- Families seeking food assistance can contact the USDA National Hunger Hotline, by phone (1-866-348-6479) Monday to Friday between 7 am and 10 pm EST. They can also text (914-342-7744) to locate SNAP, EBT, and School Meal programs in their area.
- Social Security: The best way to contact the SSA is through the online portal or a kiosk at a local office. Applicants for disability benefits can expect to wait an average of 206 days before receiving their initial decision. Care teams can help applicants manage expectations and plan for a delay.
- Filing Taxes: The federal tax deadline is April 18, 2023. Some taxpayers may qualify for free tax return preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or the AARP. Care teams can help taxpayers find a local tax assistance location.
- Tax Scams: The IRS does not send emails or text messages asking for financial information. Care teams can help taxpayers avoid scams by sharing information about common phishing techniques.
- Credit: Free credit reports are available online weekly at www.annualcreditreport.com. Care teams can help people explore creative ways to build credit like having a landlord report paid rent through Experian’s RentBureau.
- Internet: The Affordable Connectivity Program provides income-eligible households with a $30/month discount on internet services, which often results in free internet. Household that receive WIC are automatically eligible. Care teams can help people explore whether they are eligible and apply online (en Español).
- SNAP: The nationwide emergency SNAP program ended. Some states are still offering emergency payments through February 2023. Care teams can help families plan for a decrease in their benefits.
- WIC: Parents and caregivers can apply for benefits through their local WIC office. Care teams can help people struggling with the nationwide infant formula shortage by connecting them with community resources.
- School Lunch: The nationwide universal free school program ended. Some states are still offering free meals through the end of the 2022-23 school year. If a state ended their universal program, students may still be eligible for free lunch if they attend a school covered by the Community Eligibility Provision. Individual students may also qualify for free lunch because their household gets food assistance (SNAP), financial assistance (TANF), or tribal assistance (FDPIR); or by meeting the requirements for their state’s National School Lunch Program.
- Summer Meals: When school is not in session, the Summer Food Service Program helps states provide free meals and snacks to children at designated meal sites.
- Nutrition: People can find updated dietary guidelines, shopping guides, and recipes at myplate.gov.
Spotlight on public charge:
Many immigrants who are applying for legal permanent residency are concerned about the public charge test affecting their application.
- Financial assistance programs are considered for the public charge test. This includes TANF, SSI, and general cash assistance.
- Nutrition assistance programs are not considered for the public charge test. This includes SNAP, P-EBT, WIC, school lunch, summer meals, and food pantries.
Care teams can provide people who are concerned about public charge with resources from Protecting Immigrant Families (available in 9 languages).
The Bottom Line
- Many nutrition and income assistance programs receive funding from their state, however, much of that funding originates with the federal government. As a result, care teams can affect change in nutrition and income maximization by advocating at any level – federal, state, or local.