Older adults (60+) have the lowest SNAP participation rate in Oregon and across the country. Help more older adults connect to food assistance!

There are many reasons older adults participate at lower rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Barriers like not knowing what the program is and that it provides food assistance, misinformation about eligibility, difficulties with navigating the application process, or stigma affect older adult access. However Oregon has done a lot to simplify the application process, expand eligibility, and increase older adult access to SNAP.

How to Apply

The general application process and eligibility guidelines for older adults is the same as is found on our Apply for SNAP page

Older adults and people with disabilities can start the application process by simply calling their local Senior Service Office. Interviews can be done over the phone, in an office, home visit, or through an appointed representative.

Older Adult SNAP Details

When applying for SNAP, older adults have different options to consider with their application. Anyone who is at least 60 years old or has a disability can claim out of pocket medical costs on their SNAP application, which may mean they can qualify for more benefits; proof of these costs is required. Learn more about what are considered out-of-pocket medical expenses.

If an older adult lives with family they may be able to apply for SNAP on their own even if they are unable to purchase and prepare meals separately because of mobility difficulties. For those that may have trouble getting to the store, a trusted person is allowed to use their SNAP benefits for them. To make this happen, an alternate payee form can be filled out and turned in with an application or at any time.

For some older adults (65+) in Oregon, that live in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington Counties they can receive their SNAP benefits as a direct deposit, check or on an EBT card which allows for ease of use.

Further Assistance Through the Oregon Department of Human Services

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is the principal government human services agency of Oregon. ODHS helps Oregonians achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity. ODHS helps with food benefits, housing, foster care, development disabilities, senior services and many others.


Outreach and Resources

explains the program and addresses common misconceptions:

  • SNAP is there when you need help buying food. Similar to social security, you have already paid into the program with your tax dollars, so it is there for you if you come across hard times.
  • Many Oregonians use SNAP. There is enough for all who are eligible.
  • SNAP is easy to use.
  • SNAP helps the economy.

including organizations that provide application assistance, grocery delivery or other food and assistance programs: