Does Receiving Food Stamps Affect My Section 8?

The U.S. federal government has a number of programs for low-income individuals that are designed to provide them with basic food and shelter. Two of the most prominent programs are Section 8 housing vouchers -- vouchers for renting residential units -- and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- better known as food stamps. Both of these programs are limited to people with low incomes. Receiving food stamps will not affect a person's eligibility to receive Section 8 vouchers.

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Section 8 Requirements

Section 8 vouchers are only available to people who meet a means test for income. Only people who make less than a certain amount of money per year can receive vouchers. The exact amount of money will depend on a number of factors, including the number of dependents the person has, as well as his personal assets and the kind of income that he is receiving. Food stamps do not count as income or assets.

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Food Stamps

Food stamps are issued monthly to eligible low-income individuals. While food stamps resemble income in that they can be used to purchase certain types of goods -- namely food -- they cannot be used as or traded for cash. Therefore, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which runs the Section 8 program, does not consider these food stamps to be a form of income.

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Considerations

A person who receives food stamps is actually more likely than a person who does not qualify for them to receive Section 8 housing. This is because both programs are provided exclusively to low-income individuals. While a person who qualifies for food stamps may not necessarily qualify for section 8, many recipients do meet the maximum income threshold for both programs. However, receiving food stamps will not in and of itself provide the person with a greater likelihood of receiving section 8 vouchers.

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Section 8 and Food Stamps

Just as receiving food stamps does not affect Section 8 eligibility, receiving Section 8 aid does not affect food stamp eligibility. State agencies determine a person's eligibility for food stamps based on income and personal assets. States consider Section 8 housing vouchers to be neither, meaning that a person's eligibility for stamps won't be compromised if he's getting vouchers.

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