General Assembly OKs legislation that would streamline application process for senior SNAP beneficiaries
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today passed legislation introduced by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown).that would make it easier for senior citizens to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
“There are many seniors who are having difficulty obtaining SNAP benefits because of the difficulty of the process,” said Senator Sosnowski. “Many seniors don’t apply for these benefits because the application and recertification process are so cumbersome. We have an aging population that’s really suffering nutritionally and we should do everything we can to make the benefits more accessible to them.”
The bill (2022-S 2317, 2022-H 7068) would require the Department of Human Services to develop a plan to streamline the application, certification and recertification process for SNAP beneficiaries aged 60 and over.
“This legislation really helps our most vulnerable,” said Representative Fogarty. “Those over 60 are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, and this bill takes a difficult process and makes it a little easier by reducing the length of the application, increasing the recertification period from two to three years, and waiving the requirement of interviews for recertification.”
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families that are used at stores to purchase food. The program is administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service through its nationwide network of FNS field offices. Local FNS field offices are responsible for the licensing and monitoring of retail food stores participating in SNAP.
The measure now moves to the governor’s office.