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What’s new for: Aging
SNAP changes bring adjustments to benefit levels
A small cost-of-living adjustment on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits became effective Oct. 1, 2013, that may affect some SNAP recipients who are not already at the maximum benefit level for their household size. Beginning Nov. 1, some recipients may see a decrease in their benefits. Help is available for SNAP recipients affected by the benefit decrease due to the end of extra benefits provided during the recession. More information is in a news release on the changes and help available for SNAP recipients.
SNAP applicants and recipients warned about scams
Applicants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) should be aware there is never a fee for applying for benefits, and to be on the lookout for online ads or suspicious emails falsely offering help filling out applications. The goal of such scams is to collect personal information from potential SNAP recipients, including credit card information. The federal agency that manages SNAP reports that there have recently been scams in which applicants are asked to provide cell phone numbers and are then automatically enrolled into an expensive service without warning. A “scam alert” provides regular updates about these illegal schemes and how to get assistance if an applicant has already fallen victim.
Disaster SNAP benefits replace food lost in power outages
More than 12,000 Minnesota households applied for disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to recoup lost food due to power outages. Severe storms caused lengthy power outages that affected many Minnesota communities in late June. Disaster SNAP benefits entitle eligible participants a reimbursement of lost food up to the full current month’s SNAP benefit amount. The majority of applications were filed in Hennepin County. State and county employees worked together to ensure benefits were replaced within the guideline established by federal regulations.
Simplified application launched for seniors to access healthy food
To increase seniors’ access to nutritious foods, the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced the launch of a new one-page application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Minnesotans age 60 and older. More information is in a news release about the SNAP application for seniors.
Nursing Home Report Card revamped for easier use
A more user-friendly Nursing Home Report Card with more detailed information (including daily payment rates) on Minnesota nursing facilities has been introduced by DHS and the Minnesota Department of Health. The Nursing Home Report Card, at nhreportcard.dhs.mn.gov, helps consumers compare the quality of care in nursing homes across the state. More information is in a news release about the report card.
MinnesotaHelp.info website features community resources
MinnesotaHelp.info® is a website featuring information on community resources for Minnesotans of all ages, with a special online tool to help seniors remain independent and live in their communities.
Special telephone equipment available to help people with hearing loss
The Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program provides telephone equipment to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have a speech or mobility impairment and need adaptive equipment in order to use the phone. More information about the TED program is available online.
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