Thursday, September 10, 2015


A key aspect of SNAP is the extent to which it reaches its target population—the rate of participation among people who are eligible for SNAP benefits. USDA measures participation in two ways: monthly and annually. A new report shows participation and eligibility differ markedly depending on the timeframe used and the group examined. Among its findings for 2012:

·         About 45% more individuals were estimated to be eligible for SNAP at some time during the year than were eligible in an average month of that year.
·         About 57% of individuals who were ever eligible in the year were eligible for only part of it (1 to 11 months), while the rest (43%) were eligible for the full year. Of those ever eligible in the year, about 66% of elderly individuals (age 66 years or older) were estimated to be eligible all 12 months, as were about 77% of disabled people. In contrast, only about 25% of the working poor who were ever eligible during the year were eligible all 12 months.
·          An estimated 76.6 million people were eligible at some time during the year, while only about 54.1 million people ever participated, resulting in an annual SNAP participation rate of 70.7%.

Source: USDA, 8/25/15, SNAP Participation