How to Apply for Nutrition Assistance (2023)

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How to Apply for Nutrition Assistance (1)

Apply for Nutrition Assistance Benefits

Nutrition Assistance supports families to prevent under-nutrition in Arizona. The information on this page will help you prepare and apply for benefits.

Ready to apply?

Apply for Nutrition Assistance Online


The best way to know if you are eligible for Nutrition Assistance is to submit an application for benefits and go through the application process. The application process includes verifying that we have received complete and accurate information along with an interview conducted by our staff. Additionally, you can screen for eligibility online prior to applying.

Apply for Nutrition Assistance OnlineScreen for Eligibility

Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are only eligible for a few months of Nutrition Assistance unless they are exempt, working, or participating in the SNA E&T program.Learn more aboutwork requirements for ABAWDs.

If you do not qualify for Nutrition Assistance benefits, or need help with food during the application process, please contact theEmergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Persons receiving Nutrition Assistance automatically qualify for TEFAP.

Student Eligibility

The federal Public Health Emergency ended May 11, 2023, which means the temporary student exemptions will end for new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications after June 9, 2023, and renewal certification periods beginning on or after July 1, 2023.Learn more aboutstudent eligibilityand additional potential exemptions.

Elderly Simplified Application Process

Older adults age 60 years or older with no earned or self-employment income may be able to apply for Nutrition Assistance benefits through a simplified application, interview and verification process.Learn more about theElderly Simplified Application Process.

Information Needed to Apply

Whether you are applying for the first time, or renewing your benefits, you may need one or more of the following pieces of information to determine whether you are eligible:

  • Proof of citizenship and identity for everyone who is applying for benefits.
  • Alien Registration Cards, if there are non-U.S. citizens applying for benefits in your household.
  • Social Security numbers for everyone, or proof that a Social Security number has been applied for.
  • Proof of relationship, birth certificates may be used
  • Name, address & daytime phone number of landlord or neighbor.
  • A statement verifying your address and the names of everyone living with you. The statement must be made by a non-relative who doesn’t live with you. It must be signed, dated and include that person's address and telephone number.
  • Proof of ALL money your household received from any source last month and this month.
  • Proof that your employment ended and last date paid.
  • Bank or credit union (savings or checking) complete statement for the most recent month.
  • Proof of savings bonds, securities, retirement plans and life insurance.
  • Proof of rent/mortgage
  • Proof of utility bills (electric, water, gas, etc.) for the most recent month and a statement about how you heat or cool your home.
  • Proof of child care expenses for the most recent month. Provide a statement if you take your child to or from the provider’s location.
  • Proof of medical expenses for those applying for benefits who are age 60 or older or receive disability benefits when the total amount for the household is more than $35.00.
  • Proof of legal obligation and payments of court ordered child support paid this month and last month.

When possible, please include this information with your application.

Applying for Nutrition Assistance

When you are ready, you can submit your application and required documentation.

Apply Virtually

DES has implemented virtual office services statewide to continue to better serve our customers and communities in this time of need while protecting the health and safety of our customers and staff. The easiest way to apply for benefits is online through Health-e-Arizona Plus. You may also begin the application process by phone by calling 1-855-432-7587.

Apply for Nutrition Assistance Online

Guide for Applying Virtually

Mail or Fax an Application

To apply by mail or fax, either download the application or request an application to be mailed to you by calling 1-855-432-7587. You can then complete the application and submit it by mail or fax. Instructions on how to do so are included in the application.

Apply in Person

If you are unable to access services virtually, the DES Family Assistance Administration has offices statewide to assist you with the application process. Find your local office.

Find a Community Assistor

If you need additional support, you can work with a Community Assistor to complete the application process. Go to Find an Assistor, enter your ZIP Code to locate community assistors near you for help with the application process. Contact the community assistor's office by telephone. In-person services may be unavailable or limited in manners that support social distancing.

After the Application

You may need to complete an eligibility interview by phone. We strongly recommend that you have income information, ID, Social Security numbers, and Citizenship verification at the interview. During your interview, we will review your information in determine if you qualify for the program. At the end of your interview, we will let you know when we need any additional information to decide your case. We will also send you a letter asking for this information.

At the end of your interview, we will let you know if we need any additional information to decide your case. We will also send you a letter asking for this information.

Some program requirements may be difficult or dangerous for victims or survivors of domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or stalking, and their families. Speak with your DES eligibility specialist, to determine whether you may be exempt from these requirements. Your DES eligibility specialist can also give you information on sexual and domestic violence related resources that are available in your community. We will keep all information you provide private, as required by law.

How do I provide additional information, when requested?

To serve you better and assure that you receive the benefits you qualify for, please:

  • Give us all requested information as soon as possible
  • Let us know if you need assistance in getting the necessary information. We can assist you.

You can mail or fax copies of the requested information. Please do not turn in original documents.

When you apply for Nutrition Assistance online, you can either upload requested information or fax it. Please include a cover sheet with your faxed documents. (For additional instructions, see the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) in Health-e-Arizona Plus titled 'How do I fax documents to HEAplus').

When will I know when I’m approved?

A decision will be made by one of the following dates:

  • Within seven days from the application date if you qualify for emergency benefits
  • At the latest, 30 days from the application date

When a decision is made regarding your case, you will be mailed a letter with the results. You can also monitor the status of your application online at Health-e-Arizona Plus or MyFamilyBenefits.

What can I do if I disagree with the decision?

You can request an appeal when:

  • An application is denied,
  • Benefits are stopped, or
  • An application is not processed in a timely manner.

Request an Appeal

After I am approved

Reporting Changes

You are required to report any changes that may affect your Nutrition Assistance eligibility. Your approval letter will identify whether you qualify for Standard or Simplified reporting.


Nutrition Assistance requires a renewal to determine if there have been any changes to your current status. Renewal dates can range from three months to two years from the initial application date. You will be mailed a letter informing you that it is time to renew your benefits. It is important to report a change in your mailing address to ensure you receive notification regarding your renewal.

Employment and Training Services for Nutrition Assistance Participants

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Career Advance Network (SNAP CAN) is Arizona’s community-based employment and training program that provides employment readiness services to eligible Nutrition Assistance recipients. Services are provided through SNAP CAN Partners of DES who are dedicated to connecting program participants to the tools and resources they need to overcome barriers and obtain employment.

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