Looking for your SNAP application status or information about your Oregon Trail (EBT) card? Visit the Oregon Department of Human Resources website.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) for people living in Multnomah County, Oregon. Contact a Multnomah County SNAP Outreach Specialist and set up an appointment for any day of the week by calling.
- General SNAP Information
- Calculating Benefit Amounts
- Filling out a SNAP Application
- Household Members
- Immigrant and Undocumented Individuals
- Post-Application Process
- Taxes & Housing
- Additional SNAP Resources
What is SNAP?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a nutrition assistance program that helps families and individuals purchase nutritious, healthy food.
How do I purchase food?
SNAP participants will receive an Oregon Trail Card, also known as an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. The EBT card is like a debit card and can be used at most grocery or market stores and some Farmers Markets.
What can I purchase with my Oregon Trail Card?
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase all food products, not including: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco; any nonfood items; vitamins and medicines; foods that will be eaten in the store; or hot foods.
How long do SNAP benefits last?
For most households, SNAP benefits are limited to a 6 month period, at which point the recipient will have to submit a renewal application known as the Interim Change Report.
What if my card doesn't work, or is lost/stolen?
If your card does not work you should first call the SNAP Replacement Line (1-855-328-6715). If your card has been lost or stolen please report it by calling Customer Service (1-888-997-4447).
Do I need to meet the income guidelines to be eligible for SNAP?
Yes, all families and individuals must meet income guidelines in order to receive SNAP. There is additional criteria for students enrolled in higher education. Please visit our SNAP for College Students page for more information.
What counts as income?
SNAP counts cash income from all sources, including earned gross income (before taxes are deducted) and unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support.
What if I have money saved in my/or my child's saving account, is this considered income?
Amounts in a bank account is considered an asset because it is a resource that could be available to the household to purchase food. Assets must fall below certain limits; households without an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $2,250 or less, and households with an elderly or disabled member must have assets of $3,250 or less.
What kind of documents do I need before applying in person?
You will need these documents ready for intake:
- Proof of income or employment for the last 30 days
- Financial aid letter (if attending higher education)
- Provide social security number for everyone in the household that has one
If you are applying online, you can attach files or email documents to DHS.
Where can I apply for SNAP?
You have three options:
●Contact a Multnomah County SNAP Outreach Specialist and set up an appointment for any day of the week by calling
●Submit an online application
*First time users: Before filling out an application, you must create an account and then apply for benefits. Also, you must have a working email address to create an account.
●Visit a local DHS office and fill out a paper application. Find the nearest office.
What would be my average monthly amount for SNAP benefits?
Only a DHS caseworker can decide if you are eligible and provide you with the exact benefit amount. But you can see an estimated amount of SNAP benefits you may receive. This SNAP benefit estimator is based solely on income and a few expenses; your actual benefits may be different.
Do I have to report everyone in my house?
You should report everyone in the house that buys, prepares and eats food with you. This applies to a significant other, family member, or friend who is living in the house. If you are living with roommates and they do not buy, prepare or eat any food with you then do not list them in your SNAP application.
Whose income do I put on the application?
All individuals in the household who buy, prepare and eat food with you and are receiving earned/unearned income.
Can undocumented immigrants use SNAP?
No, Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits on their behalf. Documented immigrants can only receive SNAP benefits if they have resided within the United States for at least five years (with some exceptions for refugees, children, and individuals receiving asylum).
I am undocumented, but my children are U.S. citizens. Can I apply for SNAP benefits? If so, would I include myself in the SNAP application?
If you do not have documented immigration status, you will not be able to apply for yourself, but you may apply for other eligible household members such as your children. Children born in the U.S. and those with legal permanent resident status may receive benefits even if their parents do not have documentation.
Non-immigrants (those on student, visitor or diplomatic visas) are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits, but may apply for other eligible household members.
Even if you do not meet the immigration status for SNAP, put your name on the application first if you are the head of the household and are applying for other eligible household members.
If I receive SNAP benefits on behalf of my children, will that affect me in the future when applying for residency application?
What happens after I apply for SNAP?
You have 30 days from the day you apply to provide all the documents needed for the SNAP intake. In that time, the office should contact you to schedule an interview, which can take place in person or over the phone.
Is there any way I can I get my SNAP benefits sooner than later?
You can only receive emergency assistance if you qualify for expedited SNAP benefits. That means you or your family must:
- Have no more than $100 in earned/unearned income, cash, or bank account
- Expect to make less than $150 this month
- Rent/mortgage and utilities this month are higher than your monthly income
- Work as a migrant or seasonal farm worker
People who qualify for expedited SNAP benefits may receive their amount in their Oregon Trail Card within five days.
Will I get notified when it is time to renew my application?
Every six months you must renew your SNAP benefits. To continue receiving SNAP benefits you must turn in a renewal form known as the Interim Change Report. If any changes have been made to the household (income, persons living at home, etc.) please specify. Your benefits may be delayed if the form is sent after the 10th of the month or if it is incomplete.
How do I check the status of my SNAP application?
The entire process for SNAP can take up to three weeks. To see the latest updates on your SNAP application you can call a local DHS office or ask your intake worker.
Does receiving SNAP affect my taxes?
No, SNAP benefits are not considered income. Receiving SNAP will not affect your tax return, increase your tax bill or reduce your refund.
If I have a house mortgage and/or car payments, will that affect my eligibility for SNAP?
No, SNAP benefits will not affect your chances of buying a house, paying your mortgage or car.
Did you know, SNAP participants are eligible for a number of other services and resources?
If you receive SNAP, you may be eligible for the following resources:
- Shop at local Farmers Market— $5-10 matching funds for SNAP purchases.
- Access local food by farmers provided by Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Buy food-producing seeds and edible plant starters at selected SNAP retailers
- Qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program at K-12 schools.
- Receive nutrition education and food vouchers from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.
- Discount on phone bill or receive a free mobile phone through the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program.
- Internet Essentials from Comcast brings affordable, high-speed Internet to your home and if you have at least one child who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program or if you receive HUD housing assistance.
- Buy $5 tickets to watch plays, music, theater, and dance shows for the entire family.
- College students may be eligible to postpone paying back student loans while receiving SNAP benefits. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid of the website.
- The Pongo Fund provides quality pet food and veterinary care for family pets.
- Individuals who are receiving SNAP may file a fee waiver for citizenship. Applicants must provide documentation and demonstrate financial hardship that prevents you from paying the filing fee, including unexpected medical bills or emergencies.