Hawaii Financial and SNAP Benefits Rights and Responsibilities

Who May Receive Financial Aid

    1. You must be a resident of Hawaii. You do not live in a public institution.
    2. You are a U.S. citizen. If you are from a foreign country, then you must be a permanent resident.
    3. Your income is less than the Department’s standard of assistance.
    4. Your total assets such as cash, stocks, bonds, or real property not lived on, does not exceed the Department’s standards.

To receive financial aid, you must meet the requirements for at least one of the following programs:

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families with Dependent Children

The child must be:

  • under the age of 18. If he is 18, he may be eligible until age 19 if he is a full-time student in high school or a vocational or technical training program or an equivalent level.
  • living with a relative or foster parent.

The parent or relative must:

  • give the department any child support money that the household receives.
  • cooperate in locating and obtaining support from the absent parent.
  • register each person in the household for Social Security Numbers.
  • participate in a work program if required.

Program For the Aged, Blind or Disabled

To be eligible, you must apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at a Social Security Office. If you are receiving SSI and need more financial help, you may also apply for assistance from the Department.

To be eligible for the Aged, Blind or Disabled Program, you must be:

  • 65 years old or older; or
  • legally blind; or
  • totally and permanently disabled.

General Assistance Program

You may apply for General Assistance if you do not qualify for any of the programs above and you are an adult without minor dependants, between the age of 18 and 65, and unable to work because of a disability. (You will be asked to provide a medical report.)

Other Programs

If you qualify for financial aid, you will receive medical assistance. You may also qualify for SNAP benefits. You need to complete only one application when applying for financial aid and SNAP benefits. You will be interviewed one time when applying for financial aid and SNAP benefits.

If you receive SSI benefits or financial assistance, you may qualify for free no-fault insurance, please check with the eligibility worker.

SNAP Benefits

If you are eligible for financial aid, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits. If you do not need financial aid, you may still qualify for SNAP benefits.

Amount of Aid

If you are eligible for aid, the amount you receive depends on your family size, the rent and utilities you pay, the amount of money you earn, and the amount of other income and assets you have. If you receive more money or SNAP benefits than you are eligible for, you must return the extra money or SNAP benefits to the Department.

How to Apply

Call or visit the office nearest you. (Or call 855-643-1643 for assistance and to obtain a list of offices where you may apply for financial aid and SNAP benefits.)

Quality Control Review

You may be asked to cooperate with the Local Office, State Office, or Federal Quality Control Reviewers who randomly select families to re-determine a family’s eligibility for SNAP benefits.

Report Changes

Changes in your situation must be reported to your worker within 10 days of the time you learn of the change. Examples of changes to report are:

  • application for, or receipt, increase or decrease of money from any source, such as tax refunds, earnings, social security, child support, unemployment insurance.
  • a receipt of lump sum income. When you receive lump sum income, you will be ineligible for financial assistance for the number of months derived by dividing the total net income by the Department’s standard of need for your size family. Exceptions to reduce period of ineligibility may be discussed with your worker.
  • the number of persons living in or out of your home. Failure to include any parent or brother or sister of any children receiving assistance may make the entire household ineligible for financial assistance.
  • a change in your address and living arrangements. Failure to report relatives living in the same home may result in your household being overpaid. Any overpayment must be refunded to the Department.
  • if you buy or sell property.
  • any injury from an accident which is covered by insurance.
  • any addition or change in medical insurance coverage.

Some recipients are required to submit a Monthly Eligibility Report form (MERF) even when there are no changes.

Verification of Income and Eligibility

The Department may verify your income and eligibility with financial institutions such as banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, landlords, employers, State and Federal Agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Services, Social Security Administration, Department of Labor – Unemployment Compensation, Housing & Community Development Corporation of Hawaii, and other State agencies which administer the financial assistance, medical assistance, SNAP benefits, and child support programs. Your social security number will be used in computer matching and program reviews or audits to make sure your household is eligible.


If you lie, hide facts or fail to report changes within 10 days, you may be prosecuted. You must report all changes in your situation.

Public Assistance Information Line
Call Direct Statewide: 643-1643, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.