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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

2016 FINANCIAL CONDITION REPORT

Public Welfare


Recipients of Public Assistance and Food Stamps

Enrollment in Public Assistance Increases Slightly for the First Time in Three Years

  • Family Assistance provides up to 60 months of cash assistance to eligible needy families; Safety Net Assistance 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 increased for the first time in three years, largely due to higher Safety Net Assistance (SNA) enrollment in New York City. Enrollment decreased in areas outside of New York City for the first time in eight years.
  • Compared to last year, the average monthly number of recipients of public assistance in:
    • New York State increased by 4,498 (0.8 percent) to 572,720;
    • New York City increased by 17,509 (5.2 percent) to 356,350; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by 13,011 (5.7 percent) to 216,370.
  • Overall Family Assistance (FA) enrollment decreased by 3.0 percent for the second consecutive year, while overall SNA enrollment increased for the second consecutive year, but at a rate—3.8 percent—that was nearly four times higher than in State Fiscal Year 2014-15. Enrollment in FA and SNA 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.
Public Assistance Expenditures by Source

Spending for Public Assistance Continues to Increase, But at a Slower Rate

  • For the fourth consecutive year, public assistance spending increased, but by less than 1 percent and mainly because of an increase in SNA expenditures in New York City. The increase in public assistance expenditures continues the program’s recent spending growth, but it is occurring at a slower rate than in any of the last three years.
  • Compared to last year, public assistance expenditures in:
    • New York State increased by $4.3 million (0.2 percent) to $2.24 billion;
    • New York City increased by $50.3 million (3.8 percent) to $1.39 billion; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by $46.0 million (5.1 percent) to $848.0 million.
  • SNA expenditures increased while FA expenditures decreased. For New York City, higher SNA expenditures more than offset lower FA expenditures. SNA expenditures accounted for 64.3 percent of total public assistance spending.
  • Compared to last year, SNA expenditures in:
    • New York State increased by $36.7 million (2.6 percent) to $1.44 billion;
    • New York City increased by $54.6 million (6.0 percent) to $968.8 million; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by $17.8 million (3.6 percent) to $472.3 million.
  • Compared to last year, FA expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $32.4 million (3.9 percent) to $799.4 million;
    • New York City decreased by $4.3 million (1.0 percent) to $423.7 million; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by $28.2 million (7.0 percent) to $375.7 million.
  • Child Care Block Grant subsidies for low-income families transitioning from public assistance increased by $33.3 million (3.4 percent) to $1.01 billion. These subsidies are financed by a combination of federal, State and local sources.
Child Care Block Grant (CCBG) Annual Commitments

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

  • Enrollment in the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) decreased for the second 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 last year, the average monthly number of recipients of SNAP in:
    • New York State decreased by 73,197 (2.4 percent) to 3.0 million;
    • New York City decreased by 47,542 (2.7 percent) to 1.69 million; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by 25,655 (1.9 percent) to 1.31 million.
  • Expenditures for SNAP decreased for the third consecutive year.
  • Compared to last year, SNAP expenditures in:
    • New York State decreased by $110.6 million (2.2 percent) to $5.0 billion;
    • New York City decreased by $68.8 million (2.3 percent) to $2.97 billion; and
    • areas outside New York City decreased by $41.8 million (2.0 percent) to $2.04 billion.

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