New York State Expands SNAP Eligibility

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ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides food purchasing aid for low to no income households. Earlier this month New York state expanded eligibility for the program to nearly 75,000 low-income college students,

“If they have certain exemptions or they’re within certain provisions if they’re going half time. And what this did is it enhanced those provisions so that now we can also can allow students who are half time who meet certain eligibility to be able to go to vocational and technical schools,” – Colleen Fahy-Box, Commissioner, Oneida County Department of Social Services

They’ve also shortened the application process for elderly and disabled residents. “It’s a 2 page application… Although we reach many of them we feel like there’s people that are eligible that don’t receive the benefit. One of the reasons was because the application process so they tried to simplify it.” – Colleen Fahy-Box, Commissioner, Oneida County Department of Social Services

Surprisingly, Fahy-Box says the demand for snap benefits in the county hasn’t increased that much since the pandemic.

“It’s slightly increased. It hasn’t increased as much as i think we anticipated. . . The state was very helpful in that they authorized an extension of benefits. So they did automatic reauthorizations and they reauthorized people at the maximum snap a lot which was very helpful for families during the crisis.” – Colleen Fahy-Box, Commissioner, Oneida County Department of Social Services

If the application is accepted, it usually takes about 3 weeks to start receiving benefits, but in serious cases, you could get them a lot sooner.

“There’s an expedited process so if someone presents that they have absolutely no food, we do an expedited process and then it’s very quick. It’s within I believe 72 hours.” – Colleen Fahy-Box, Commissioner, Oneida County Department of Social Services

For information on requirements, purchases covered by the program, and how to apply, visit the state’s website here.

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