Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Info about accessing public benefits through DCHS.

Page updated on Oct 31, 2018 at 1:59 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 on a Cardinal Card Account:

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

Income Eligibility

What is counted as income when applying for SNAP?  Total income, before taxes or any other subtractions, is the gross income. However, certain subtractions to gross income, called deductions, are allowed. These can be for things like housing costs, child support payments, monthly medical expenses over $35 for older adults or people with disabilities, or child-care costs. The amount left over after these deductions is the net income. There are two income limits: gross income and net income. Most households must meet both income limits. If a household has a person who is 60 or older or who has a disability, only the net income limit must be met. If everyone in the household receives SSI or TANF,  no income limit must be met. 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

SNAP Double Dollars Program

Learn how SNAP beneficiaries can stretch their food dollars and access healthy, locally grown food at the Old Town Farmers' Market through the Double Dollar Program.

For more information, call the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services at 703.746.5902.