Presentation on theme: "Understanding CalFresh & the Older Adult. California’s Older Adult Population Between 1950 and 2000, the older adult population grew almost 200%. It is."— Presentation transcript:
California’s Older Adult Population Between 1950 and 2000, the older adult population grew almost 200%. It is expected to reach 14.6 million people by 2050, which will represent 25% of California’s population.
Healthy Aging Nutrition is an essential component to successful and healthy aging. Food is critical to one’s health and physiological well-being, and also contributes to social, cultural and psychological quality of life.
Older Adults & Threat of Hunger More than 16% of California seniors experienced the threat of hunger between 2001 and 2010. Seniors experiencing some form of food insecurity: –Have lower calorie and nutrient intakes –Are more likely to report poor health –Are hospitalized more frequently –Are less able to perform daily tasks
CalFresh Can Help CalFresh can help older adults: –Maintain food security and good health when resources are scarce. –Purchase food such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and more. –Purchase meals in some restaurants (in some areas). –Benefit their local economy. –Leverage other money to pay for basic needs. –Improve their nutrient intake, improve their well- being, and maintain independence.
Challenge: Older Adults Do Not Apply for Benefits Older adults have the lowest participation rate, compared with other SNAP/CalFresh- eligible populations. In 2006, only 10% of eligible seniors participated in CalFresh, compared to 34% of eligible seniors who participated in SNAP nationally (2006).
Why Older Adults Don’t Apply Embarrassment: view “food stamps” as a handout or welfare Burdensome and overwhelming application process Lack of transportation to the CalFresh Office Myths: Mistakenly think that social security retirement disqualifies them Don’t want to “take the benefit away from others”
Dispelling Myths and Stigma CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program, not a welfare program. CalFresh is easy to use with the EBT card. Special rules make it easier for adults aged 60 and older to get CalFresh. Using CalFresh puts money into your state and local economy. You may be eligible now even if you weren’t eligible in the past. See CalFresh Outreach Basics Handbook, Older Adults Appendix E for more detailed talking points to dispel myths when talking to seniors.
Special Rules Make it Easier for Older Adults (60+) to Qualify No gross income test Special income deductions –Medical costs –Shelter costs Face-to-face interview waiver Exempt from quarterly/semi-annual reporting if they do not have earnings Recertification every 24 months if all adult household members are 60 or older
Prescreening Basics Client Age: If the client is aged 60 or older, they are considered “elderly” under CalFresh regulations and fall under the “special rules”. SSI Benefits: Older adults who are receiving SSI may be ineligible for CalFresh. However, receiving Social Security Retirement Benefits does not disqualify them. Assist the client to make sure they know what type of benefit they are receiving.
Prescreening Tools Refer to the CalFresh Outreach Basics Handbook, Chapter 5, for a basic prescreening guide. Consider using the CalFresh Outreach Excel Calculator for a more sophisticated tool that will help calculate net income. www.myfoodstamps.org/screeningtool.html
What Happens After the Prescreen? Potentially ineligible: Gently inform the client that based on the prescreen he or she may not be eligible for CalFresh benefits. However, it is their right to apply and the county CalFresh office makes the final determination. Consider providing the client with a local resource list of nutrition resources.
What Happens After the Prescreen? Potentially eligible: Inform the client they may be eligible for CalFresh benefits. The county CalFresh office determines eligibility. Encourage the client to fill out an application. –Provide application assistance, if possible. –Community-based organizations (CBO) may offer help completing the application and in gathering required documentation.
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