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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.

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Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits

Thank you to Cattaraugus Community Action for sharing this graphic that explains how the benefit is being distributed.

Graphic explaining Pandemic-EBT benefit

 

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.

myBenefits

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/

SNAP scams

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. 

USDA FNS Non-Discrimination Statement

As a condition of receipt of Federal financial assistance, the Program applicant hereby agrees that it will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended; all provisions required by the implementing regulations of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) (7 CFR Part 15); Department of Justice Enforcement Guidelines (28 CFR Parts 42 and 50.3); and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) directives and guidelines to the effect that, no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, political beliefs, religion or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Program applicant receives Federal financial assistance from USDA.

The Program applicant agrees to compile data, maintain records, and submit reports as required, to permit effective enforcement of nondiscrimination laws and permit authorized USDA personnel during hours of program operation to review such records, books, and accounts as needed to ascertain compliance with the nondiscrimination laws. If there are any violations of this assurance, the Department of Agriculture, FNS, shall have the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance. This assurance is binding on the Program applicant, its successors, transferees and assignees as long as it receives assistance or retains possession of any assistance from USDA. The person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign this assurance on behalf of the Program applicant.

USDA Civil Rights Assurance Language

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

fax: (202) 690-7442; or

email: program.intake@usda.gov.

With respect to public accommodations, New York State additionally prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, transgender status, gender dysphoria, sexual orientation, marital status, and military status.