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Quick Facts

Administering Program Name
Department for Children and Families

Eligibility Information


You are eligible for 3SquaresVT if your household’s total monthly income is less than or equal to 185% of the federal poverty level. (Anything not in the form of money, like free food or clothing, public housing subsidies or school lunch, money from charity that you don’t get on a regular basis as long as it is less than $300 in three months, most loans and student aid received under the federal Higher Education Act, like Pell Grants and most work study do NOT count toward income.)

Student Status

3SquaresVT defines a student as someone in a business, technical, trade, or vocational school or college halftime or more (use your school’s definition of halftime). If you are in school less than halftime, these rules do not apply to you, and you can get 3SquaresVT benefits based on the regular rules.

If you live on campus and eat more than half of your meals from a student meal plan on campus, you do not qualify for 3SquaresVT.

If you are in school halftime or more, you can get 3SquaresVT benefits if any of the following apply to you:

  • Participating in federally funded work study
  • Are employed or self-employed an average of 20 hours per week
  • Caring for a dependent household member (specific rules apply)
  • Receiving Reach-Up/PSE
  • Participating in an on-the-job training program
  • Are age 17 or younger, or 50 or older
  • Have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from working
  • Are a single parent and full time student responsible for the care of a dependent child under 12
  • Assigned or placed in a higher education institution through Workforce Investment Act, Employment & Training Program, or Trade Act Program

If you are in school halftime or more and none of these statements apply to you, you cannot get 3SquaresVT benefits.

Work Status

If you are considered a student, you must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are in the JOBS program; or
  • You participate in work study; or
  • You work at least 20 hours a week for pay; or
  • You are in an on-the-job training program

How Do I Apply?

You don’t need to go to an office! You can apply online, and receive your EBT card in the mail. Just visit the website of the Department of Children and Families at https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/3SquaresVT

After you turn in your application, you will need to complete an interview. This can be done over the phone or in person. When your application is received, a worker will call you to complete your interview. If they do not reach you, they will mail you a letter telling you to call for an interview. You only have five days to complete this interview, so call as soon as you can.

During the interview, a worker will go over your application with you and may ask you to send or bring in papers to prove things like where you live or how much money you make. You may be able to find out the day you interview if you can get 3SquaresVT benefits or it may take longer if the worker needs more information. If you do not have the information your worker needs when you meet, you will have time to get it, but it may take longer for you to get 3SquaresVT benefits.

Where/How to Use

  • You can use 3SquaresVT anywhere EBT and 3SquaresVT benefits are accepted including many grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, and co-ops. Benefits can be used in any state. However, they cannot be used to purchase a meal plan on campus or to purchase hot prepared foods.
  • Benefits can be used online at Amazon and Walmart. Recipients seeking to order from Walmart should check with their local stores about online 3SquaresVT availability. Benefits cannot be used to pay for delivery or service fees. Be sure to confirm an online store delivers to your home address before ordering.
  • You can use your EBT Card to purchase food at any grocery store or farmers market that accepts SNAP. Use the map on the FreshEBT app to find grocery stores and farmers markets near you.

This page was last updated on November 14, 2020.

Quick Facts

Administering Program Name
Department for Children and Families

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