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Just Thoughts is the blog of the Empire Justice Center, New York’s statewide, multi-issue, multi-strategy public interest law firm focused on changing the “systems” within which poor and low income families live. Here staff and guest authors will share stories, announcements and perspectives on timely issues related to our work.

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An Early Thanksgiving

Issue Area: Public Benefits

SNAP fingerprinting will end on November 1st

It’s finally here.  This week, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) published final regulations prohibiting the use of finger imaging in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - the new name for the Food Stamp Program).  The prohibition becomes effective on November 1, 2012.

These regulations make good on Governor Cuomo’s promise earlier this year to end food stamp fingerprinting in New York State as part of his pledge to end childhood hunger.

The timing is opportune – November is when many emergency food programs kick off their holiday hunger appeals and it is also, of course, the month of Thanksgiving.

No longer will thousands of applicants be ensnared in the antiquated, inefficient finger imaging system.  No longer will the elderly, families with young children and disabled individuals go without nutritional assistance because of finger imaging. 

Truly something to be thankful for as New York heads into the holiday season.

Tags: Food Stamps | SNAP benefits | finger imaging | OTDA

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