SNAP Expedited Service

People with very low income and few resources may qualify for expedited service. Those eligible will get their SNAP benefits within seven calendar days of the day they hand in their application. For example, if a person applies on a Friday and qualifies for expedited service, the SNAP office must provide SNAP benefits by Friday of the following week.

Expedited SNAP benefits are not administered as a separate program. Every SNAP applicant must be screened for expedited service eligibility on the day they apply. New York has a standard screening form for this: LDSS-3938.

An applicant is eligible for screening and to receive expedited service even if they have an authorized representative, such as a friend or relative, apply for them. They may also be screened during a phone interview or an interview in their home if they are unable to get to the SNAP office.

Eligibility for Expedited SNAP Benefits

A household is eligible for expedited service if:

  • Their liquid resources (cash or readily available savings or online crowdfunding accounts*) do not exceed $100 and they have received less than $150 in gross income during the calendar month in which they are applying for SNAP; or
  • The household’s shelter costs for the month—rent or mortgage, plus utility expenses (the Standard Utility Allowance—SUA)—are greater than the combination of the household’s liquid resources and gross income for the calendar month in which they are applying; or
  • They are a migrant or seasonal farmworker household that has liquid resources of $100 or less and meet SNAP requirements for being destitute.

After determining that a household meets any one of those three conditions, the SNAP office must interview the household and obtain proof of the applicant’s identity. If verification of identity is impossible, benefits cannot be issued.

Expedited processing should not be delayed due to lack of verification for anything other than identity.

Identity can be verified through:

  • A driver’s license or
  • A voter registration card or
  • Any other document that proves the applicant’s identity

If the applicant does not have any ID, the SNAP office must try to call someone (such as a friend, relative, or a worker at a shelter or other agency) to verify their identity.

The office must also assess whether the applicant has ever received expedited SNAP benefits in the past. Families who received expedited SNAP benefits the last time they applied but were not certified for ongoing benefits because they didn’t follow through with the verification process have to meet certain additional criteria the next time they apply in order to receive expedited SNAP benefits. These applicants must submit either:

  • The missing verification from their last application or
  • All verification required with their new application**

Once the applicant has submitted all necessary documents and is found eligible, the SNAP office must provide SNAP benefits within the expedited time frame. The SNAP office must give the household at least 10 days to gather paperwork necessary to qualify for ongoing benefits.

*This is true even if the funds in the online account are used only to pay a deductible expense like medical bills or shelter costs. In such a case, the SNAP office would deduct the allowable expense as part of the regular SNAP budget process.
**Technically, these households are not eligible for expedited SNAP benefits under federal rules. However, if they submit all their current verification, New York State’s policy, as outlined in 05 ADM-13, directs local districts to issue ongoing SNAP benefits using the expedited time frame of seven days, rather than making the household wait up to 30 days.