Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)
SNAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the focus on nutrition. The program issues monthly benefits redeemable at authorized food retail stores with an Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT). SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others to feed their families. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size, income and other factors. Visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/ for an overview on the SNAP program.
The SNAP income limits enable a families’ earnings to be up to 130% of the poverty level to qualify. To help in the transition to self-sufficiency, SNAP can be continued for families leaving temporary assistance to move into the workplace. For more information on SNAP please visit: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/
For non-citizen eligibility please see: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/qanda.asp#noncitizen click “Am I eligible?” to check your eligibility for SNAP.
Regulations state that certain household members must apply together. These individuals include spouses who reside together, children under the age of 22 residing with their parents, and any minors under 18 living with an adult who provides parental control. This would include non-related household members who buy and prepare meals together.
How to Apply
- You can apply by filing out the SNAP Application/Recertification, LDSS-4826
- The application can be found here: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/applications/, or
- You may complete an online application at https://mybenefits.ny.gov
- Call Lewis County DSS at 315-376-5400 and request an application be sent to you.
Where to Apply
- You may apply in person at the Lewis County Department of Social Services from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
- You may apply at https://mybenefits.ny.gov
- You may apply with the Food Bank of Central New York through the Nutritional Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) with the outreach coordinator Kris Kriwox at 315-437-1899 ext. 251 or 1-866-839-7304 Option 5.
For more information regarding Benefits, Eligibility, to apply for or for recertification, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/ or please call Lewis County Department of Social Services at 315-376-5400.
Temporary Assistance (TA) & Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households
Safeguard Your EBT Card
Thieves place overlay devices (skimmers) on retailer Point of Sale (POS) card reading machines (where you swipe your EBT card), which allow them to copy EBT account and PIN information so they can steal SNAP and cash benefits. Once EBT card and PIN information is stolen, the data is typically used to create a duplicate card which allows thieves to access your EBT account and spend your SNAP and cash benefits.
Skimmers copy EBT card and PIN information when an EBT card is used to make a legitimate purchase. The (POS) card reading machine allows the transaction to go through without any issues and the cardholder doesn’t know their information has been stolen. Therefore, most victims of skimming are not aware that their EBT card and PIN information has been stolen during the transaction until the next time they try to use their EBT card or review their account balance.
There are a few steps that you can take to safeguard your EBT card and reduce your risk of benefit theft:
- Change Your PIN Frequently—Once a card has been skimmed, the duplicate card uses the same information stolen from the EBT cardholder (e.g., card number and PIN). If you change your PIN often, anyone attempting to steal your benefits using a duplicate card will no longer have the correct information to gain access to your account. It is recommended you avoid choosing a PIN that is easy to guess, such as repeated or consecutive numbers. For example, avoid choosing a PIN of “2222” or “1234”.
- Physically Inspect Card Reading Machines— Skimmers are designed to look like the POS machine that they fit over and will likely be difficult to notice. However, there are some signs that may indicate that a skimmer is being used, including:
- Some skimmer devices block LED indicator lights or illuminated backlit keypad numbers, or partially cover stylus/pen trays.
- The faceplate of card reading machines may be loose, appear ill-fitting, or be easily dislodged from the body of the machine.
- In some instances, the faceplate may be miscolored, texturally mismatched, or otherwise appear different than the body of the POS card reading machine.
Please note that while these signs do not necessarily prove that a skimming device is being used, cardholders should always exercise caution when making purchases and refrain from using any card reading machine that they suspect may be compromised.
- Report Suspicious Devices & Activity— If you notice any signs that a skimmer may be in use, you should alert the retailer and should not use your EBT card to make a purchase. You should also regularly review your account balance. If you identify any suspicious activity, contact your local department of social services’ fraud unit immediately.
In addition, if you believe your benefits have been stolen, immediately report your card as stolen by calling the EBT Customer Service Helpline at 1-888-328-6399 and a replacement card can be mailed to you. The EBT Customer Service Helpline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and assists Arabic, Chinese, English, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish speakers. You can also report your card stolen and order a new card by visiting www.connectebt.com or through the ConnectEBT mobile app.
In response to the ongoing EBT scams and skimming, ODTA has created a dedicated website page. You can visit https://otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/EBT-scam-alert.asp for more information.