Food stamps: How to transfer SNAP benefits when moving states

Food Stamps
This photo taken Jan. 8, 2014 shows the contents of a specially prepared box of food at a food bank distribution in Petaluma, Calif., part of a research project with Feeding America to try to improve the health of diabetics in food-insecure families. Doctors are warning that the federal government could be socked with a bigger health bill if Congress cuts food stamps _ maybe not immediately, they say, but if the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Eric Risberg

Food stamps: How to transfer SNAP benefits when moving states

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is one of a handful of federal programs that do not transfer from state to state.

SNAP benefits are intended for low-income households and can be used at participating farmers markets and retail stores. When a household moves, programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance do not transfer to a new state.


To continue receiving benefits, SNAP recipients must go through a series of steps to maintain their federal assistance. First, a recipient must cancel the benefits in the state he or she is moving out of. A household cannot receive benefits until the original state case is closed, according to

To close an original case, a recipient must call his or her local SNAP office and follow prompted directions to close his or her benefits. Benefits should be managed within a week or two before a recipient moves.

Those needing to switch their benefits from one state to another should budget accordingly. Any leftover benefits will continue to be available to you, even if you open a case in another state.

The best way to maximize existing SNAP benefits is to use cash-back apps, create a coupon and discount strategy, and buy in bulk.

Each state’s application process may vary, so view the new state’s SNAP eligibility and application information in the Food and Nutrition category on


SNAP benefits are calculated based on household income and size. The recipient’s household income generally must be at or below 130% of the poverty line. In fiscal 2023, the poverty line used to calculate SNAP benefits is $1,920 a month.

An average monthly SNAP benefit for a household of three is $577, with a maximum of $740. An average payment for a household of eight is $1,150, with a maximum of $1,691. Any household larger than eight can be calculated by adding a maximum of $211 per additional person.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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