Can You Use Food Stamps in Another State

You can use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card for buying groceries in any state within the United States and the District of Columbia. You can also use it to buy groceries online for pickup at participating stores. It’s important to note that some states have different rules for buying groceries with EBT online. You will also need to contact the state agency that administers SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in the state where you move to find out what the rules are in that state.

Eligibility Requirements for Out-of-State Food Stamp Use

Eligibility can differ between states, but generally, it works like this: if you’re receiving food stamps in one state, it’s likely you can continue receiving them if you move to another state without applying again. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Contact the Local SNAP Office: Upon arriving in the new state, get in touch with the local SNAP office within 30 days to update your address and other relevant information. They’ll guide you through any necessary steps.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Eligibility criteria can vary across states. Some common factors include household size, income, and assets. The local SNAP office will assess your eligibility based on the criteria set by that state.
  • Benefit Amount: The amount of food stamps you receive might change when you move to a different state. Each state determines its own benefit amounts, so it’s possible that you could receive more or less than you did in your previous state.
  • Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card: When you receive food stamps, you’ll typically get an EBT card that functions like a debit card. This card can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers in any state.

Here’s a table summarizing the eligibility requirements and the process involved when using food stamps in another state:

Contact Local SNAP OfficeUpon moving, reach out to the local SNAP office within 30 days to update your address and other information.
Eligibility AssessmentThe local SNAP office will assess your eligibility based on the state’s criteria.
Benefit AmountThe amount of food stamps you receive may differ from your previous state due to variations in benefit amounts.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) CardYou’ll receive an EBT card to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers in any state.

Remember, if there are any changes in your circumstances, such as changes in income or household size, be sure to report them to the local SNAP office promptly. This will ensure that you continue to receive the appropriate level of assistance.

Using Food Stamps in Another State

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a federal assistance program that provides food benefits to low-income individuals and families. Using SNAP requires understanding the processes and specific requirements for using the benefits in states other than the one in which you enrolled.

Process for Using Food Stamps in a Different State

Notification of Move

  • Inform Your Caseworker: Reach out to your local SNAP caseworker to inform them of your move. They will guide you through the process and answer your questions.
  • State-to-State Transfer: A transfer request will be initiated by your current state to the state where you are moving. This may take some time, so start the process as early as possible before your move.


  • Proof of Residency: Gather documents that prove your residency in the new state. Examples include a rental agreement, utility bills, or a valid driver’s license with the new address.
  • Identification: Bring a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID card.

Applying in the New State

  • Locate Your New SNAP Office: Find the local SNAP office in the state you are moving to. Contact information and addresses can be found online or by calling the national toll-free number.
  • Interview: You may be required to attend an in-person interview. Be prepared to provide information about your income, household size, and other factors that determine SNAP eligibility.

Receiving Benefits

  • Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card: Once approved, you will receive an EBT card, which works like a debit card for purchasing food at participating retailers.
  • Benefits Availability: Your benefits will be available on the EBT card around the same time each month as in your previous state.

Additional Considerations

  • Benefit Amounts: The amount of SNAP benefits you receive may vary from state to state due to different benefit calculation methods.
  • Eligible Food Items: The types of food you can purchase with SNAP benefits are generally the same across states, excluding prepared or hot foods.
  • Participating Retailers: Confirm which retailers accept SNAP benefits in your new state. A list of participating retailers can be found online or by contacting your local SNAP office.
Additional Resources
National SNAP Hotline1-800-221-5689
USDA Food and Nutrition Service
Find Your Local SNAP Office

Benefits of Using Food Stamps in Another State

Using food stamps in another state can offer various benefits to individuals and families. Here are some advantages of using food stamps across state lines:

Convenience and Flexibility

  • Portability: Food stamps are a portable benefit, meaning they can be used in any state in the United States, including the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This allows individuals and families to move freely between states without worrying about losing access to food assistance.
  • Simplified Application Process: Food stamp applications can be submitted in any state, regardless of where the applicant resides. This simplifies the process for individuals who move frequently or who need to apply for benefits in a different state.
  • Access to a Wider Range of Food Options: Using food stamps in another state can provide access to a broader selection of food items. This is especially beneficial for individuals with dietary restrictions or who prefer to purchase specialty foods not readily available in their home state.
  • Reduced Food Costs: Food stamp benefits can help reduce food costs for individuals and families. This can be particularly advantageous in areas with higher food prices or for those who need to purchase specialized food items due to dietary needs.

Preserving Benefits

  • Protection Against Benefit Loss: Using food stamps in another state can help individuals and families preserve their benefits if they move to a state with lower benefit levels. This ensures that they continue to receive the same level of assistance, regardless of their location.
  • Continuity of Benefits: Food stamp benefits are continuous, meaning they do not expire if they are not used within a certain timeframe. This allows individuals and families to use their benefits at their convenience, even if they move to another state.

Additional Considerations

While using food stamps in another state offers several benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • State-Specific Eligibility Requirements: Although food stamp eligibility is generally consistent across states, some states may have additional requirements or variations in benefit amounts. It’s important to check with the local food stamp office in the new state to ensure eligibility and determine any specific requirements.
  • Benefit Card Replacement: If an individual’s food stamp card is lost, stolen, or damaged, they will need to contact the food stamp office in the state where they reside to request a replacement card. This process may take some time, so it’s important to take precautions to keep the card safe.
  • Changes in Address: Individuals who move to another state must update their address with the food stamp office in their new state. Failure to do so may result in benefits being interrupted or terminated.
Summary of Benefits and Considerations of Using Food Stamps in Another State
– Portability– State-Specific Eligibility Requirements
– Simplified Application Process– Benefit Card Replacement
– Access to a Wider Range of Food Options– Changes in Address
– Reduced Food Costs
– Protection Against Benefit Loss
– Continuity of Benefits

Hey, thanks for making it all the way to the end! I hope you found the information in this article helpful. The world of SNAP benefits can be a bit confusing, but our dedicated team is here to help you navigate the ins and outs. If you still have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and provide you with the resources you need. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our future articles, where we’ll be diving deeper into the world of SNAP benefits and providing you with the latest updates and insights. Until then, take care and happy food stampin’!