Arizona SNAP Benefits


Nutrition assistance benefits in Arizona are available to financially needy households under the Family Assistance Administration (FAA) and the State Department of Economic Security (DES). With these food stamps benefits, low-income families can purchase food items such as cereal, bread, meat and dairy products. Also known as SNAP benefits, the program works to prevent under-nutrition by providing low-income households with nutritious food options. If residents receive nutrition assistance benefits, they must also follow other usage guidelines to avoid disqualification from the program. To learn more about the AZ benefits food stamps program, review the information below.

With Arizona nutrition assistance benefits, what items can I buy?

With nutrition assistance benefits in Arizona, those who meet food stamp program requirements receive their own Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to use for purchasing nutritious food items from acceptable establishments throughout the state. Additionally, residents may use food stamps benefits outside of Arizona. As such, food stamp benefits help program participants to live healthier, happier lives, even if they do not have the means to purchase nutritious food items on their own. With SNAP benefits (also known as NA/food stamps), however, participants must follow specific guidelines to avoid committing fraud or program disqualification. When receiving food assistance benefits in Arizona, for instance, residents may purchase food items for human consumption, such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. With these nutritional assistance benefits, residents may also purchase vegetable seeds or food-producing plants. Additionally, residents may use the AZ benefits food stamps program to purchase other essential items, such as infant formula and diabetic-friendly foods.

If recipients of the food stamp benefits program are aged or disabled, they may also use the EBT card to pay for prepared and delivered meals from community organizations throughout the state – if the organizations accept EBT payments. Furthermore, participants of food assistance benefits in Arizona may use their EBT cards at grocery stores, participating farmers markets, convenience stores and certain restaurants. However, residents may only use SNAP benefits in Arizona to purchase foods from restaurants if they are homeless, elderly or disabled, and they are members of the DES Restaurant Meals Program. Through this program, qualifying beneficiaries may use their EBT cards to pay for prepared restaurant meals at participating establishments in the state.

Non-Qualified SNAP Benefits Items in Arizona

Qualified beneficiaries may not use food stamps benefits to purchase certain items, even if they are distributed at acceptable retailers. SNAP benefit credits cannot be used to purchase items including alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, gardening items (other than food-producing plants and vegetable seeds) or health aids, such as cold remedies or cough drops. If shoppers receive SNAP benefits and wish to purchase prohibited items while also purchasing acceptable food items, they must complete two separate transactions, as they cannot pay for these items at the same time. Since misusing AZ food assistance benefits is a federal crime, it is important to carefully follow the program rules to avoid disqualification or further charges. To learn more about food assistance benefits in AZ, download our guide.

With Arizona food stamps benefits, how much assistance will I receive?

While nutrition assistance benefits vary by household size and income, the State establishes its SNAP amounts based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and current Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) calculations. As such, SNAP benefit amounts in AZ vary, depending on current TFP calculations for the year. Furthermore, the USDA calculates TFP costs based on a four-person family of two adults and two minor children. Additionally, TFP food stamps benefits vary depending on the following:

  • Current dietary recommendations

  • Food composition data and consumption patterns

  • Current food prices

Moreover, food stamp benefit amounts under the Thrifty Food Plan are the least expensive out of the four, USDA-approved nutrition plans, including the low-, moderate- and liberal-cost plans. To learn more about calculating SNAP benefits in Arizona, download our comprehensive guide.

How long does it take to receive Arizona food stamps program benefits?

After claimants learn how to apply for nutrition assistance benefits and undergo the eligibility interview, the DES notifies them of their application statuses within 30 days. If applying for emergency food stamps benefits, however, the DES notifies applicants of their NA program eligibility within seven days. In most cases, food stamp applicants receive their EBT cards in the mail before they receive their DES eligibility notices. While the EBT card will be active upon arrival, claimants cannot use the card as a form of payment until the DES transfers benefits into their names. Once the DES determines AZ food stamp program eligibility, however, the Department mails the claimants determination letters with their results. However, applicants may monitor their SNAP benefits applications online.

After residents apply for nutrition assistance and receive their first payments, they will begin to receive their EBT benefits on a designated day each month, depending on the first letter of their last names.

What Kind of Assistance Does the Arizona Family Assistance Services Department Offer?

The state of Arizona can assist eligible families with services such as food assistance or temporary cash assistance. To assess your eligibility, you must fill out an application and provide the required documents. To learn all of the details needed to prepare for this application process, download our comprehensive guide today.

Who Is Eligible To Benefit From the Arizona Family Assistance Services?

Eligible low-income families or individuals in Arizona can benefit from programs offered by the Family Assistance Services Department. Temporary financial assistance or Nutrition Assistance services are available to those who qualify upon filing an application. To find out if your family is eligible for these benefits, download our guide now.