Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Unit, formerly known as food stamps, is responsible for administering this federally funded program. This Department of Agriculture program supplements low-income households with food purchasing accounts. The standards for individuals who are over 60 and the disabled are higher than those for other individuals.
- Benefits are accessed electronically through the use of a benefit card.
- Benefits can only be used to purchase food items and not for such items as alcoholic beverages or paper and hygiene products.
- Individuals between the ages of 18 and 50 who are able-bodied adults without dependent children must be engaged in work or work-related activities for at least 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month to be eligible for more than three months of food stamps.
- Clients leaving Temporary Assistance are entitled to Transitional Food Stamp Benefits for five months to help them make the transition from welfare to work.
Expedited Food Stamps
Every application for Food Stamps must be screened for expedited Food Stamps on the day the application is filed, whether it is filed in person, through the mail or by an authorized representative. If the household’s income and resources are low enough to meet the guidelines for expedited Food Stamps, the benefits will be issued within five days of the application filing date. In cases where the household alleges it has no food, the Department will make every effort to issue the benefits the next day and, in the meantime, will refer the household to a food pantry.
NY State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP)
In collaboration with the Social Security Administration, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance administers NYSNIP which automatically enrolls single individuals who live alone and receive Supplemental Security Income in the Food Stamp program. There is no application, interview or verification requirement, and the individual can receive the benefits for up to 48 months by simply completing an interim mailer.
The amount of the benefits is standardized and the benefits are accessed using the individual’s existing Medicaid benefit card.
Clients can apply for Food Stamps or view information about their current Food Stamp case, by creating a myBenefits account or login to your existing myBenefits account. https://www.mybenefits.ny.gov/
USDA has requested that we share the following information to help protect potential SNAP applicants:
From time to time, USDA received reports of Internet and email scams that purport to offer assistance filling out SNAP applications and fake websites that pose as the SNAP public website offering application information. The goal of such scams is to collect personal information from potential SNAP recipients, including credit card information. In the most recently reported scam, SNAP applicants are asked to provide cell phone numbers and are then automatically enrolled into an expensive service without warning.
A "scam alert" developed in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission is posted on the SNAP public website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/alert.htm. We encourage recipients and others to never provide any personal information on an unsecured website, and remind potential applicants that here is never a fee to apply for SNAP.
The FTC suggests that anyone who has fallen victim to these or similar scams, to contact their credit card companies immediately. Victims may also file a police report. Additional information on identity theft is available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/micosites/idtheft