SNAP – Impact of the Defense of Marriage Act on SNAP Eligibility – Revised, United States Department of Agriculture (2014)

Executive Orders, Reports, and Directives

This United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) memorandum describes the changes in eligibility criteria for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) in light of United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (U.S. 2013). 

In 2005, because of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the USDA Food and Nutrition Service sent out a memo that stated that, for SNAP purposes, the term "spouse" applied only to opposite-sex couples. Following the United States v. Windsor ruling, the Food and Nutrition Service sent out this memo on May, 27, 2014, which states that same-sex spouses are to be considered to be married and part of the same household (rather than as separate individuals) for SNAP eligibility purposes, if their marriage is recognized in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated. This policy was set to go into effect 60 days after the issuing of this memo.