What Is It Like to Apply for SNAP and Other Work Supports? Findings from the Work Supports Strategies Evaluation

This Urban Institute brief examines the experiences of clients applying for work supports, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid, and child care assistance. Applying for these benefits can be a daunting process for low-income families, so six states participated in the Work Support Strategies initiative to streamline and improve the application and service delivery process. The authors describe the experiences of families applying for work supports, then they identify three areas where the process could be improved. Those areas include minimizing wait times so families can receive their benefits sooner, improving customer service so families applying for benefits are treated with respect, and providing clearer information about the process of applying for benefits. The authors recommend that states provide a range of options for applying for benefits and aim for providing benefits on the same day that a client applies.
Record Type: 
Research-To-Practice Brief
Publication Date: 
August, 2017
August 2017
Partner Resources
OFA Initiatives: 
Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy
SFS Category: 
Program Redesign
  • Employment
  • Supportive Services
    • Child Care
    • Health/Behavioral Health Referrals and Supports
    • SNAP/Food Assistance