It is not uncommon for government agencies to work together on matters that are mutually beneficial. The Social Security Administration is working together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The SNAP program provides food for lower-income individuals. The collaboration between the USDA and the SSA has a focus on ensuring Supplemental Security Income recipients receive the SNAP benefits to which they are entitled.
How SSA helps with SNAP
The SSA acts as a middleman of sorts to help connect SSI recipients with the USDA and the SNAP program. If a person is eligible to get SSI, they are typically also eligible for SNAP. But some people may not be aware of this. The SSA will help qualify them and assist with the application process. The SSA does get reimbursement from federal funds for assisting with this process and helping to screen applicants on SSI.
The latest change to this collaborative operation is to move from paper applications to computerized ones. The effort to reduce paper waste is pushing for the expansion of electronic applications and a move to encourage applicants to use these resources. The electronic option has been around for a while, but this marks a big push to try to make paper applications obsolete.
Electronic applications allow for better tracking and managing of the SNAP program. Officials can see if applicants struggle with certain parts of the application or if they decide to abandon the application at certain points, which provides information to make the process easier.
The SSA assistance for SSI applicants can provide these people with more resources to help them as they struggle financially. Instead of spending their limited funds on food, they can use the program and make their SSI benefits go further.