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Human Services shares latest public-assistance enrollment data, reminds Pennsylvanians that safety net programs are available

Today, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller reminded Pennsylvanians that safety-net programs are available to individuals and families who are struggling to afford food or access health care.

While program enrollments have steadily climbed since the pandemic first affected Pennsylvania in March, there has not been an overwhelming surge of applications to date. However, in a briefing with Pennsylvania reporters, Miller said there is reason to believe that this slow, steady climb in SNAP enrollment could soon see a much steeper incline.

“Millions of people across this country have lost their jobs, or experienced a cutback in their hours, as a direct result of COVID-19’s unprecedented assault on our way of life. While we are all in this together, and we will beat this thing together, we are also all struggling under our own individual circumstances that none of us predicted six months ago,” Miller said. “SNAP and Medicaid are here for anyone who’s struggling to afford food or access health care. These are basic needs that we all have, and any one of us could find ourselves in need of some help one day.”

Applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid can be submitted online at Applications are processed within six days on average for SNAP and 11 days on average for Medicaid. Once a benefit is approved, it can be immediately accessed.

Enrollment statewide for Medicaid has increased by about 145,000 people since February, for a total enrollment of about 2.98 million in June – a 5.1% increase. Enrollment for SNAP statewide has increased by about 166,000 people since February, for a total enrollment of about 1.9 million in June – a 9.6% increase.

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