Monday, December 21, 2009



Food Stamps: The New Food Stamp Economy

I came across a reuters article that I found particularly interesting, because it reflects how badly the U.S. economy currently is and where its trending, and also because, prior to becoming a medicaid caseworker and social security disability claims examiner, I was once a food stamp caseworker for a department of social services.

Here are the major points from the article:

1. 37 million people currently receive food stamps. This represents more than a one-third increase since the U.S. went into recession at the end of 2007.

2. Nearly 200,000 retailers now accept food stamps. That's seventeen percent more food retailers than just 2 years before.

3. In 2007 and 2008, more than 30 billion dollars in food stamps were redeemed. This year, however, the number will probably exceed fifty billion.

4. By 2010, it is expected that more than 60 billion will be spent annually in food stamp benefits.

5. The food stamp program is now known as the SNAP program: supplemental nutrition assistance program. I didn't know this, but the name makes sense. The idea behind the food stamp program is that it supplements an individual or a family's ability to obtain adequate nutrition, not provide for an entire grocery budget.

6. Average food stamp recipients exhaust their food stamp benefits within the first three days of issuance. That in itself is an indicator of how dire the situation is for the majority of recipients. In actual practice, food stamps are not used to supplement an existing grocery budget, but represent the majority of the budget, or the entire budget itself.

7. Despite the steady growth in the use of food stamp benefits, many individuals and families who would be eligible for benefits do not apply because they feel intimidated by the process of applying, or avoid applying due to a perception of stigma attached to such benefits. This phenomenon is not so different from the stigma many individuals have felt regarding an application for disability benefits.

8. One in eight Americans depends on food stamps to buy food.


Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




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Social Security Disability Re-evaluations a.k.a. reviews
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Disability Lawyers and Finding YOUR Disability Lawyer
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI - How to file
Appeals for Social Security Disability - Disability Appeals Process

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