If you are enrolled in Medicaid, you must renew once a year or you will lose your coverage.

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Food Stamps (SNAPS) in Maryland: Everything You Need to Know

What are food stamps?

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) in Maryland helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. The program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

SNAP benefits are loaded onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card called the Independence Card and used like an ATM card. The benefits are distributed monthly. Recipients spend their benefits to buy food in authorized retail food stores.

What can you buy with food stamps?

SNAP can only be used for food and seeds to grow food.

SNAP cannot be used to buy:

  1. any nonfood item
  2. alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  3. vitamins and medicines
  4. hot foods that are ready to eat

Sales tax cannot be charged on items bought with food stamps.

How to qualify for the Maryland Food Supplement Program

To receive this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Maryland and meet the following requirements:

  • You have a current bank savings and checking balance combined under $2,001, or
  • You have a current bank savings and checking balance combined under $3,001 and share your household with:
    • A person aged 60 and over or
    • A person with a disability (a child, spouse, parent, or yourself).

To be eligible, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household Size Maximum Income Level (Per Year)
1 $17,667
2 $23,803
3 $29,939
4 $36,075
5 $42,211
6 $48,347
7 $54,483
8 $60,619

Listed below are some basic rules and the proof you may need during your eligibility SNAP interview:

  • Individuals on strike, all people without a documented immigration status, and certain immigrants who are lawfully present are not eligible for SNAP. There are exceptions for refugees, asylees, and immigrants whose deportation has been withheld.
  • You are not eligible for SNAP if you are enrolled in college and are between the ages of 18 through 49.
  • You must provide a Social Security number for every household member, including children.
  • With certain exceptions, non-disabled adults between 16 and 60 must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work, and participate in an employment and training program when referred to one by the local department of social services.
  • Unemployed adults without children who do not have disabilities are limited to three months of SNAP benefits every three years.

Applying for food stamps in Maryland

There are various ways to apply for the SNAP benefits. You may apply online at myDHR, or local social services departments can give you a SNAP application the same day you ask. To find a department close to you, visit https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardclient/#/dssMap.

You may ask for an application in person, over the phone at 1-800-332-6347, by mail at 311 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, or someone else may get one for you. You can also download a SNAP application at https://dhs.maryland.gov/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/applying-for-the-food-supplement-program/.

Include your name, address, telephone number, and as much other information as possible on the form and sign it. Send the form to the office as soon as possible; the same day you turn it in, the office will accept a signed application form, even if they cannot interview you. If you need further assistance, a case manager can help you fill out the rest of the form during your interview.

Answer all questions completely and honestly. If you do not, you can be removed from the program, fined, or imprisoned.

The local department will contact you to schedule an interview to review your application if you are not interviewed the day you submit your application.

You should be able to get your benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application. Your application will be reviewed the same day to determine if you are eligible to receive SNAP.

If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you may apply for SNAP in your Social Security district office.

A case manager will explain the program rules, help you complete any parts of the application that you have not filled out, and ask you for proof of certain information you have given.

Online Application
PDF Application

If you have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact MPC. We're here to help!


Member Services
Phone: 1-800-953-8854
TTY: 1-800-735-2258
Fax: 1-866-648-1012
Login: Portal
Provider Services
Phone: 1-800-953-8854
Fax: 1-866-333-8024
Login: Portal


How do I renew my food stamps?

Before your certification period ends, review your food stamps.
For most Maryland households without elderly (60+) or disabled people, that period is 12 months. The period is 24 months for most Maryland households with elderly (60+) or disabled people.

A letter will come in the mail when it’s time to reapply.

To find the easiest way to renew in your county, call your caseworker, local office, or the Maryland SNAP hotline: 1-800-332-6347.

When will I get my food stamps?

If you qualify for SNAP, you should be able to access your benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application.

Your application will be reviewed the same day to determine if you are eligible to receive SNAP within seven days.

Can I get any discounts with my EBT card?

Below are the discounts available to all EBT Cardholders across the United States that Maryland Independence Card Holders can redeem.

  • Amazon Prime EBT Discount
  • Free or low-cost home or cell phone service through the Federal Lifeline Program
  • Discounted or free access to museums and other great family-friendly places


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