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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

2017 FINANCIAL CONDITION REPORT

Public Welfare


Recipients of Public Assistance and Food Stamps

Enrollment in Public Assistance Decreases to Its Lowest Level Since SFY 2010-11

  • Family Assistance (FA) provides up to 60 months of cash assistance to eligible needy families; Safety Net Assistance (SNA) provides cash or non-cash assistance to eligible single adults, childless couples, persons who have exceeded the 60-month limit on family assistance, children living apart from adult relatives and certain other individuals.
  • Public assistance enrollment in the State decreased to its lowest level since SFY 2010-11, largely due to lower FA enrollment in areas outside of New York City. Overall enrollment outside of New York City decreased for the second year in a row, after increasing for seven straight years.
  • Compared to the prior year, the average monthly number of recipients of public assistance in:
    • New York State decreased by 12,153 (2.1 percent) to 560,567;
    • New York City increased by 5,212 (1.5 percent) to 361,561; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by 17,365 (8.0 percent) to 199,006.
  • Overall FA enrollment decreased by 5.8 percent or roughly double the rates of decline in 2015 and 2016, while overall SNA enrollment increased for the third consecutive year, but by less than 1 percent. Enrollment in FA decreased in New York City and in areas outside of New York City, while SNA enrollment increased in New York City, but decreased in areas outside of New York City. SNA is largely funded by the State and the counties, while FA is funded by the federal government.

Spending for Public Assistance Decreases for the First Time in Five Years

Public Assistance Expenditures by Source
  • For the first time since SFY 2011-12, public assistance spending decreased, mainly because of a decrease in expenditures in areas outside of New York City.
  • Compared to last year, public assistance expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $67.5 million (3.0 percent) to $2.2 billion;
    • New York City increased by $11.1 million (0.8 percent) to $1.4 billion; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by $78.6 million (9.3 percent) to $769.4 million.
  • FA and SNA expenditures both decreased compared to last year. SNA expenditures accounted for 64.3 percent of total public assistance spending.
  • Compared to the prior year, SNA expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $5.4 million (0.4 percent) to $1.4 billion;
    • New York City increased by $27.0 million (2.8 percent) to $995.8 million; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by $32.4 million (6.9 percent) to $439.9 million.
  • Compared to the prior year, FA expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $62.1 million (7.8 percent) to $737.3 million;
    • New York City decreased by $15.8 million (3.7 percent) to $407.8 million; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by $46.2 million (12.3 percent) to $329.5 million.
  • Child Care Block Grant subsidies for low-income families transitioning from public assistance increased by $10.0 million (1.0 percent) to just over $1 billion. These subsidies are financed by a combination of federal, State and local sources.

SNAP Enrollment Decreases for Third Consecutive Year; Spending Decreases for Fourth Straight Year

Child Care Block Grant (CCBG) Annual Commitments
  • Enrollment in the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) decreased for the third consecutive year, following more than a decade of steady growth. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is funded by the federal government.
  • Compared to the prior year, the average monthly number of recipients of SNAP in:
    • New York State decreased by 54,545 (1.8 percent) to 2.9 million;
    • New York City increased by 146 (0.01 percent) to 1.7 million; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by 54,691 (4.2 percent) to 1.3 million.
  • Expenditures for SNAP decreased for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Compared to the prior year, SNAP expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $103.0 million (2.1 percent) to $4.9 billion;
    • New York City increased by $29.0 million (1.0 percent) to $3.0 billion; and
    • Areas outside New York City decreased by $132.0 million (6.5 percent) to $1.9 billion.

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