New York State to expand eligibility for food assistance, low-income college students eligible for SNAP

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New York State has announced expanded eligibility and access to food assistance for residents.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced actions to reduce food insecurity among community college students, older adults and disabled New Yorkers. According to the Governor’s Office, this will include expanding the SNAP program to approximately 75,000 low-income college students.

“From the community college student seeking to advance their career to the senior living on a fixed income, food insecurity and hunger are a reality for a wide breadth of low-income New Yorkers and we have an obligation to help them during their time in need,” stated Governor Cuomo. “These measures will help a greater number of individuals and families access benefits that will prevent them from facing the dire reality of food insecurity.”

The Governor’s Office confirmed that in partnership with the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the State University of New York and City University of New York, a new policy allows low-income college students to be eligible for SNAP.

Income-base students enrolled in a career or technical education program offered at the following will be eligible for SNAP

  • State University of New York
  • City University of New York
  • Comprehensive College
  • Technical College
  • Community College

Additionally, income-eligible individuals attending any of the 10 Educational Opportunity Centers in New York State and enrolled at least half-time in a career and technical education program, remedial courses, basic adult education, literacy, or English as a second language will also be eligible.

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer a simplified application for SNAP benefits. This aimed to enroll more eligible elderly or disabled individuals.

According to the Governor’s Office, only 70% of eligible seniors and disabled individuals are enrolled to receive benefits.

These new eligibility expansions were announced by the New York State Governor on October 16, 2020.

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