Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you get the food you need and can help you stretch your food budget. This program is not intended to meet all of your food budget needs; instead, it supplements those needs while the person or family makes an effort to become self-supporting.

SNAP can be used to buy

  • Food
  • Plants
  • Seeds to grow food to eat

SNAP benefits cannot be use to buy

  • Non-food items (such as paper products or household and personal hygiene supplies)
  • Alcoholic drinks or tobacco products
  • Vitamins and medication
  • Pet foods
  • Foods eaten in the store or hot, ready-to-eat food

Application Process

After you submit an application, your case will be screened for expedited SNAP. You may qualify to have your benefits issued quickly if: 

  • Your liquid assets do not exceed $100 and your monthly gross income is less than $150
  • Your liquid assets and gross income (earned and unearned) for the month are less than your housing costs.
  • Some migrant and seasonal farmworker households may also get benefits quickly.

Once screened, you will be scheduled for a phone interview with a worker to review your application and go over any needed verifications. In some cases, a worker may try to call you prior to an interview being scheduled. Talk to a worker if you need an in-person interview.

Common verifications needed

  • ID for applicant
  • ID for authorized representative if you choose to have one and they complete the interview
  • SSN's for all members applying for SNAP
  • Proof of immigration status for members applying for SNAP
  • Earned income - recent 30 days gross income and any tips received
  • Unearned income - any type of unearned income and gross amounts from recent 30 days
  • Recent work history if any employment has changed or ended
  • Shelter expenses (optional to verify)
  • Applicants that have a convicted drug felony from within the recent 10 years will be subject to an initial and random ongoing drug testing

It can take up to 30 days to determine eligibility. Benefits are issued monthly on an EBT (electronic benefit transaction) card.

**Each case and client is different. This is basic information. Verifications required vary on a case-by-case basis. Please check with your local county financial worker for case specific information.

Income Guidelines for SNAP

Number of PeopleMonthly income (earned and unearned income) before taxes
(For each additional family member above 8 add $608)

Screening Tool

Stretch your food dollars with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits - DHS-3529


  • You can apply online at
  • Come into our agency located at 204 Laurel St. Brainerd, MN 56401 to pick up an application. Our agency is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Call our agency at 218-824-1250 to request a paper application be mailed to you.
  • Print an application and complete it by hand or complete it electronically and submit to our agency by one of the following methods: 

In person at 204 Laurel St. Brainerd, MN 56401

Mail to P.O. Box 686 Brainerd, MN 56401

Fax to 218-824-1141

Email to

Put in our drop box located outside our agency

Combined Application Form DHS-5223

SNAP for individuals and couples age 60 and older DHS-5223F 

Please Note: The day that we receive the first page of the Combined Application Form with at least your name, address and signature is the first day that you may be eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You will need to submit the rest of the application prior to your scheduled interview.

For more information about SNAP click below:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program DHS-2814

Other area food resources:

 USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online on the USDA website, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email the program.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish or call the State Information/Hotline Numbers (view a listing of hotline numbers by State); found online at SNAP contracts. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."