If assistance in paying for your groceries were available would you use it? Are you eligible to use CalFresh, formerly known as Food Stamps and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but don’t? According to one California County, over 50 percent of eligible participants do not use the funds available to them.
One thing to keep in mind though is that those on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are not eligible because it would be considered double dipping into the program. Those who receive SSI are already receiving a CalFresh stipend within their monthly payments and therefore are excluded from participating in CalFresh outside of SSI as well. However, this restriction does not exclude those who live in the same household as someone on SSI if they themselves qualify.
Those on Social Security Disability (SSD) are a different story though. They may still qualify for a CalFresh stipend to purchase healthy and nutritious food for themselves. CalFresh’s program provides more affordable access to healthy food so that individuals can create a nutritious lifestyle that will hopefully prevent increases in future care. It models the Affordable Care Act’s preventative care approach.
One of the reasons so many fail to participate in the program which is funded by the federal government, is that many have never heard of it before. Perhaps this is due to the name change, but what is obvious, is that CalFresh has a visibility problem that needs to be proactively remarketed in order to capture and assist all those eligible for the program.
If you are having trouble collecting your SSI or SSD benefits and would like to further explore what other benefits such as CalFresh you may be eligible for, please contact an attorney practiced in the area of Social Security Disability. An SSD lawyer will be able to further assist you in exploring your options and filing for the benefits you deserve.
Source: times-standard.com, “GRAY MATTERS: Many eligible locals are not using CalFresh,” Carol Harrison, Jan. 8, 2013