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Eat Right, Even When Money is Tight

AARP believes that everyone deserves to eat right, even when money is tight. That’s why we’re committed to helping older adults find the assistance they need to put healthy, nutritious food on the table.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health and helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices.
 
For older adults with limited incomes, especially those who live alone; food assistance programs can help improve overall health. The healthier people are, the more likely they will be able to take care of their daily needs and live independently.

Unfortunately, only 34% of eligible older Americans receive food assistance—leaving millions of dollars untouched. The most common reason people do not receive SNAP benefits is that they don’t realize they may be eligible.

In Connecticut, a number of enhancements to SNAP were implemented last year that are designed to expand eligibility and access to the program.

Find everything you need to determine eligibility and apply for benefits in any state using AARP’s online Benefits QuickLINK tool. There you’ll be able to:

  • Fill out a quick on-line survey to see if you might be eligible.
  • Find the local office that gives out food benefits in your area.
  • Get a list of required documents.
  • Print out the state application or apply on-line.

Who Should Apply?

Any older American who needs help paying for groceries. People who are 60 or older, may qualify for food assistance if:

  • Their net monthly income (after you subtract certain expenses i.e. housing and medical costs, child care, and eldercare.) is around $903 for a single person or around $1,214 for a married couple.
  • They are legal immigrants who meet the eligibility guidelines, and have lived in the U.S. for five years, or receive disability payments.
  • They get SSI (except in California), or
  • They live in federally subsidized housing for the elderly even if they receive their meals at the facility.

In the past, seniors were not eligible for SNAP if they had more than $3,000 in assets or resources like a second car or a retirement account. Because of changes made to the program last year, only certain households are still subject to an asset test. If you think you might be eligible, take this quick, confidential survey to find out! Then apply today!

New! – Conduct DSS Interviews via Phone

Another important change allows applicants to conduct an interview with the Department of Social Services over the phone to determine eligibility and benefit levels, instead of visiting a local DSS office in person. This change should make it easier for seniors and those without access to affordable transportation options to apply and receive benefits.

No More “Food Stamps”

The old routine of standing in the grocery store line while people watch recipients tear food stamp coupons from a book is no more. Once a person’s application is approved, benefits automatically get loaded on a debit-style card which is accepted at most grocery stores and there are no hidden fees. The average monthly benefit for older Americans age 60+ is $72 for individuals and $90 per household.

Find Out if You Qualify and Apply Today!

SNAP can be a life changing value for individuals, families and communities, but only if the millions of qualified individuals apply for the benefit.

For more information about SNAP and how to apply, visit AARP Benefits QuickLINK.

Need Help?

If you have questions or need help filling out an application, send us an email at ctaarp@aarp.org or call the AARP Connecticut office toll-free by dialing 1-866-295-7279.
 
In these tough economic times, AARP remains staunchly committed to connecting those in need with information and access to programs which offer real relief and assistance in navigating their basic life needs. We encourage all older Americans and those who care for them to learn more about SNAP and apply if they’re eligible.

See if you or a loved one qualifies. Everyone has the opportunity to eat right, even when money is tight.

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