Bureau of Economic Security Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

  • The program, formerly known as the “Food Stamp Program”, helps people with little or no income to buy food for a healthy diet. For more information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, please visit  www.fns.usda.gov.
  • How Do I Get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance?

  • In order to find out if you are qualified, visit any of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offices and fill in Part I of the Application for Public Benefits so an interview can be set up for you.  At the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office, they will also tell you what papers you might need to bring for your interview. You may send a relative or friend to talk with the worker for you or you may be able to talk with a worker on the phone.
  • You can also simply download an on-line application form from the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ website: http://dphss.guam.gov.  You can mail your application, drop in the drop box located at the SNAP offices or turn it in the front desk staff to get an appointment. You may see a worker from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • What Are The Eligibility Standards:

  • We look at Non-Financial standards such as citizenship, residency, social security numbers, household composition, work registration, and education requirements, additionally, we look at financial standards such as income, – earned and unearned.
  • Will I Have To Get A Social Security Number?

  • You must have, or will have to get, a social security number for each household member, if you want that member to get benefits.  Not all members of a household have to take part in the program. A person who does not want to receive supplemental nutrition assistance does not have to give a social security number but must give his or her financial information.
  • Can Legal Non-Citizens Get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance?

  • You might be able to get supplemental nutrition assistance.  Talk with an Eligibility Specialist worker about this. Even if you can’t get supplemental nutrition assistance, family members born in this country can.  Getting supplemental nutrition assistance won’t hurt if you want to become a citizen.
  • How Much Income Can We Have?

  • We count most types of income.  Gross income means income before any deduction. Net income means gross income after deductions. Welfare households are already eligible.  Households without an elderly or disabled member must meet both a gross and net income test. Households with an elderly or disabled member only have to meet a net income test.
  • What Are The Allowable Deductions?

  • 20 percent of earned income;
  • A standard deduction;
  • Medical expenses over $35 a month for elderly or disabled member;
  • Actual dependent-care expenses when needed for training, education, or work;
  • Legally owed child support; and
  • A percentage of shelter costs.
  • Is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Cash?

  • No, supplemental nutrition assistance benefits come on a plastic card that you use as a bank card to buy food.  Most stores take supplemental nutrition assistance benefits.
  • What Other Programs Do You Certify?

  • BES also certifies for the following Cash Assistance Programs:
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children
  • Old Age Assistance (OAA): OAA is available for individuals age 65 or older. Eligibility depends upon income, resources, and living arrangements.
  • Aid to the Blind (AB): AB provides temporary cash assistance to individuals who are judged blind without working capacity. To be eligible for AB, an individual is considered blind if he/she has central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance of not greater than 20%.  Blindness must be approved by the APTD Review Board Committee.
  • Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD): Applicants may receive cash and Medicaid assistance. To be eligible for APTD, a person’s disability or combination of disabilities shall be permanent and total to substantially prevent a person from engaging in gainful employment.  The disability must be determined and approved by the APTD Review Board Committee.
  • General Assistance (GA): To be eligible for GA, an individual must not have met the criteria for other public assistance programs (i.e. Old Age Assistance (OAA), Aid to the Blind (AB), Aid to the Permanently & Totally Disabled (APTD) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a medical insurance program for Eligible Households. Households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests:
  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Immigrant Eligibility
  • The Medically Indigent Program (MIP) was established to provide financial assistance with health care costs to individuals who meet necessary income, resources, and residency requirements.
  • What If I Have More Questions:

  • If you have any questions please contact the SNAP office that is closest to your residence.
  • Northern: 635-7432
  • Central: 735-7245 or 735-7274
  • Southern: 828-7542
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