Average Food Stamp Benefits for Single People in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the amount of money loaded on a single person's Food Stamp Program debit card each month is dependent on any additional members in his household, if any. Updated each October and set by the federal government through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an individual's food assistance benefit amount takes the cost of groceries into consideration, as well as the amount of food needed to feed each individual.

Benefits for Single Persons

    According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, an individual's Food Stamp Program benefits are based on a maximum deposit amount per month, which varies by the size of the household. For example, as of the 2009--10 benefit period, a single person receives no more than $200 per month, but if an additional member joins his household, the benefit amount is $387 (see Resources).

Benefits for Individual Household Members

    As of October 2010, approximately 1.3 million individuals in Tennessee received Food Stamp Program benefits, but many were part of larger households, of which approximately 600,000 received assistance. Since the benefits for October 2010 equaled nearly $170 million, each eligible person in the state was given approximately $131 for the month.

Single Versus Household Status

    The Tennessee Food Assistance Program recognizes a single applicant as an individual who lives alone and doesn't share meals with other household members. However, if a single person has a roommate or housemate, he may apply for food stamp assistance benefits based on the total number of individuals in the house that buy and share meals together.

College Student Restrictions

    Single persons attending college may be eligible for the Tennessee Food Stamp Program only if they work 20 or more hours a week, are enrolled in a work-study program, take care of young dependents or receive aid through Families First.

Employment Requirements

    If a Tennessee Food Stamp Program applicant is between the ages of 16 and 59 and isn't a student, she must be working full time or enrolled in a work registration or work training program. If an applicant doesn't have any dependents and is between the ages of 18 and 59, she must be enrolled in at least 80 hours of work per month, or she'll receive only five months' worth of benefits in a three-year period.

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