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SNAP and Seniors

By August 17, 2020September 11th, 2020No Comments

SNAP helps older adults stay healthy.

605,000 seniors in New York State maintain good health and nutrition through the SNAP program. SNAP reduces the likelihood of admission into a hospital by 14% and reduces the duration of stay if admitted. Every $10 increase in monthly SNAP benefits further reduces the odds of additional days in the hospital. SNAP also reduces the likelihood of admission into a nursing home by 23%. New York provides SNAP benefits to more older adults than any other state, yet hundreds of thousands of older New Yorkers who may be eligible are not receiving SNAP benefits.

FRAC and AARP Data Analysis Reveals that Millions of Households with Seniors Rely on SNAP to Stave Off Hunger

One in 10 households with seniors (age 60+) participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), on average each year between 2012–2016. This is according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed in interactive tools released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), in collaboration with AARP Foundation.

Food Research and Action Center has created these first-of-their-kind interactive maps and accompanying tables that show the share of all households with seniors that participated in SNAP nationally, in each state, and among the nation’s 3,142 counties.

These interactive tools allow local, state, and national policymakers, program administrators, advocates, media, social service providers and others to better understand the role of SNAP in helping millions of struggling seniors afford enough food to eat in communities across NYS and nationwide.

New York State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP)

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) implemented NYSNIP in late 2003. NYSNIP’s goal is to automatically enroll all of New York State’s SSI (Supplemental Security Income) live-alone recipients into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

For this population, no separate SNAP application, no interview, and no separate verification is needed; OTDA relies on information provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) through the State Data Exchange to generate a SNAP case. NYSNIP participants use their existing Medicaid benefit cards to access their SNAP benefits. Benefit amounts are standardized, and participants can receive SNAP benefits through NYSNIP for as long as 48 months.

Interim Report (LDSS-4836) for New York City
English version
Spanish version​

Interim Report (LDSS-4836) for Rest of State
English version
Spanish version

Case Information Collection Sheet (LDSS-4841)
English version
Spanish version


SNAP Medical Exemption Fact Sheet and Deduction Worksheet

Watch: Aging and You (NYSOFA Director, Greg Olsen and Sherry Tomasky, Public Affairs Director for Hunger Solutions New York, discuss the importance of adequate and quality nutrition to older adults, and how SNAP helps older adults with limited income to supplement their budgets.)