If you are facing food insecurity and need help getting food stamp benefits in Pennsylvania, we can help. This article will help determine if you’re eligible for food assistance and how to use the PA Food Stamps Calculator.
The PA Food Stamp Calculator for 2022 will tell you exactly how much you could receive in food stamp benefits each month. The food stamp calculator will also help determine if food assistance will make a significant difference for your household.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step instructions on how to calculate your Pennsylvania food stamp benefit amount based on your household size and income. We will also answer the popular question, “how much food stamps will I get in PA?”
In this guide, we will cover:
- Pennsylvania Food Stamps Eligibility
- PA Food Stamps Calculator for 2022
- COMPASS Pennsylvania Pre-Screener Tool
- How to Apply for Pennsylvania Food Stamps
To find out how much you can expect to receive in Pennsylvania food stamp benefits each month, continue reading below.
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Benefits
If your household is struggling to afford food, then applying for Pennsylvania food stamps could provide your household with some much-needed relief. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps provides monthly cash benefits to eligible Pennsylvania households.
The monthly benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items at grocery stores, markets, gas stations, and more.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services under Pennsylvania COMPASS.
When applying for Pennsylvania SNAP benefits, one of the first questions applicants want to know is how the food stamps calculator works. That’s because the food stamps calculator tells you how much you’re expected to receive in benefits.
This is an important question because it lets you know if the amount of food benefits you get will make a difference.
With that said, let’s get started on how to calculate your Pennsylvania food stamp benefits.
How much Food Stamps will I get in PA?
The amount of food stamps you receive comes down to a few major factors – your household income, household size, and the number of allowable deductions.
Other factors such as assets and resources (i.e. cash, bank accounts, etc.) play a role in how much you can expect to receive in monthly food benefits.
Additionally, your monthly household income includes money earned from work, as well as payments from Social Security, Unemployment, and SSI.
PA Food Stamps Calculator for 2022
You can use the Pennsylvania Food Stamp Calculator to find out how much you will receive in food assistance benefits. To begin, we first have to look at the maximum benefit a household could get.
This amount is set each year by the United States Department of Agriculture. For fiscal year 2022, here are the maximum monthly benefits for your household size.
|Maximum SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for Pennsylvania|
|Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022|
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment|
|Each Additional Household Member:||+$188|
The table below from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows you the maximum benefit amount and estimated average benefit amount for the household size.
As you can see, for a household of one, the maximum food stamps benefit per month is $250. However, the average is $175, which translates to $5.83 a day on average.
For a family of four, the maximum benefits that can be received is $835. However, the average benefit amount for a family of four is $638 per month. This averages $21.26 a day to purchase food for a family of four.
Pennsylvania Food Stamp Calculator – Example
To calculate how much you can receive in food stamp benefits, we have provided an example below.
This example from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) will show you how much a family of three is expected to receive. The family shown includes one full-time, minimum-wage worker, two children, dependent care costs of $67 a month, and shelter costs of $927 per month.
We hope the example provided below will help you calculate your own benefit amount.
PA COMPASS Pre-Screening Tool
If you think you are eligible for Pennsylvania Food Assistance, you can use the pre-screening tool on the PA COMPASS website to determine if you qualify for Pennsylvania food stamp benefits.
Please note, the COMPASS Pennsylvania Pre-Screening Tool determines the eligibility for several benefit programs.
The food stamps program has many rules, and the COMPASS Pre-Screening Tool covers most of them.
You need to submit a Pennsylvania SNAP Application to actually determine your eligibility for food stamp benefits.
The ACCESS Pennsylvania pre-screening tool is used to determine eligibility for:
- Food Assistance (SNAP)
- Cash Assistance (TANF)
- Low or no cost healthcare (Medicaid)
- Help to pay Medicare premiums
To find out how to use the Pennsylvania COMPASS Pre-Screening Tool, follow the step-by-step instructions provided below:
Step 1 – Visit the Pennsylvania COMPASS website
The first thing you need to do is visit the PA COMPASS website. You can visit the website at www.compass.state.pa.us. For reference, please see the screenshot below.
Step 2 – Enter the Eligibility Pre-Screener
Once on the Pennsylvania COMPASS homepage, click the button that says, “Do I Qualify?” You will be taken to a new page where you will start the Pennsylvania Food Stamp Benefits Pre-Screener. Click the “Next” button when you are ready to begin.
