDA SNAP Guidelines

Are there additional benefits for being a SNAP participant besides the food dollars?

Just by being approved for SNAP, regardless of benefit amount, families and individuals may automatically be eligible for other programs, like discounts, priority access, and free services. 

How long do SNAP benefits last?

SNAP benefits will age off your EBT card after 12 months from the date of issuance if they are not used. Once they age off the system, they are no longer available and cannot be restored. Clients will receive a notice prior to benefits aging off letting them know they need to spend their benefits.

What if my card is lost, stolen, or broken?

If your card is lost or stolen, call the toll free Oregon Trail Card Replacement Line at 1-855-328-6715 to request a replacement card be mailed to you. The Replacement line is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. 

If your card is lost or stolen outside of business hours, call the toll free Oregon EBT Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447 to cancel your card and protect your remaining benefits. The Help Line is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You will still need to contact the Card Replacement Line to get a new card mailed to you.

If your card is broken, you may take your broken card to your local ODHS office to get a replacement or call the toll free Oregon Trail card Replacement Line at 1-855-328-6715

What if I need a new PIN number for my EBT card? 

Call the toll free Oregon EBT Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447 to change your PIN.

Go online to www.ebtEDGE.com and change your PIN. 

Visit your local ODHS Self Sufficiency Office or the Aging and Disability Office, where the receptionist can help you change your PIN.


Applying for SNAP

How is my SNAP eligibility and benefit amount calculated? 

ODHS considers an applicant’s income, some expenses, and some additional criteria when determining eligibility and benefit amount. Some groups, like college students, folks between 18 and 50 years old without children in the household, and immigrants, may need to meet additional criteria.

What kind of documents need to be turned in?

After an application is submitted, ODHS will let you know what is needed. You may need to turn in the following:

  • Proof of identity (copy of ID).

  • Proof of income (pay stubs, ledger, note from employer, etc).

  • Social security number for everyone in the household who wants benefits.

  • Proof of immigration status for those who want benefits.

Do I have to apply with everyone in my home?

ODHS requests that applications include everyone you live with. Usually, income guidelines will apply for those you live with and buy, prepare, and eat food with, most of the time. Some people must be counted together if they live together, whether or not food is shared. The groups who must be considered together if they live together are:

  • Parents and children under 22 years old

  • Individuals under 18 years old and their guardians

  • Spouses

What counts as income? 

ODHS considers income from most sources, including earned income from work and unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security income, unemployment insurance, and child support.

Whose income do I put on the application?

All individuals who you live with and buy, prepare, and eat food with most of the time. Additionally, income information will be required for everyone in the groups who must apply together if they live together (parents and children under 22, guardians and children under 18, and spouses).

If I have a house mortgage, savings in the bank, and/or car payments, will that affect my eligibility for SNAP?

For most Oregonians, house mortgages, bank savings, and car payments will not affect their eligibility for SNAP. 

What happens after I apply for SNAP?

After your application is submitted to ODHS, they will get in touch with you within a week or so to review your case. After an application is received by ODHS, there are 30 days to complete the entire application process, which may include an interview and submitting additional documents.

How do I check the status of my SNAP application?

You can check on the status of your application by logging in online (https://one.oregon.gov) or by connecting directly with ODHS at their Customer Service Center (800-699-9075 or Oregon.Benefits@dhsoha.state.or.us), a local ODHS Self Sufficiency branch, or an Aging and Disability Services Office. Need help locating the right office? Connect with 211info (call 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898211, email help@211info.org, or visit 211info.org). 

Will I get notified when it is time to renew my application?

ODHS mails notification before renewal is due, which is typically every 6 months. Usually, to continue receiving SNAP benefits, renewal paperwork must be completed. Your benefits may be delayed if the forms are incomplete or submitted late.

What if my income or something else in my situation changes?

There are times when it may be required for a SNAP participant to report changes, like if your income increases. Other changes, like a decrease in income or increase in rent, may not be required to report, but it could be beneficial to report them as it could lead to increased SNAP benefits.

Changes can be reported online (https://one.oregon.gov), by phone (800-699-9075), in writing, or in-person at a ODHS office.


Immigrants

Can non-citizens be eligible for SNAP?

