Food Stamps and the Elderly: Why is Participation So Low?

TitleFood Stamps and the Elderly: Why is Participation So Low?
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHaider, S, Schoeni, RF, Jacknowitz, A
Series TitleNational Poverty Center Working Paper Series
Document Number03-2
InstitutionNational Poverty Center, University of Michigan
CityAnn Arbor, MI
KeywordsHouseholds, pension eligibility, Public Assistance

Estimates imply that only one-third of elderly persons who are eligible for food
stamps actually participate in the program, which is half the rate that exists among
younger people. This study investigates potential reasons for the relatively low take-up
rate among the elderly. Analyzing new data, we conclude that the low take-up rate is not
explained by measurement error and little is explained by various behavioral factors.
Despite this much lower take-up rate, elderly who are eligible for assistance but not
enrolled in the program do not appear to be especially needy.

Citation Key10963