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Access to Food Stamps

This section contains articles, policy advocacy, trainings, and other resources addressing the eligibility of immigrants for Food Stamps. Empire Justice’s Albany Office deals primarily with these issues though the Rochester and Long Island offices handle individual cases of immigrants seeking to access public benefits, primarily Medicaid.


TANF at 20: Blog Series
Since 1973, some incarnation of Empire Justice Center has been fighting for low income and disenfranchised New Yorkers' rights. We've seen many changes and weathered many storms, including the so-called "welfare reform" of 1996. The advent of the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 brought us the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant, for better or for worse. Twenty plus years later, New York families are still living in poverty. We present to you our perspectives on TANF at 20. Read More

Language Access Denied: LILAC Releases Report Detailing Failed Implementation of Nassau County Executive Orders
It’s been two years since Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano signed Executive Orders 67 & 72, promising interpretation and translation at Nassau County Agencies, yet little progress has been made. Read More

USDA Issues New Guidance on Immigrant Eligibility for Food Stamp Benefits
In June, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued updated guidance on the eligibility of immigrants for food stamp benefits1 in order “…to assist people in understanding current eligibility requirements.” Read More

State Ends Aid for Battered and Elderly Legal Immigrants
New York State quietly pulled the plug on a small but critical food assistance program which, because of bureaucratic neglect and mismanagement, never delivered on its promise to provide state funded food stamps to elderly immigrants and to immigrants victimized by domestic violence. Read More

Access to Food Stamps: Article


Protesters say county fails on promise to provide interpreters
Nassau County agencies and its police department are failing to provide interpreters to immigrant constituents two years after adopting language-access policies guaranteeing better access, advocates and residents said at a protest Tuesday in Garden City. Read More

Immigrants to Mangano, county agencies: Speak our languages
Members of the language-advocacy coalition pressed the administration to deliver on executive orders 67 and 72 from 2013, in which Mangano required departments to translate vital documents into six languages other than English and provide "competent interpretation services." Read More


Empire Justice Budget Memo: Improving Access to SNAP
How can New York obtain broader anti-hunger relief without tapping out limited state and county dollars? It's simple. New York can take advantage of options available to it to further streamline and expand access to SNAP, which is 100% federally funded. Read More

Empire Justice Center Human Services Testimony 2007
Testimony regarding human services in the 2007-2008 executive budget. Read More

Access to Food Stamps: Policy Advocacy


Immigrant Eligibility Handbook
The rules governing the eligibility of individuals who are not citizens of the United States for federal or state public benefits, including medical assistance, are complicated. They are also subject to change. This manual addresses the immigrant eligibility rules of the various health care programs in New York as they existed in December of 2008. Read More



Legal Services Journal - Spring 2010 Issue
This issue of the Legal Services Journal contains articles on Consumer and Community Development, Immigration, Public Benefits and Disability Benefits. Read More


Immigration Status & Public Benefits Eligibility
This is a training on immigration status as an eligibility requirement in various federal and state public benefits programs. The main focus of the session will be on the immigrant eligibility rules in means tested benefit programs, specifically the Family and Safety Net Assistance Programs, the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), Food Stamps and Medicaid. In addition to the program rules, we will cover the immigrant documentation requirements of the benefits agencies and some special issues that arise in the context of immigrant use of benefits programs, including public charge, sponsor liability and reporting. Read More