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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.


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

The Court Grants Summary Judgment to the Plaintiffs in Teytelman v. Wing
On February 5, 2005, Judge Diamond of the Supreme Court, New York County, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Teytelman v. Wing (Index No. 402767/02.) The Teytelman plaintiffs challenged various immigration related restrictions in the State’s Food Assistance Program (FAP), including the requirement that, to be eligible, the applicant must have been residing in the U.S. on August 22, 1996. The plaintiffs are elderly immigrants and immigrant victims of domestic violence who entered the country after that date. Read More

Implementation of the Food Stamp Eligibility and Certification Provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill
A companion article in this issue of the LSJ discusses the publication of proposed federal regulations by the Food and Nutrition Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (FNS) that implement the provisions of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization legislation expanding the eligibility of immigrants for food stamp benefits. See this issue, page 8. The food stamp reauthorization provisions were a part of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA). Read More

Access to Food Stamps: Article


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

Nassau County Misses Deadline for Language Access Programs
Last year, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano signed two executive orders aimed at providing greater access to county services to an increasingly diverse population with various language needs. However, more than a year later, few of the promises contained in those orders have been fulfilled. 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