Barriers to SNAP for Adults Aged 50-59 (2013)

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Low-income adults in their fifties have become especially vulnerable to maintaining food security. The economy has pushed the unemployment and under-employment rates for this group to high levels. Most are not yet eligible for Social Security and Medicare, and do not meet requirements for other public benefit programs for adults with children living at home.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly knowns at food stamps) can provide some assistance to helping this vulnerable group become more food secure. However, participation rates for this group are low, even as their food insecurity rates have increased.

This white paper from AARP identifies many of the barriers to SNAP participation for low-income adults in their fifties. Barriers include:

  • Previously negative customer service experience with program staff
  • Inconsistent or poor quality of information about the program
  • Improper application of eligibility criteria
  • Lack of awareness about the program
  • Perception of low benefits relative to costs associated with applying
  • Income variation due to seasonal or periodic employment

Download the full report below.

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