Yes! Non-citizens may be eligible for SNAP. For more information, view the USDA’s SNAP Policy on Non-Citizen Eligibility

Immigrants that are eligible based on their immigration status must also meet the other SNAP eligibility requirements, like the income guidelines. 

Mixed-status households that meet the income guidelines can apply for everyone who lives and eats together. Keep in mind people in the US with student visas or tourist visas, DACA recipients, and undocumented individuals are not usually eligible for SNAP but applying could benefit the rest of the household. 

I am not eligible due to my immigration status, but my children are eligible. Can I apply for SNAP benefits for them? Do I include myself in the SNAP application?

You may apply for eligible household members such as your children, even though you are not eligible due to your immigration status. Children born in the U.S. and certain lawfully-present non-citizens may receive benefits even if their parents are not eligible. 

If you are the head of your household or the only adult, put your name on the application first, even if you are not eligible for SNAP. 

If I receive SNAP benefits on behalf of my children, will that affect me in the future when applying for Legal Permanent Residency (LPR)? What is public charge? 

***This response is not legal advice***

As of March 9, 2021, SNAP is NOT included in a public charge determination.

Some people who apply for a visa or lawful permanent residency may pass through a public charge determination, which according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks at whether or not they are likely to become “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.” 

  • Public charge does not apply to all immigrants - there are many exceptions!

  • Many public benefits are not considered in public charge and most immigrants who are subject to public charge are not eligible for the public benefits that do count under the rule.

  • Benefits used by family members will not count in public charge decisions.

Every situation is different, so it is important to stay informed!


Student Eligibility

Can students be eligible for SNAP?

Yes! Students older than 18 and younger than 50 years old, attending higher education half time or more must meet additional criteria to be eligible for SNAP. Check out our page about SNAP for College Students to find the additional eligibility criteria. Everyone applying for SNAP must meet the general income guidelines.

What is considered higher education?

Higher education is any institution that normally requires a high school diploma or equivalent for enrollment. This could be public or private college, university, or community college; online school; or business, technical, or vocational school.

I do not meet any of the additional student criteria, but my family meets the income guidelines; can the other people in my family still receive SNAP benefits?

Yes, if the other family members are eligible they may be able to receive SNAP. Student eligibility is based on the individual student. If there are other people in your household who may be eligible, they may apply for benefits. If you are an ineligible student, your income will not be considered when determining SNAP benefit amount.

I am a student living with my parents, but I am completely independent. Will their income impact my eligibility?

It depends. If a student is under 22 years old and lives with their parents, their parents’ income will be considered, even if food is bought, prepared, and eaten separately. If a student is 22 years old and more and living with their parents, they may apply independently if they buy, prepare, and eat their food separately from their parents most of the time. 

Is financial aid considered income and will it affect how much I am eligible for?

It depends. Educational loans, federal work study positions, and some other education awards are not counted as income. Some private grants, VA educational support, and some other educational awards may count as income. If your financial aid is counted as income, it may impact how much benefits you are eligible for. 

Do I have to be receiving financial aid in order to receive SNAP?

No.

How do meal plans impact student eligibility for SNAP? 

If a student’s meal plan is intended to cover less than 51% of their meals, they may be eligible. 

I am on a seasonal/holiday break from school right now, am I still considered a student?

If your break is during a normal school break such as spring, summer or winter break and you plan on returning to classes after the break, you are still considered a student and must meet the income guidelines and additional criteria.

I attend a local community college to complete classes for my GED. Do I have to meet the additional student criteria?

If a student is attending a GED program, they do not need to meet the student criteria. 

I attend a trade school. Is the school considered higher education?

Trade or vocational schools that require a high school diploma or GED meet the definition of higher education. A student of one of these institutions would need to meet one of the additional student criteria.

Can I work one hour per week of work study and be eligible for SNAP?

Yes, as long as a student’s household meets the general income guidelines, working in a federally funded work study position at any number of hours per week will meet the additional student criteria for SNAP.

How do I apply for federal work study?

Contact your school’s financial aid office.


Adults between 18 and 50 Without Dependents

What are the time limits for adults between 18 and 50 without dependents?

Currently, the time limits for adults between 18 and 50 without dependents have been suspended across Oregon until September 2021! If you were previously denied because of not meeting work requirements, you may now be eligible.