Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio.
City Makes Food Stamps Available to Higher Income Storm Victims
Monday, December 10, 2012
Beginning Wednesday, New Yorkers living in 12 designated zip codes hit by Sandy may be eligible for food stamps even if their incomes exceed the regular set limits.
According to officials, storm victims earning up to 250 percent of poverty may qualify for a one month allotment of disaster related food stamps. For a family of three that means a monthly income of up to $3,400 dollars.
The food stamp allotment will range from $250 to $500 depending on the size of a family. "You will get that as an effort to help you get past or recover from this horrible storm that took place," said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar while speaking on the Brian Lehrer Show on Monday.
Beyond raising income requirements, the city said it would also waive immigration status requirements, making undocumented immigrants also eligible for the one time benefit.
Doar said applicants will need to prove they were living in affected areas and have endured financial hardship or damage to their homes. "It's very important that you bring documents showing how you were affected, receipts of additional expenses," Doar said. "But that documentation requirement isn't as intense as the identification and the residency requirement."
Two sites have been set up for applicants. One is at New Dorp High School in Staten Island and the other at 495 Clermont Avenue in downtown Brooklyn. The city says buses will be available to bring applicants from the Rockaways where public transportation is still limited. Doar said the elderly and disabled who may have trouble getting around may authorize someone to apply for the benefit on their behalf. The deadline for applications is December 18.
Listen to the Brian Lehrer’s full interview with Commissioner Doar here.