SNAP Matters for People With Disabilities

My mom was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease almost 20 years ago. Fortunately, her condition has remained stable, though she hasn’t been able to work during these years. She receives monthly disability benefits, which have been a lifesaver. (You will never hear me complain about paying SSI taxes.)

When I think of her, I see her, not the disease. So perhaps that’s why I was so surprised to see how information in the Food Research & Action Center’s report on SNAP Matters for People With Disabilities could actually benefit her.

SNAP-SAJD-webI learned that the eligibility requirements for SNAP are different for people with disabilities. I also learned that a person can deduct monthly medical expenses of $35 or more from their reported income, resulting in a larger SNAP benefit, leaving more money for medical expenses. My mom is on Medicare. She happily tells me she’s getting great health care, which is good to hear. Even so, medicine is a large expense for her, and I find comfort knowing there are additional resources which may help.

I’m not sure if my mom will qualify for SNAP. I haven’t started the conversation about applying and am not sure how well she’ll receive the suggestion when I do. I worry where I see opportunity, she’ll see embarrassment. The report explains that a person, “with a persistent work-limiting disability would require more than two-and-a-half times the income of a person without disabilities to have the same likelihood of food security.” I imagine it would be hard for those of us in the best of health to work enough to more than double our income, so I hope she doesn’t feel shame. After all, she didn’t choose to have this disease.

If you need help signing someone up for SNAP benefits, contact JFS, (206) 461-3240.

This post came to us from a community member who has chosen to remain anonymous.

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