WI24-07: SSI, SNAP, and the Economic Security of Older Adults



The SSI and SNAP programs, one providing cash support and the other providing food support, provide critical assistance in reducing economic insecurity among older low-income adults. In this study, we examine how the joint receipt of benefits from both programs has evolved over time and what the effects of that evolution on economic insecurity have been. The two programs have evolved differently, with SSI benefits growing slowly and real asset limits falling and with SNAP benefits growing strongly and real asset limits eliminated or reduced. We focus on whether these changes have affected SNAP receipt by SSI participants and whether joint receipt of both programs’ benefits has affected material hardship, asset accumulation, and other outcomes, with particular attention to race and ethnic differences. The findings from this project can help SSA evaluate the impact of the different evolutions of the SNAP and SSI programs for SSI participation and SSI recipients.

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