Evaluation Summary: SNAP Take-Up

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—often called “food stamps”—provides nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and households in the United States. The elderly enroll in SNAP at a disproportionately low rate: in 2013, only 41 percent of eligible elderly adults were enrolled in SNAP. Can mailings informing households that they are potentially eligible for SNAP and help completing the application for benefits increase SNAP enrollment? And which types of eligible individuals respond to these interventions?

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national not-for-profit organization based in Philadelphia that provides targeted outreach and comprehensive application assistance to individuals who are likely eligible for public benefits, including SNAP. J-PAL affiliates Amy Finkelstein (MIT) and Matthew Notowidigdo (Northwestern) are conducting a randomized evaluation to measure the impact of BDT’s outreach and application assistance on take-up of SNAP benefits.

Read the full evaluation summary on the J-PAL North America website.

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