Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Info about accessing public benefits through DCHS.

Page updated on May 17, 2018 at 12:12 PM

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) assists individuals and families who are unable to purchase sufficient food for themselves. For information about eligibility and to apply on-line, visit Common Help

Program recipients with a lost, stolen or damaged card can call the toll-free Customer Service Help-Line at 1.866.2812448.  A new card will be mailed on the next business day.

Tracking the Balance in a Cardinal Card Account:

  • Keep store receipts that show the EBT balance in the Cardinal Card Receipt Saver. Check receipts from the last purchase; it shows the available balance.
  • Call the toll-free Customer Service Help-Line at 1.866.281.2448.
  • Some stores may have a Point-of-Sale machine located in the customer service counter that may be used to check balances before entering the check-out lane.

What is counted as income when you apply for SNAP?

Your total income, before taxes or any other subtractions, is called gross income. However, certain subtractions to your gross income, called deductions, are allowed. These can be for things like housing costs, child support payments, monthly medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled people, or child-care costs. The amount left over after these deductions is called net income. There are two income limits: gross income and net income. Most households must meet both income limits. If your household has a person who is 60 or older or who is disabled, you only need to meet the net income limit. If everyone in your household receives SSI or TANF, you do not need to meet any income limit. The maximum income limit to qualify for SNAP (Food Stamps) is 130 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Examples of income counted are:

  • Gross income from employment
  • Child support payments
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers compensation
  • Public assistance payments
  • Pensions
  • Veterans benefits
  • Alimony
  • Dividends
  • Interest and similar payments
  • Retirement or disability benefits
  • Old age, survivor’s or strike benefits
  • Scholarships and educational grants
  • Fellowships and veterans’ educational benefits

For additional questions, call the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services at 703.746.5902.