The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered at the federal level through its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).   State agencies administer the program at the state and local levels, including determination of eligibility and monthly allotments.  In Hawaii, this service is provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS) Benefit, Employment & Support Services Division (BESSD).

What is SNAP?

The SNAP program provides crucial food and nutritional support to qualifying low-income and needy households, and those making the transition from welfare to self-sufficiency.  In FY 2014, SNAP helped put food on the table for an estimated 193,565 Hawaii residents (98,440 families).

The Hawaii Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Program

The Hawaii Electronic Benefit Transfer (HI/EBT) system processes financial assistance benefits provided by BESSD.  Payments distributed through this system are for the  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF), General Assistance (GA), Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD), Repatriates, Childcare, Employment and Training (E & T), First-To-Work (FTW) and the SNAP programs.

Clients use an EBT debit card to access their cash and/or SNAP benefits at authorized food retailers through their Point of Sale (POS) machines and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).  Allpoint® – Global Surcharge-Free ATM Networks are located across the state. Visit this website to find the system nearest to you.

Recipients receiving cash assistance may also choose to have their cash benefits directly deposited into their personal bank accounts.

Who is Eligible to Receive SNAP?

Households must meet specific eligibility requirements and provide proof of their statements about household circumstances. U.S. citizens and some aliens who are admitted for permanent residency may qualify. Federal poverty guidelines are established by the Office of Management and Budget, and are updated annually by the Department of Health and Human Services.

What is the SNAP Application Process?

Hawaii residents seeking SNAP assistance must fill out a standard benefits application form, which is available for pick up from all State benefits offices, and for download from the Department of Human Services (DHS) website.  After you have filled out your application and gathered all the required paperwork to verify your information, visit the benefits office closest to your residence.  Click here for benefits office contact information statewide.

An intake worker will review your completed application package to determine if you qualify for SNAP benefits.  If  you are eligible, the worker will assign you to one of three eligibility standards, based on your family’s unique situation.   The federal poverty guidelines (FPL) listed below will help you to determine if your monthly income exceeds SNAP eligibility criteria.   If your income exceed the criteria, you will not be eligible for SNAP assistance.

*** This Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) chart is for reference only.  An intake worker will make the final determination of  your eligibility category.


Household Size

200% Monthly Gross Income (BBCE)

130% Monthly Gross Income

100% Net Monthly Income

1 2260 1468 1130
2 3056 1986 1528
3 3852 2504 1926
4 4650 3022 2325
5 5446 3540 2723
6 6242 4058 3121
7 7040 4575 3520
8 7836 5093 3918
Add on + +798 +518 +399
Note: 200% Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) Monthly Gross Income is based on 100% SNAP/FPL

Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) expands SNAP benefits to low-income families with high expenses, and to families whose gross incomes are slightly higher than the 130% FPL normal gross income test. Under BBCE, the gross income limit is 200% FPL and there is an unlimited asset standard.  Most households qualify for BBCE.  However, if a household member has been disqualified under SNAP, it may not qualify for BBCE.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Households where all members receive, or are authorized to receive TANF or SSI cash assistance, are categorically eligible for SNAP.  There is no gross income limit, no net income limit and no asset limit.
  • Net monthly income must be 100 percent or less of the Federal poverty guidelines. Net income is figured by adding all of a household’s gross income, and then taking a number of approved deductions for child care, extra shelter costs and other expenses. Households with an elderly or disabled member are subject only to the net income test.
  • Most able-bodied adult applicants must meet certain work requirements.
  • All household members must provide a Social Security number or apply for one.


Monthly Application Timeliness Rates SFY 2015 (Updated Monthly)

Monthly Participation Rates SFY 2016 (Updated Monthly)

ARCHIVE – SNAP Monthly Participation Rates

SFY 2015

SFY 2014

SFY 2013

SFY 2012

SFY 2011

SFY 2010

SFY 2009


 ARCHIVE – SNAP Application Timeliness

FFY 2014

FFY 2013

FFY 2012

FFY 2011

FFY 2010

FFY 2009


Other Information

Hawaii Financial and SNAP Benefits – Rights and Responsibilities

Hawaii Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Program

SNAP Nondiscrimination

SNAP Outreach Contact Info