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Help for elders and disabled

SNAP can be a vital resource if you are elderly or disabled, especially if you are living on a fixed income. Whether you own your home, live in elderly housing or a group home, or have moved in with family, you may qualify for benefits.

Special SNAP regulations

  • If you can prove that your monthly out-of-pocket medical expenses are higher than $35 per month, you can receive the benefits of a medical deduction ($155 or higher).

  • For most, not all, applicants, your assets (savings, investments) will not be counted. Under no circumstances will the house you are living in or your IRA be counted as an asset.

  • You do not have to comply with work requirements.

  • You can designate someone you trust to be an Authorized Representative, which would enable them to use your SNAP card to purchase food for you. Download the Authorized Representative form.

  • If your household consists only of an elderly or disabled person with a stable income (Social Security, for example) you are “certified” for SNAP for two years. This means you will not need to update your information until 24 months after you apply.

  • If everyone in your household is elderly and an SSI recipient, you can apply at your regional Social Security office.

Important notes

  • You are considered to be an elderly applicant if you are age 60 and older.

  • Most applicants can complete the interview requirement by scheduling a telephone interview.

  • You are considered a disabled applicant if you are receiving a government disability benefit, including SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI, MassHealth for the disabled, a public disability retirement (if considered permanent by Social Security), veteran’s disability retirement (after meeting certain conditions), or EAEDC.

  • Even if you are not considered disabled according to SNAP rules, the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) may still be required to make “reasonable accommodations” for a disability you have. You should always discuss any special needs with your DTA caseworker.

  • If you are disabled and live in a group home, there are special regulations that will determine your eligibility to apply.

  • If you are receiving only SSI benefits and live alone, you may be eligible for Bay State CAP SNAP Benefits. This is not a separate benefit but in some instances can result in higher benefits. However, if you have medical expenses or a high rent or mortgage, Bay State CAP may result in a lower amount.

For more information and help determining the best way to apply, contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

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Need Help. Call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline 1 800 645 8333

Frequently Asked Questions link


Link to Department of Transitional Assistance
Link to United States Department of Agriculture is a resource created by Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger, Inc., and has been funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of USDA, nor does mention of tradenames, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger® | 145 Border Street | East Boston, MA 02128
FoodSource Hotline  |  1-800-645-8333   |  (TTY) 1-800-377-1292 | |