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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Leftin, Joshua
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income individuals purchase food so they can obtain a nutritious diet. One important measure of the program’s performance is its ability to reach its target population. A SNAP participation rate is defined as the number of participating SNAP households divided by the number of SNAP-eligible households. Historically, SNAP households with elderly individuals (age 60 or older) have participated in the program at lower rates than other SNAP households. For example, in FY 2009 the SNAP participation rate for households with elderly individuals is an estimated 20 percentage points below the rate for all households. The difference between participation rates for elderly individuals and all individuals is wider. Despite recent efforts by policymakers throughout the 2000s to expand and target outreach efforts to elderly households, the elderly participation rate remained low in 2008 (Leftin 2010).

    In this report, our objectives are as follows:

    • Obtain more detailed descriptive data about elderly participant and...

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income individuals purchase food so they can obtain a nutritious diet. One important measure of the program’s performance is its ability to reach its target population. A SNAP participation rate is defined as the number of participating SNAP households divided by the number of SNAP-eligible households. Historically, SNAP households with elderly individuals (age 60 or older) have participated in the program at lower rates than other SNAP households. For example, in FY 2009 the SNAP participation rate for households with elderly individuals is an estimated 20 percentage points below the rate for all households. The difference between participation rates for elderly individuals and all individuals is wider. Despite recent efforts by policymakers throughout the 2000s to expand and target outreach efforts to elderly households, the elderly participation rate remained low in 2008 (Leftin 2010).

    In this report, our objectives are as follows:

    • Obtain more detailed descriptive data about elderly participant and nonparticipant subgroups in order to understand some distinguishing characteristics of these subgroups. In particular, explore the potential overlap of eligible elderly subgroups and those participating in other programs (e.g., Medicare Part D) as a strategy for locating large numbers of eligible nonparticipants.

    • Prepare findings on elderly SNAP participation using various data files, and evaluate the strengths and limitations of these data files.

    • Evaluate reliance on less precise measures of elderly household eligibility. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Congress
    Reference Type: Statute
    Year: 1935

    This statute established the U.S. Social Security system.  It provided benefits to the disabled and unemployed and included titles relating to social supports for the elderly, the blind, women and children, as well as established the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. 

    This statute established the U.S. Social Security system.  It provided benefits to the disabled and unemployed and included titles relating to social supports for the elderly, the blind, women and children, as well as established the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. 

  • Individual Author: Bhattacharya, Jayanta; Currie, Janet; Haider, Steven
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we examine the relationship between nutritional status, poverty, and food insecurity for household members of various ages. Our most striking result is that, while poverty is predictive of poor nutrition among preschool children, food insecurity does not provide any additional predictive power for this age group. Among school age children, neither poverty nor food insecurity is associated with nutritional outcomes, while among adults and the elderly, both food insecurity and poverty are predictive. These results suggest that researchers should be cautious about assuming connections between food insecurity and nutritional outcomes, particularly among children. (Author abstract)

    Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we examine the relationship between nutritional status, poverty, and food insecurity for household members of various ages. Our most striking result is that, while poverty is predictive of poor nutrition among preschool children, food insecurity does not provide any additional predictive power for this age group. Among school age children, neither poverty nor food insecurity is associated with nutritional outcomes, while among adults and the elderly, both food insecurity and poverty are predictive. These results suggest that researchers should be cautious about assuming connections between food insecurity and nutritional outcomes, particularly among children. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Coe, Norma; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Low take-up by elderly Americans in most means-tested federal programs is a persistent and puzzling phenomenon. This paper seeks to measure the causal effect of the benefit levels on elderly enrollment in two public assistance programs – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program – by using the variation in SNAP and SSI eligibility and benefit levels introduced by Social Security retirement benefits. Our findings are three-fold. First, the low take-up among the elderly is not driven by changes in the composition of the eligible pool: individuals who become eligible as they age exhibit average take-up patterns that are similar to those who were eligible before reaching Social Security benefit claiming ages. Second, Social Security has a significant impact on the use of public assistance programs among the elderly, because the increase in income decreases the potential benefits available from public programs. Third, we estimate different behavioral responses to SNAP and SSI programs: a $100 increase in SSI benefits leads...

    Low take-up by elderly Americans in most means-tested federal programs is a persistent and puzzling phenomenon. This paper seeks to measure the causal effect of the benefit levels on elderly enrollment in two public assistance programs – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program – by using the variation in SNAP and SSI eligibility and benefit levels introduced by Social Security retirement benefits. Our findings are three-fold. First, the low take-up among the elderly is not driven by changes in the composition of the eligible pool: individuals who become eligible as they age exhibit average take-up patterns that are similar to those who were eligible before reaching Social Security benefit claiming ages. Second, Social Security has a significant impact on the use of public assistance programs among the elderly, because the increase in income decreases the potential benefits available from public programs. Third, we estimate different behavioral responses to SNAP and SSI programs: a $100 increase in SSI benefits leads to a 4-6-percentage-point increase in the probability of taking up SSI, but we are unable to estimate consistent results on how benefits impact the take up for SNAP. Together with the fact that eligible individuals who begin receiving Social Security benefits continue to participate in SSI more often than they maintain SNAP enrollment, we posit that the different estimated behavioral responses could be due to individual preferences for cash over in-kind transfers. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Sama-Miller, Emily; Makowsky, Libby; Rowe, Gretchen; Brown, Elizabeth; Clary, Elizabeth; Castner, Laura; Satake, Miki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This study reports on a project launched in 2010 to pilot and evaluate innovative strategies to reduce SNAP participation barriers for low-income elderly by leveraging new data-sharing requirements related to Medicare assistance programs that help pay for prescription drugs or Medicare premiums. SNAP accesses the medical assistance program data and contacts those individuals that appear SNAP eligible. Grants were awarded to New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington. (author abstract)

    This study reports on a project launched in 2010 to pilot and evaluate innovative strategies to reduce SNAP participation barriers for low-income elderly by leveraging new data-sharing requirements related to Medicare assistance programs that help pay for prescription drugs or Medicare premiums. SNAP accesses the medical assistance program data and contacts those individuals that appear SNAP eligible. Grants were awarded to New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington. (author abstract)

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