In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), you can also be screened the following Pennsylvania benefit programs:
- Health Care Coverage (CHIP, Medical Assistance, Medicaid for Former Foster Care Youth, Mental Health/Substance Abuse, Pennsylvania’s Health Insurance Marketplace)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Free or Reduced Price School Meals
- Cash Assistance Program
- Child Care Works
Please select the benefit programs you want to be screened for from the list, then click the “Next” button.
Step 3 – Provide Household Member Information
Next, you will be asked to provide basic information pertaining to each member of your household. This includes their name, age, sex, and relationship to you.
You will also be asked to select any household members that are claimed as a dependent.
For help, please refer to the screenshot provided below.
Step 4 – Provide Personal and Income Information
After that, you will be asked to provide additional details regarding each household member. This includes your monthly income from any job(s), as well as, any disability or retirement benefits, nursing home assistance, medicare benefits.
In addition, you will also be asked to provide the total monthly amount for any other income from Social Security, Child Support, Cash/Gifts, Unemployment payments, and more.
Step 5 – Provide Housing and Medical Expenses
Next, you may or may not be asked to provide information related to your household expenses. This includes monthly mortgage or rent, heating costs, and cooling costs. Additionally, you will be asked to provide a monthly amount for any adult care or medical expenses you incur.
Step 6 – Provide your Total Assets
Lastly, you may be asked to provide an estimate for your total household assets. This can include:
- Savings and checking accounts
- Individual Retirement Accounts(IRAs)
- 401ks and annuities
- Other resources (vehicles, investments or property other than your home)
- Stocks, bonds or certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Cash on hand and not in a bank
After that, the pre-screening tool will tell you if and what benefits you may be eligible for in Pennsylvania based on the information provided. If you are eligible for benefits, PA COMPASS will let you proceed by completing an online application for Pennsylvania food stamp benefits.
For more help determining if your household is eligible to receive food stamp benefits in Pennsylvania, check out our complete Pennsylvania SNAP Eligibility Guide here.
How to Apply for Pennsylvania Food Stamps
Once you completed the PA Food Stamps Calculator and have determined that you qualify for benefits, you can submit your application for Pennsylvania food stamps. There are three ways you can apply for food stamps in Pennsylvania – online, in-person, and by mail or fax.
Here are the three ways you can apply for Pennsylvania food stamps:
Option 1: Online – PA COMPASS
The first option is to apply online using the PA My Compass online portal. You can access the Pennsylvania Compass online portal at www.compass.state.pa.us.
If this is your first time using PA MyCompass, you will first have to create an online account.
For step-by-step instructions, read our article on how to create a MyCompass PA Online Account.
Setting up an online My Compass PA account is quick, easy, and should only take a few minutes.
Once you have created your account, submit your SNAP Application to apply for PA food stamps online.
Option 2: In-Person at PA DHS Center
You can also apply for benefits in person at your local county Department of Human Services (DHS) office location. Click here for a full list of PA DHS Office Locations.
Option 3: Mail or Fax
Lastly, download a paper PA SNAP Application for mail or fax.
To complete a paper PA SNAP Application, click here to download Pennsylvania Food Stamps Application.
Once completed, mail the application to your local county Department of Human Services (DHS) Office.
To get the mailing address for the PA DHS Office near you, use our Pennsylvania SNAP Office Location finder.
In addition, you can hand-deliver your completed PA SNAP Application to your local DHS office or fax it.
To locate the proper fax number for your county assistance office, click here.
When you apply, you may be invited for an in-person interview at a Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) office near you.
PA Food Stamps Customer Service Phone Number
For more help with your Pennsylvania food stamps eligibility or application, contact your local county assistance office (PA DHS).
You can also call the Pennsylvania SNAP Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930.
If you are located in Philadelphia, please call 1-215-560-7226.
Customer Service representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you are hearing impaired or deaf, please contact TDD Services by calling PA Relay Services at 711.
PA Food Stamps Calculator Questions
We hope you found this article on the PA Food Stamps Calculator was helpful to you! If you have any additional questions about how to calculate how much you can expect to receive in Pennsylvania SNAP EBT benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.
If the meantime, check out our other articles on Pennsylvania Food Stamps:
PA Food Stamps Income Limit for 2022
Pennsylvania Food Stamps Eligibility Guide
Pennsylvania EBT Card Discounts & Freebies
2022 Pennsylvania Food Stamps Increase
Philadelphia Food Stamps Guide for 2022