Filing the Application
Applicants should turn in a completed application form as soon as possible.
The form does not have to be completely filled out to be turned in, but it is best to provide as much information as possible. At minimum, the form must include the applicant’s:
- Signature, and
- The date
Applicants do not have to wait for a caseworker to see them before they turn in their application at their county SNAP office. They can drop off (file) the application and have their interview by phone at a later date. Applicants will have to provide more information during the interview.
More information on interviews can be found later in this section.
Applications can be turned in:
- Online at myBenefits (all of NYS) or AccessHRA (NYC)
- On a mobile application
- By a third party (friend, relative, or community agency representative)
- In person
- By mail
- By fax
Mediating on behalf of SNAP applicants may be necessary at SNAP offices that will not accept applications by mail/fax.
All SNAP offices must post the LDSS-4995 “Right to File” poster, which provides information concerning the rights of individuals to file a SNAP application.
Households with SSI Benefits
If everyone in a household is applying for or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the household can file their SNAP application at the Social Security Administration (SSA) and it will be forwarded to the proper SNAP office for processing.
Single SSI live-alone recipients are automatically enrolled in SNAP through the New York State Nutrition Improvement Project(NYSNIP) or the New York State Combined Application Program (NYSCAP).
Applying for SNAP When Not Applying for Cash Assistance Benefits
If a SNAP applicant submits a joint application for TANF and SNAP and is determined not eligible for TANF, the SNAP office must continue to process their SNAP eligibility based on the original joint application. The applicant does not need to submit a new application.
This should not cause any delay in processing the SNAP application.
SNAP application processing time is mandated by federal regulations and should be adhered to by SNAP offices.
Once the SNAP office receives an application, it has no more than 30 days to act on the application and issue SNAP benefits if the household is eligible.
SNAP offices must give applicants at least 10 days to submit all necessary documentation. If the applicant is having difficulty securing the required documents, the SNAP office must assist them in obtaining the verification.
If the SNAP office does not make a determination on an application within the normal 30 days, contact a SNAP supervisor or manager to discuss the situation.
Timeliness: Prompt Action Time Frames
Providing application forms to households
Same day the request is received
Accepting an identifiable application
Same day as received
Expedited service screening
Same day that an application is received
As soon as possible after receipt of an application. Households eligible for expedited service should be interviewed within seven days of their application date.
Application processing/ eligibility determination and issuance of benefits
As soon as possible and always within 30 days of application
Delays Caused by the Applicant(s)
If the applicant does not turn in the required documents within the time period allotted by the SNAP office and does not have a good reason, the SNAP application can be denied.
If a SNAP-eligible applicant submits any missing documents within the initial 30-day application period, their case must be opened and they must be provided SNAP benefits back to the application date. No new application is required.
If an applicant submits the missing documents after the initial 30-day period, but within 60 days of the application date, the SNAP office must open the case, but benefits will not be provided back to the date of application. Instead the case will be opened as of the month following the application month (the second 30-day period).
If an applicant submits any missing documents later than 60 days after their initial application date, they must file a new SNAP application.
Delays Caused by the SNAP Office
If the applicant has submitted all of their documents and is eligible for SNAP, but the SNAP office hasn’t provided the applicant with SNAP benefits within the allotted 30 days, the SNAP office must provide SNAP benefits back to the day the application was first handed in. This is true even if the SNAP office does not decide on the application until more than 60 days after it was submitted.
When a household submits a SNAP application that is not processed within the 30-day period and the SNAP office causes the delay, the household will receive a notice that the SNAP application is “pending.” The application will be completed in as timely a manner as possible and SNAP benefits will be provided back to the day the application was submitted.