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Can I apply for SNAP benefits at the local Social Security office?

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus
Reviewed January 2018

If you are applying for or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, federal and state SNAP law requires SSA to take your SNAP application and send it to the local SNAP state agency (e.g. DTA).

SSA is required to take a SNAP application for SSI individuals who live along, or where everyone in the household receives or is applying for SSI.  106 C.M.R.§§ 361.190, 366.920.  This can be a regular paper SNAP application, or through the “Bay State CAP” program. See What is Bay State Cap for SSI recipients?.

If you are applying for or receiving regular Social Security benefits (not SSI), federal and state SNAP law requires SSA offices to offer a SNAP application form to Social Security (RSDI) recipients. 7 U.S.C. § 2020(J). DTA has a short SNAP application form that SSA offices should give to SSI and RSDI clients. 106 C.M.R.§ 361.190.  

Advocacy Reminders:

  • If you need emergency SNAP benefits – especially if you are just applying for SSI or Social Security – it may be faster to go to the local DTA office or apply on-line. See Can I Get Emergency SNAP Benefits?.
  • SSA District Office Claims Representatives do not consistently offer SNAP applications to Social Security and SSI clients. You can remind SSA District Office of their obligations by citing the federal rules, and you can also tell your local Congress member when SSA declines to help you.  See 7 U.S.C. § 2020(I)(1).

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