Joint Contributions of SNAP and Unemployment Insurance to the Social Safety Net

August 01, 2012

Funding: USDA Economic Research Service

Summary: When viewed cross-sectionally, only a small proportion of those who receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits also receive SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), even though many could qualify for SNAP receipt. The SNAP-UI project hypothesizes that there is a more complex relationship between use of these two safety net programs. By merging administrative SNAP and UI records from 2006-2009 in seven diverse states, this project hopes to illuminate the coincidence of SNAP and UI and understand better the characteristics of those who use both programs. The intent is to improve access to SNAP for those who are struggling in this difficult economy.