How Do I Apply to Accept Benefits?

Last Published: 12/18/2017

Farmers Market

Apply to become authorized to accept SNAP benefits. You can complete an online application in as little as 15 minutes. You have up to 30 days complete and submit the online application to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Applications not completed after 30 days are deleted by FNS. Follow the steps below to complete the online application process for SNAP authorization.

A few things before you proceed:

  • Multiple Store Owners (MSO):  FNS defines MSOs as entities that own 10 or more eligible retail food stores.  If you are an MSO, please visit the MSO page.

  • If you are not a Retail Food Store or Farmers Market, please do not complete the online application. We kindly request that you call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369 for assistance.

1. Get a USDA Account

Before you start your application:

  • Register for a USDA eAuthentication account in order to obtain access to the online application.

  • You must have a valid Email address. USDA will send you a confirmation Email with a hyperlink to activate your account.

  • Return back to this page after you activate your USDA eAuthentication account to apply.

2. Complete Online Application

  • You have up to 30 days to complete and submit the online application to FNS.

  • If you’re busy or short on time, you can start the application and return later to complete it.

Helpful Tip:  Save time by having your estimated sales data before you start the online Application as well as the following Owner information:  Owner name(s), home address(es), and Social Security Number(s).

3. Submit Supporting Documentation

Your SNAP Retailer application is not complete until you submit the required supporting documents.  Instructions on how to submit your documentation are provided at the end of the online application.

4. Check Application Status

After you submit your supporting documents to FNS you can check the status of your application in real-time.

Check Status of Your Application
FNS will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. If you have additional questions about the application process, please call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369 for assistance.

See Also