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Updated MOU will ease barriers for SNAP applicants


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Social Security Administration confirmed that an updated memorandum of understanding, which is renegotiated every five years, prioritizes efficiency by directing alternatives to outdated paper-based application processes and collecting data to inform future improvements.

 “Expanding the use of electronic applications and telephonic signatures will make it easier for SSI recipients to complete their SNAP application.

 “SSA will also provide additional data to USDA on the number of SSI applicants not receiving SNAP and at what point they drop out of the application process.

“Social Security is committed to reducing barriers and ensuring people who are eligible for benefits receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi.

“Partnering with USDA to test more efficient ways to apply, share information, and help SSI families apply for SNAP assistance makes it easier for people to obtain the services they need.”

“USDA is dedicated to working collaboratively with our federal partners to improve access to our nutrition assistance programs,” said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

“Allowing SSI applicants and recipients to apply for SNAP with SSA prevents applicants from having to provide the same paperwork to multiple offices and reduces burden on state and local administrators.

“We’re continually working to make it easier for all people, but especially vulnerable populations — like adults and children with a disability or blindness and people age 65 or older — to access the nutrition assistance they need and deserve.”

This partnership supports Executive Order 13571 on Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service and underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to delivering better results for the American people by modernizing government programs and expanding equity in federal assistance programs.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 15 nutrition assistance programs such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP.

Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being.