Online SNAP applications are now open

Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) – The Division of Public Assistance (DPA) has launched the online application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The mobile-friendly application is now available on the DPA website.

The online application is a “smart form,” asking only the questions that relate to each individual, based on their needs and circumstances. The paper application previously required is 28 pages long, is an application for all Public Assistance programs, and takes approximately one hour to complete for a family of four with one income. On average, about 40% of the submitted paper applications are incomplete, causing them to enter a “pending” status until the required documents are received.  

Since the launch of the online form on Dec. 27, DPA has received 260 online applications, with an average completion time of 20 minutes, including uploading all required documents.

“Alaskans are starting to feel the real benefit from the actions taken by the Governor last session through long-overdue funding to upgrade outdated technology,” said Department of Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg. “We will continue to migrate our other workflows in a digital direction, enabling our staff to use more efficient systems and better support Alaskans.” 

The form is optimized for both mobile and desktop devices. “Using the online form guides you through each step,” said Deb Etheridge, Director of Public Assistance. “All types of documents, like photos and scans can be uploaded from a phone or computer. This is an incredible step for us to leverage modern technology. Streamlining the process means more complete applications from the beginning. Less time that our staff spends touching the same application more than once increases efficiencies, and paperwork is not lost in the mail or delayed due to weather.”

All SNAP applications are processed in the order in which they are received unless an applicant qualifies for expedited service. If an applicant has already filled out and turned in a paper form, they do not need to reapply with the online application.