South Carolina began the first CAP in 1995. This state raised SNAP participation among SSI recipients from 38 percent in 1994 to 50 percent in 1998. During this same time period, SNAP participation among SSI recipients nationally decreased, from 42 percent to 38 percent. South Carolina’s efforts led to more than 8,500 seniors and people with disabilities receiving aid.36 The state also reported net administrative savings of approximately $575,000 per year.37
Overall, CAPs have achieved considerable success. According to a report by Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), 13 percent of all seniors receiving SNAP in fiscal year 2007 enrolled through a CAP. This percentage was even higher in some CAP states, including Florida (23 percent), New York (30 percent), and Mississippi (44 percent).38 Between fiscal years 2000 and 2007, the states that saw elderly participation increase by 100 percent or more had all implemented CAPs, expanded categorical eligibility, or took both steps.
Perhaps the clearest evidence of CAPs’ impact is the following. From fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2008, the average SNAP participation rate among 1-person SSI households in 12 states that implemented CAP rose from 26.4 percent to 39.1 percent—a 48 percent relative increase. At the same time, participation levels remained relatively flat for both (a) SSI-recipient households in non-CAP states (rising from 30.7 percent to 32.6 percent) and (b) non-SSI households in CAP states. Surveys report that most CAP participants are satisfied or very satisfied with the program, finding the enrollment process easy or very easy.39