How Does the State of New York Determine Eligibility for Food Stamps?


Quick Answer

The New York State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program determines eligibility after an individual submits an application to the local social services department. Individuals interested in receiving food assistance under the SNAP program can take a benefits screening test through MyBenefits.NY.gov. The test takes about 10 minutes to complete.

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Full Answer

The New York State Department of Social Services uses information submitted on benefit applications to help determine who receives SNAP assistance. Local offices accept electronic and paper applications. An in-person interview is also part of the process. The pre-screening test is not a substitute for submitting a benefits application. Applicants receive notice of program acceptance within a 30-day period after the official test submission date.

Individuals experiencing an emergency food shortage might qualify for expedited SNAP assistance, which typically results in receiving food benefits within five days. In this instance, applicants are given an extended time period for completing application requirements. Some college students who are single parents caring for dependent minors are eligible for SNAP. In New York, the college student must meet criteria such as receiving public assistance, participating in state or federal work study or working 20 hours per week. Non-citizen residents of New York State can qualify if they have refugee status or are a U.S. military veteran, resident alien or legal permanent resident.

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